The Township of Cranford has authorized the Linden Jewish community to include the township within its eruv.
The eruv, or ritual border allowing observant Jews to carry objects on the Sabbath, adds neighboring Cranford to the area embraced since 1991 by an eruv that functions in Rahway, Clark, Roselle, and Linden itself.
That arrangement was formalized on Jan. 25 when the leader of Linden’s Congregation Anshe Chesed, Rabbi Joshua Hess, presented a plaque with a $1 bill to Mayor Mark Smith. That financial deal allows the Orthodox congregation, under local law, to “rent” township property in Cranford for religious purposes.
While some eruvim require that lengths of string be strung between telephone or utility poles, Hess said that much of the area involved — including a stretch along the Garden State Parkway — was already adequately defined, and that the Cranford authorities were amenable to the idea.
“It was such a pleasure to deal with the mayor and his office,” he said.
Hess said the extension had been on his agenda since he came to the congregation last September. “For some reason, Cranford wasn’t included in those arrangements,” he said. “This will really help out our members and the yeshiva” that shares premises with the Linden synagogue.
Accepting the $1 check, Smith noted that he was happy to adopt a resolution to address an important need in the community. He said that the plaque will be displayed at the township’s headquarters.