Efforts to repeal the county’s blue laws are gaining steam, said Rosemary Shashoua of Westwood, who launched a petition drive earlier this year to overturn these rules.
So far, she has collected some 1,500 signatures. That’s just 1,000 short of the number needed to place a referendum on the November ballot.
Shashoua, who calls herself a “civic activist,” turned her attention to the blue laws in November, after reading about stores that were allowed to open on Sundays for two weekends after Hurricane Sandy, despite opposition by Paramus’s Mayor Richard LaBarbiera. When store owners tried to win an extension, however, they were rebuffed.
In response, Shashoua — founder of the campaign “Modernize Bergen County” — wrote the Bergen Record a detailed letter outlining her opposition to the blue laws.
Teaneck High School has expanded its Holocaust resources, setting aside a Holocaust-focused collection and study area in its library.
This is in addition to the school’s Holocaust center, which is in a room off the cafeteria.
“We are the only place in the world that has a two-floor Holocaust center in a public school,” said Goldie Minkowitz, director of the center and a math teacher at the school.
The center traces its roots to 1975, when the Anti-Defamation League asked history teacher Ed Reynolds to help create New Jersey’s first Holocaust curriculum. The materials he accumulated became the core of the center’s collection.
As the rain poured from the sky like teardrops on Monday, the roar of chainsaws echoed around Teaneck as more than 250 years of history came to an end as workers cut down the massive red oak tree overlooking Cedar Lane.
The tree, estimated to have been between 250 and 350 years old and thought to have been the fourth largest red oak in New Jersey, stood on the property of the modern Orthodox synagogue Netivot Shalom, but thanks to a Puffin Foundation grant, Bergen County had taken responsibility for the tree’s maintenance since 2011. Last month, county inspectors declared that the tree had become a danger to passersby and had to go.
On May 10, the Jewish Standard featured a story about Dr. David Kleid, who made aliyah to Israel from his home in Fair Lawn.
Kleid recently had leased an all-electric Renault Fluence through Better Place, the American-Israeli company that was using Israel as a testing ground for its electric car network. He reported that he loved the way it handles the hills between his home in Ma’aleh Adumim and his job in Jerusalem, with no gasoline.
Just 16 days later, after six years and more than $850 million in venture capital spent, Better Place declared bankruptcy. The company was turned over to a liquidator, and the future of its 38 battery-switching stations in Israel is uncertain.
Jack Schneider of Fort Lee, president of B’nai B’rith’s Fort Lee Palisades Lodge, recalls the days when the group was in its heyday, with some 120 members.
“I like to feel that we have been victims of our own success,” Schneider said, noting that the lodge has only five remaining members.
“We’re down to an aging few,” he said, pointing out that when the group started, about 25 years ago, members’ children and grandchildren couldn’t get into Harvard or attain high Wall Street positions.
Now they can — and they no longer have the time, or the inclination, to join their father’s organization.
Nevertheless, that club is still making a difference in the life of the community.
Camp Ramah in the Berkshires is turning 50.
That can be a sobering milestone for people. While it might not be old, it is unequivocally no longer young.
But camps are different. They are all about being young, but they also are about continuity and staying power. Fifty absolutely is something to celebrate, and the next 50 is something to look forward to with joy.
On Sunday, Camp Ramah in the Berkshires — which in fact isn’t in the Berkshires at all, but in Wingdale, N.Y., and draws campers from New Jersey, New York City, Westchester County and Long Island — celebrated its anniversary with a huge reunion. About 1,000 people trekked up Route 684; some are young now, and others went to remember being young, and to feel young again.
Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) of Cliffside Park, who died on Monday, was 89 years old, the oldest member of the Senate, and the New Jersey senator who cast more votes in the upper house than any other.
As befits that status, he was old-school all the way; the Senate’s last World War II veteran, a member of the clichéd but still extraordinary Greatest Generation, an old-fashioned liberal who cared deeply about such unglamorous but wide-reaching issues as gun control (he wrote a law that kept guns away from people convicted of domestic abuse and fought vigorously for gun control until the very end of his life); smoking on airplanes (he wrote the law that banned it), and drunk driving (he got the blood alcohol standard lowered and so kept some drunk drivers off the streets, and he spearheaded the drive to make all states’ drinking age consistent at 21).
Eighth-grader Benjamin Barth of Teaneck used to think that all Jews affected by the Holocaust were in either ghettos or concentration camps.
Now, as a result of his participation in the oral history film project “Names, Not Numbers,” he understands much more about the Shoah.
“It’s not just a single story of Jews in ghettos and concentration camps,” said Benjamin, who is a student at the Moriah School in Englewood. “There are other aspects, like people resisting all over Europe.”
That realization, and many others, came after an intensive three-month program of study, research, and hands-on video production.
Guided by a professional filmmaker — and following a curriculum designed by Jewish educator Tova Fish-Rosenberg for middle and high school students — Benjamin and 42 classmates interviewed eight Holocaust survivors, using questions they wrote themselves and employing their newly acquired skills in documentary filmmaking and editing.