August 2018

Even though the holidays are early this year…it’s a cliché, but true – to me, they always come right on time, just when you need a mental, spiritual, and logistical break. Early or late, the holidays are a time I welcome to reflect on the past and look to the future.

This coming new year, the Federation is looking to the future in many ways, among them: offering world-class programs for teens – the future leaders of the Jewish community.

Don’t have teens in your life? Think this doesn’t pertain to you? WAIT! THINK AGAIN.

If you care about a strong Jewish future, tell someone with – or who works with – teen kids or grandkids that the best teen opportunities start here in the heart of NJ: gaining life and leadership skills, learning Jewish values, meeting friends, and making a difference while having fun. Find all the details at

In addition to teens, here are some other ways the Federation is focusing on a strong Jewish future. 

The Life & Legacy program exceeded its goals as it closed out its second year, training more than 10 Jewish organizations in our community to cultivate legacy gifts and raising more than $10 million in future value for these organizations.  READ MORE

For the third year in a row, we helped bring more than $1 million for security improvements to 18 Jewish organizations – bringing the total over three years to more than $3 million. READ MORE

We’re addressing the evolving relationship between the Jews in the heart of NJ and our extended family in Israel through myriad efforts. The most recent development is the arrival of our ShinShinim* teen ambassadors, Maya and Dana. They’ll be with us for the year running programs to help local people of all ages discover their personal connection with Israel. Their welcome party is September 20. Details are coming soon. Save the date! They hope to meet you there. 

As we at the Federation see it, our Jewish future is bright and there are many ways for you to be a part of it. Read on for details and check the community calendar for all the ways to make your Jewish holidays – and your new year – more meaningful and connected with your fellow community members.

Wishing you and your loved ones health and happiness in the new year ahead – and beyond. 

Shana tova,
Lisa Karasic

*Shinshinim: Hebrew for the program bringing teen Israeli ambassadors to the U.S. Our community’s ambassadors, Maya and Dana, are shinshiniot (the female, plural word in Hebrew) but they are referred to by the name of the program.
News Highlights
Federation Creates a Culture of Legacy Philanthropy with Donors of All Ages
For members of Generation X and Baby Boomers, the future of the Jewish Community in the Heart of New Jersey is now. Growing numbers within these groups are naming Jewish communal organizations as beneficiaries in their wills, retirement accounts and/or life insurance policies, according to Susan Antman, Federation Executive Vice President.
Local Jewish Community Receives Another Million Dollars for Security
U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) announced today $66,974,651 in U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding for the State of New Jersey. The grants will bolster state and local government port security, terrorism prevention, emergency preparedness, and transit security efforts.
Say Hello to Maya and Dana!
They are Israeli Shinshinim (teen ambassadors) and will be with us for the year running programs to help local people of all ages discover their personal connection with Israel.

Join us at their welcome party...
September 20, save the date!
Happenings in the Heart of New Jersey
The following events listed below are among many on the Jewish community calendar. Check your local listings to explore all this vibrant Jewish community has to offer.
High Holidays in the Heart of NJ
Spend the High Holy Days with other families in our area as we strengthen the entire Jewish community together - making it more caring, connected, and committed today and for the future.
Welcoming Guests for Sukkot
Join Women's Philanthropy as we learn about ushpizin (guests), and the ritual of inviting symbolic guests into the sukkah.

We'll be joined by Risa Doris, Co-President of the Matawan/Aberdeen chapter of Hadassah Southern NJ.

Thursday, September 27, 12PM
Temple Beth Ahm's Sukkah, Aberdeen

Couvert: $18 per person
Women's Fall Festival on the Farm
Women's Philanthropy invites you to Fall Festival on the Farm: Dinner, Music & Bonfire in appreciation of donors who have made their 2018 gift of $180 or more.

Tuesday, October 9, 6PM
Congress Hill Farm, Monroe

Couvert: $54 per person
Dietary laws observed
A Night with
Author Abigail Pogrebin
Author Abigail Pogrebin discusses her book, My Jewish Year, detailing her year observing and trying to understand every single Jewish holiday. She will be interviewed by journalist Jennifer Altman.

Tuesday, November 13, 6:30PM
The Barn, East Brunswick

Couvert: $36 per person, includes light refreshments and signed book for pre-registrants
Israel Teen Summit
For teens – by teens! Experience Israeli food, music, and culture in the heart of New Jersey.

Sunday, November 18 at Rutgers Hillel
Save the date - more info to come!

Be the first to get details.
Join the email list.
International Lion of Judah Conference in Florida
Join us at the International Lion of Judah Conference January 13-15, 2019 – the premier gathering of dynamic philanthropic Jewish women. Together, we will examine the changing face of our world. Hear from leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs, featuring speaker Aly Raisman, two-time captain of the U.S. Women's
Gymnastics Team who led her team to Olympic gold.

And together, Lions from the heart of NJ will celebrate our very own winner of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, Linda Block.