I haven’t written in this space in a while, but the occasion of our paper’s sixth anniversary provided me with the inspiration to tell my editors to set aside a few lines in this week’s edition and to actually make good on my threat of writing. I am doing that now.
As with all anniversaries and birthdays, moments like these are wonderful opportunities to look back upon the past few years and reflect a bit about the challenges that lie ahead for The Jewish Link of New Jersey and our broader community and readership.
First off, I have to thank our staff of talented editors, writers, columnists, contributors and salespeople who help bring The Jewish Link to the printed page and your screens every week. We have come a long way from my dining room table and the early days when I literally did almost everything myself and required two all-nighters per week to edit and produce the paper. Those days, thankfully, are long over, and it’s incredible to see how much we have grown and continue to grow. Thank you!
Thanks as well to our growing group of advertisers who believe in us and The Jewish Link and, more importantly, are growing their own businesses on the strength of The Jewish Link’s platform. It gives me a tremendous amount of nachat to look around our growing community and see businesses and nonprofits that have started and continue to grow in large part due to their ongoing commitment to advertising in and with our paper.
I always say that our happiest advertisers are the ones that are in the paper weekly or every other week or monthly year round, as they know that The Jewish Link “works” for them, although they may not know exactly which Shabbat or which edition or sometimes even which ad or promotion is working. Our regular and committed advertisers just “know” that their presence in The Jewish Link is important for their success and growth. I will never get tired of hearing this sentiment from so many, and I certainly invite any who may be on the fence or who haven’t advertised with us yet to reach out to me directly anytime.
I also must mention our growing community and readership in New Jersey and well beyond that reads us online or welcomes our paper into their homes every weekend. My editors and I love to hear about how dynamic and diverse our community is, with our local businesses, schools, shuls, nonprofits and sometimes just individual families or even young children all doing incredible things or starting unique programs or doing something no one had thought of prior. We feel privileged to write about and cover our community week in and week out and look forward to doing so for many years to come.
Thanks is also in order to my co-publisher Mark (Mendy) Schwartz, who was a good acquaintance six years ago when we started the paper together and has become a close friend, trusted adviser and guide. Without his help, The Jewish Link would not be nearly as strong and successful as we are today. Thank you, Mendy!***********************
Although I know this column is meant to be dedicated to our sixth anniversary, a number of things happened within our community over the past week that I want to mention briefly in this space. The first is the sudden passing of Harold Gellis, a longtime resident of Teaneck and one of the mainstays of the Beth Aaron community and the Teaneck shul softball league as well. We have published in this week’s paper on page 9 the eulogy that was spoken at Harold’s levaya on Friday by his friend Marvin Ammer, and we have also reprinted on page 112 the Teaneck Doghouse Sports Star of the Week column featuring Harold Gellis for his standout pitching. Harold was truly a special neshama and person in so many ways, and he and his family members have a large share in the growth and strength of the greater Teaneck/Bergen County Orthodox community over the past few decades.
I also want to give kudos to my rabbi and friend, Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, for putting together an incredible weekend for the Beth Aaron community that was capped off by the annual shul dinner this past Sunday night. The Celebrate Beth Aaron weekend had many parts to it, and The Jewish Link will be publishing an article about it in next week’s paper (the dinner pics weren’t ready yet so we couldn’t do anything this week...sorry), but for me the highlight was this past Friday night in our shul where the rabbi wrote, directed, produced and acted out an original production titled “Night at the Shul: If the Walls Could Talk.” The production was loosely based on the famous “Night at the Museum” movie concept, and in it different parts of the shul such as the thermostat and other essential elements came alive and argued with each other about which was most important to the shul. The production was both lighthearted and a bit serious, but the consensus was that it was well received and enjoyed by all present. (I still don’t understand how the rabbi had time to write the nearly 50-page script but he did it. Maybe he should be writing more for The Jewish Link in the future, hmm?) For more details about the weekend, you will have to wait until next week.
By Moshe Kinderlehrer