I would like to clarify and amplify an article that appeared in the Feb. 24 issue ( “NJ towns ‘emerge’ as havens for Orthodox life.”)
The article’s characterization that “congregants are unfazed by Rabbi Lubin’s Chabad affiliation” misses the nature of Congregation Shaya Ahavat Torah’s relationship with Rabbi Shalom Lubin.
When we hired Rabbi Lubin, eight years ago, we saw his Chabad affiliation as a strength and believed that would make him exactly the right fit for our community. Nothing in the years has shaken that belief. The non-judgmental attitude and welcoming spirit that Rabbi Lubin has brought to our community has transformed our shul and kehilla (congregation) into a place where all Jews feel welcome and at home. Indeed, our shul is regularly attended on Shabbos, our Sunday and Thursday morning minyans, and holidays by dozens of families who come from all walks of life, many who don’t identify as Orthodox and aren’t members. We have become a shul where people from all denominations of Judaism are made comfortable, and daven together as one. We proudly offer all of our services to local members of the community, as well as to seniors living in local senior facilities. This Chabad spirit that Rabbi Lubin has brought to our community is something that we are very proud of.
Naomi Rotter, President
Congregation Shaya Ahavat Torah