... and starts year with new efforts to engage more Jews throughout region.
The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is the new entity created by the merger of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County and Jewish Federation of Monmouth County. After more than two years of preparation, the merger took effect January 1, 2015.
“This is more than the marriage of two Federations,” said Mitch Frumkin, president of The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey. “This new Jewish Federation is collaborating with partners and people from all facets of Jewish life to solve the big issues facing the Jewish community.”
"We look forward to thriving together with those who are already active, and with more of the people in Middlesex and Monmouth counties who are not currently connected to Jewish life,” Frumkin added.
“The new Federation will be focused on much more than fundraising, recognizing that the challenges facing today’s Jewish community go beyond helping with social services and new immigrants to Israel. The Federation has a vital role to play in ensuring the community can thrive in the future,” said Keith Krivitzky, CEO of the new entity.
"We know there are gaps at key points in many people’s lives when connecting with an extended Jewish family can add value,” Krivitzky noted. “The Federation is expanding its community engagement program to link people – from teens and young parents to active adults and those in need of a kind visitor in the hospital – to Jewish experiences.”
For example, one of the first events hosted by The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is a gathering for young adults on January 29th in Long Branch. This event is a direct result of feedback The Federation received from young adults who wanted an opportunity for Jews in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to connect, socialize, and network with others and learn about ways to participate in Jewish activities — like volunteering, joining a federation committee, and planning other young adult events. More information about the event can be found at jewishmonmouth.org/mixer and jewishmiddlesex.org/mixer. An event for adults of all ages that grew out of feedback from the community regarding a greater connection to Jewish themes in the arts, is an evening at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. On February 8, The Federation will host a presentation of the historical play, The Whipping Man, about a Jewish, Confederate soldier and his former slaves who were also raised Jewish. The play will be followed by a dessert and talk-back reception. For details go to jewishmiddlesex.org/thewhippingman or jewishmonmouth.org/thewhippingman.
Susan Antman, the new Federation’s executive vice president, said, “We recognize that we are stronger together than any one of us can be alone, and will continue to lead the way to create a thriving Jewish community in New Jersey and beyond.”
A new website and communications vehicles for The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey are in the works. Until then, those who would like to receive regular updates via email are invited to sign up at jewishmonmouth.org/update or jewishmiddlesex.org/update or by calling 732-866-4300 or 732-588-1800.