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Showcasing federation at 90
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Showcasing federation at 90

AMONG THE ITEMS of special interest in “Federation@90” — an exhibit honoring the 90th anniversary of what is now the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ — is a large, heavy bronze plate that sat outside of Daughters of Israel home for the aged in Newark. No ordinary adornment, it had an opening that was used by passersby to make direct donations, making it, in effect, a permanent pushke.

The exhibit chronicling the history of the state’s largest Jewish philanthropy will open for viewing on Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany.

Sponsored by the federation and curated by the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey, the exhibit, which will be on display through Nov. 27, includes 20 large panels displaying pictures of key events and people from the federation’s beneficiary agencies. Through vintage photographs, artifacts, memorabilia, and video clips, visitors will explore the historic Jewish communities of Newark and Elizabeth and the philanthropic organizations that have evolved into today’s federation.

The exhibit reflects nine decades “of dynamic change, with new circumstances locally and globally,” said Max L. Kleinman, federation executive vice president/CEO. “But what has remained constant is our commitment to helping the less fortunate, our love of Israel, our support of Jewish education, respecting the elderly, building our Jewish future, and promoting and living the concepts of klal Yisrael, one Jewish people, and tikun olam, repairing the world.”

JHS executive director Linda Forgosh said that what she hopes visitors will take away from the exhibit “is an appreciation and understanding of the generosity of the Jewish community and federation’s remarkable resiliency, its ability to serve as the community safety net through economic downturns, war, civil unrest, and suburban sprawl.”

The free exhibit will be open during regular Aidekman campus hours; tours will be held every Wednesday at 1 p.m. beginning Oct. 23. For more information, contact Linda Forgosh at lforgosh@jhsmw.org or 973-929-2994. To learn more about the Greater MetroWest federation, visit jfedgmw.org.

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