UPDATE:Statement by the Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley on "P is for Palestine"

Statement by the Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley on Library Forum Cancellation

1 Sivan 5779
June 4, 2019 

As you know the Highland Park library had scheduled a public meeting to discuss the reading of "P is for Palestine" at the public library. This matter attracted extensive coverage from local and national media outlets, as well as tremendous attention from competing audiences who were in favor and opposed to this proposal. We feared that a huge crowd would assemble for this meeting, and the meeting could easily erupt into a volatile confrontation between two opposing factions. In addition, the visible strong opposition of the Jewish community could endanger our religious institutions in the future. 

We are relieved to announce that the library has chosen to cancel the meeting and is adopting the following compromise to defuse this situation and restore peace to our community: "P is for Palestine" will be read at the Highland Park Public Library, and a second reading of "I is for Israel" or something similar will take place at a subsequent date, shortly thereafter.

While it was critical for our community to demonstrate opposition to the planned book reading when it was assumed that many outside interest groups - some hostile to Israel - would descend upon Highland Park, we prefer this compromise for the sake of public safety and to avoid potentially toxic confrontations between opposing sides. The Vaad supports this compromise which diffuses a potentially volatile and explosive situation, and we ask the community to show their support as well. We also request that you not attend the "P is for Palestine reading," to prevent possible conflicts and altercations.

Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley

A Special Request from Rabbi Bassous

Dear family and friends

In 1982 our family started a small shul in Goders Green, London in memory of our late father, Yechezkel ben Manashe A'H called Knesset Yechezkel.

Baruch Hashem, since then the shul has had to move twice into bigger facilities and has now started building an even larger facility that will be adequate for many years. We are starting a fundraising match campaign for Beth Hamedrash Knesset Yehezkel.

Please help us reach our goal so that we both share the merit of doing two major Mitzvot at one time - building a Shul and helping us do the Mitzva of Kibud Av which is truly Chessed Shel Emet.

Please give generously.

To obtain a tax deductible receipt in the USA, select USD from the list of currencies, and put your email address and you should receive a US tax deductible receipt.

May we always be involved in Mitzvot and Maasim Tovim!

Tizku le-mitzvot.

Rabbi David Bassous

The Retirement of Rabbi Bassous

Rabbi Bassous' Retirement

After 28 years of devoted service to Congregation Etz Ahaim and the entire Highland Park / Edison Jewish community, Rabbi Bassous plans on retiring in 2020. We at Congregation Etz Ahaim offers its sincerest thanks to Rabbi Bassous and his wife for all they have done in guiding our community to ever greater heights in Torah and Mitzvot and for the leadership they have shown that has enabled Etz Ahaim to grow and become a beloved spiritual home for so many.
The Congregation Etz Ahaim Board of Trustees has formed a Rabbinic Search Committee. We have started the process of finding suitable candidates for the position of Etz Ahaim rabbi. We welcome your input. Send us an email to search@etzahaim.org with any ideas, candidates, or resumes from candidates. 

These will be the main qualifications for our next Rabbi:

  • Orthodox Semicha with proficiency in Daily, Shabbat & Haggim, Kashrut and Niddah, and Mikveh Halachot

  • College degree

  • At least three years of experience working as a rabbinic leader of a congregation

  • Dynamic educator

  • Strong role model for religious observance and practice

  • Ability to give practical guidance in religious matters

  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written

  • Proficiency in leading tefilot and reading the Torah

We look forward to working together,
The Congregation Etz Ahaim Rabbinic Search Committee 
Ray Morris (Committee Chairman)
Haim Baruh
Aaron Epstein
Behzad Hakakian
Dina Horowitz
Steven Lipstein
Richard Shakarchi
Sari Shalmon
David Tawil