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A place for community

It is with incredible sadness that I read your article about Rabbi Renee Edelman of Temple Sha’arey Shalom of Springfield, NJ (“‘Fashion forward’ rabbi joins Springfeild shul,” July 30).

While Johanna Ginsberg reported that Rabbi Edelman will not tolerate lashon hara, Ms. Ginsberg then made the choice to participate in her own version of gossip with her need to comment on the  rabbi’s wardrobe. How are the clothing and shoes of a rabbi even relevant? I was a member of Temple Beth El in Elizabeth for many years where we accepted America’s first female rabbi to the pulpit
— the great Rabbi Sally Priesand. How hard a woman had to fight to enter a “man’s world” on the pulpit. How incredibly disrespectful of NJJN to even comment on dress rather than focus on the profound prior accomplishments of Rabbi Edelman and the insights, knowledge, and vision that she will bring to Temple Sha’arey Shalom

Every temple — and every church for that matter — experiences its ups and downs. NJJN could just as easily have written an upbeat and positive article that welcomed our new rabbi and highlighted the congregation’s accomplishments. We are immensely proud of our more than 50-year legacy of Jewish devotion and commitment. There is a lot of social, religious, and educational life in our temple for people of all ages, incomes, and family units from singles through extended families. We warmly welcome interfaith and other non-traditional families into our inclusive, egalitarian community. It is a place to build relationships, to connect, to learn, and to grow. We take pride in the number of members who participate and who study on a regular basis. Our religious school now extends through the 12th grade with special monthly programs and we are immensely proud of our superb fulltime preschool.

Temple Sha’arey Shalom holds may activities that range from just plain fun to charitable work and classes that are open to the public. Visitors are also welcome at any Friday night Shabbat service. Please, come meet our rabbi and our temple family.

Temple Sha’arey Shalom congregants do such amazing things every day, such as serving the homeless on a regular basis, collaborating with the neighboring church and other temples for services, engaging in charitable work and community building, offering a top religious education, and many other amazing things that happen both inside and outside of Temple Sha’arey Shalom.

Mostly Sha’arey Shalom is a place for Jewish community, in the best sense. As representatives of the Jewish community, the NJJN should join us in supporting the best of our Jewish organizations and the people of the Jewish community rather than sowing divisiveness.

I invite you to come experience Sha’arey Shalom at a Friday night service or at one of our events and experience this warm community for yourself.

Ellen Lieberman
First vice-president, Temple Sha’arey Shalom
and member of Temple Beth El of Elizabeth (as
affiliated with Temple Sha’arey Shalom)
Union

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