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Hazzan is on the mend after being hit by car
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Hazzan is on the mend after being hit by car

Staff Writer, New Jersey Jewish News

A cantorial student and soloist for a Madison havura is recovering from injuries he sustained after being hit by a car.

Russell Jayne of Boonton, a cantorial student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, surprised members of Chavurat Lamdeinu Dec. 3 when he attended services and “bentsched gomel,” or recited the traditional prayer for coming through a life-threatening situation.

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Jayne was struck by a car while entering the crosswalk at the corner of Lathrop Avenue and Washington Street in Boonton. He had just returned from JTS by bus. Jayne, 38, a fourth-year student at the seminary, never lost consciousness but acknowledged feeling “a great deal of pain.”

After a brief stay at Morristown Memorial Hospital, he returned home the following Friday.

The havura was “stunned” by the news, according to Ruth Gais, its founder and rabbi. Founded in 2003, the havura, or fellowship, is independent and run by volunteers. Congregants meet for weekly Shabbat services at the Masonic Lodge on Main Street.

“It was such a moment when he came in. We were so happy,” said Gais.

“When he’s not present we miss his rich voice and his intellectual enthusiasm,” said Chavurat Lamdeinu member Debbie Weinstein. “He brings passion to prayer and a hunger to share his knowledge from his entire spectrum of experience.”

Jayne won’t know what his prognosis for a full recovery is for a few weeks, until the doctors can follow up on his injuries. They include fractures and soft tissue damage.

“The love and support of the community has been overwhelming,” he said, not only from Chavurat Lamdeinu but also from his instructors and students at JTS, as well as his brothers at the Masonic Lodge, where he is also a member.

“We feel great relief and great joy that he is recovering so well,” said Gais.

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