Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey

November 2018 Message from President Howie Hirsch

I was planning on writing about what a wonderful day we had on Sunday.

We ran a successful blood drive and we planted a garden of 500 daffodils in memory of the children murdered during the Holocaust. I was going to say how moving this event was for me, as when I started doing genealogy of my family from Hungary, I found entire limbs of my family tree completely disappeared during the Holocaust. I donít have names to remember these relatives by, but when we say Mournerís Kaddish at services, one of the reasons that I respect everyone standing up for this prayer, is that there are many people who do not have anyone to say Kaddish for them, and we do that as a community.

The events of October 27 in Pittsburgh have left me shocked. A lone gunman goes into a house of worship and brutally murders people. The acts are unfathomable. I know that everyone is concerned about security, and if you are concerned, please come to the board meeting on November 5 at 7:00 p.m. and express your opinions AND your ideas to the board to help guide us in our thinking.

For me, I will not let the terrorists stop me from living a Jewish life. I will give you a couple of examples of how I have put this philosophy into action during my life. When my son Sam was in the eighth grade, their class trip was to Washington DC. This was 2002, and the planning for the trip was in the fall of 2001. I stood up at the board of education meeting and said the same thing I said a few sentences ago. Do not let the terrorists stop us from going about our lives. The second was when my daughters had a Girl Scout troop camping trip planned for Assateague Island. This was during the time when the "DC Sniper" was travelling the metropolitan DC area and randomly shooting people. I sent off my wife and my daughters on this trip and again spoke to the troop about my convictions of leading your life.

I hope that all the parents of the Sunday School as well as the rest of the congregation do not feel so scared by the media and the threats that are out there every day to stop coming to temple because we might be a target. Life is precious and living it to the fullest is what I will do to my dying day.

I love you all.

Love, Howie

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Last updated: November 18, 2018