AABJ&D wraps up its 50-year celebration with annual dinner

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Photo Courtesy of Mali Schwartz
Above, West Orange Mayor Louis Peter Falcone attends the Sept. 11, 1966, Congregation Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob & David dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Congregation Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob & David will have its annual dinner on Sunday, May 8, at 6 p.m. at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange. The dinner is the culminating event of a year filled with special programs and activities to help celebrate AABJ&D’s 50th anniversary.

Rabbi Alvin and Marylin Marcus will receive the Legacy Award for their 48 years of service.

“Rabbi Marcus has guided us from an emerging shul into the largest suburban Orthodox congregation in Essex County,” shul president Larry Liebman said in a release.

Guests of honor include all past synagogue presidents, and chairmen of the board, who as a group have worked tirelessly for the benefit of the shul. Doris and Jay Hartman will receive the Keter Shem Tov Award and Alisha and Jeremy Blugrind will receive the Young Leadership Award.

“The number 50 is considered the ultimate level that an individual can reach in terms of Torah understanding. It is called the jubilee year and is significant in the Jewish tradition,” according to Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler, Congregation AABJ&D’s spiritual leader. “I hope our synagogue members will integrate the theme of this special anniversary year, embracing our past, building the future, into their own lives.”

“By the 1930s, West Orange already had a foundation of Jews who migrated from urban areas to realize their dream of living in the suburbs. Occupations that attracted these individuals to the township included retail and hospitality represented by Goldman’s Hotel,” Mali Schwartz, who spearheaded a jubilee journal which looks at the 50 year of AABJ&D, and programs and activities for the year-long anniversary celebration, said in the release.

Mayor Robert Parisi is scheduled to speak at the dinner about the ties between the township of West Orange and the AABJ&D community, which have always been strong.