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Thank you We are pleased to announce that our Shul , through over 85 contributions, has raised approximately $30,000 for our Raritan Valley EPI. Together with the generous donations collected with all our neighboring Shuls , we have achieved sufficient funding to close Phase I of the EPI fundraising program. Individuals and families who approach the EPI Committee will be happy to know that there is ample funding currently to meet the needs of our community. In the event that there is (chas v'Shalom) a downturn in the current economic climate, the EPI Committee will alert the community of a Phase II fundraising program. We thank you for your abundant generosity and chesed as we remind you that our Shul OE Tzdakah Fund is still in need of the crucial funding it requires to continue its ongoing support to those most in need

Sofer Visit

The Sofer will be available to check your mezzuzot and tefillin Sunday, June 21, 2020, at Judaica Gallery, 300 Raritan Avenue, Highland Park. For questions or to make a Sunday morning appointment, please call .732-236-9695


Message from the Vaad HaRabonim


vaad letter on minyanim

To Our Beloved Shuls:


We are deeply moved by the devotion and dedication of our incredible community as we have together navigated this health crisis with faith and perseverance. The virus which has sickened so many and temporarily suspended our public communal functions has been met with countless acts of chesed and private service of Hashem.

We are extremely grateful for your strict adherence to social distancing guidelines, which we believe has saved lives within our neighborhood. The medical professionals with whom we regularly consult have lauded our shuls for the seriousness with which we have acted to minimize our exposure to Covid-19.

Throughout the pandemic these past two months, we, the rabbis of the Vaad, have had many Zoom conferences and have communicated almost daily by phone and email to discuss numerous aspects of our new reality, and received counsel from an experienced team of physicians affiliated with numerous area hospitals.

Due to the substantial downward trend of infection and decreased levels of hospitalization in Middlesex County facilities, these same professionals have given us strong indication that we may likely have reached a local risk level low enough to begin limited minyan gatherings. The Governor's executive order earlier this month had already permitted properly outfitted and spaced "gatherings of 10 persons or fewer," making it legal to form minyanim in the State. We had refrained from acting on this in an abundance of caution, as advised by the doctors. Today, the Governor permitted public gatherings of up to 25 peopl

We are thrilled to announce that our shuls will very shortly begin to phase in minyanim. While we are leaving it to the individual shul's discretion to determine the exact start date and frequency of minyanim, we unanimously agree that these minyanim adhere to the following guidelines:

* outdoors on shul property and under shul auspice

* strictly limited to 25 or fewer peopl

* no one under bar mitzva

* no one who has a fever or ANY Covid-19 symptoms or who has contracted the virus and is not 14 days past recover

* no one whose physician has determined he is vulnerable to Covid infection based on age or any other facto

* participants standing at least eight feet apart at all times and wearing masks at all time

* no building use permitte

* participants bring their own siddu

* canceled in event of rai

* absolutely no food or drink served

These minyanim are a reshus, and not a chiyuv. No one should feel compelled at this time to be "moser nefesh" in order to attend one of these minyanim, if he feels his circumstances warrant more caution and protection. He should continue to daven at home until he feels that attendance would be the proper course for him

We also strongly discourage any private minyanim from forming in backyards or street corners and implore the community to join their respective shul minyanim as we slowly and carefully reintroduce shul life back into our daily routines

This positive step, for which we have prayed, should not be interpreted as a signal to return to pre-Covid behaviors. Instead, we ask you to continue to practice social distancing in all your interactions with others. This consistent vigilance will allow us to take future positive steps toward restoration of shul life as we knew it. With Chag Hashavuos coming, we ask you to consult your doctor before inviting others into your home, as sharing indoor spaces assumes a far higher level of risk

Thank you for being so cooperative and patient as we all try to work together in the interests of safeguarding life as best as we can. We hope each measured step we will be taking over the coming weeks will successfully lead to a full reopening of our shuls, and to a time of complete health and well-being for all

We look forward to your participation in our Vaad Harabonim Tikkun Leil Erev Shavuos program on Wednesday night on Zoom. May we always learn from each other and join together as one.



Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley

A message from the Safety & Security Committee:

PRINT .PDF . email:

Volunteer Door Monitors are urgently needed particularly for the early minyanim and both woman and men are urged to participate during for all 3 minyanim. This does not require joining a committee or attending any meeting but a short conversation with any security committee member to review Door Monitor functions and procedures. Volunteers will promote adherence to the one door entrance OE policy as well as welcome quests who should be in our shul. Both the HPPD and Homeland Security visited us during Shabbos over the past 2 weeks and separately confirmed that restricting entrance to the alley door, which is monitored, is fundamental in keeping us safe.

Passing on a message: Doors Stay Closed. During the early Minyan last Shabbos, an individual opened the Raritan Street door – which we all know should never be opened during services, without knowing who was banging on the other side or what weapon that person may have been carrying. As pointed out by a concerned congregant who alerted us, such opening of the outside Raritan door undermines the entire system of locked doors, ingress and egress monitoring, panic buttons, emergency phones and police protection established at significant cost and effort – to help keep our kehillah safe. Had there been a Door Monitor at the early minyan last Shabbos, this dangerous and unacceptable risk taken unilaterally by an individual would not have occurred. Let’s help each other and please contact anyone on the Security Committee to lend a

Understanding the OE System: At the request of several members and beginning soon on upcoming Shabbosim, members of the Security Committee will be conducting “mini walk arounds” after Kiddush to familiarized participants with the location of the panic buttons, 911 phones and other security devices to be used in an emergency. A color-coded MAP showing location both emergency devices and emergency evacuation routes will also be displayed in

key visible points around the shul. In the meantime, please take a copy of the ADVISORY FROM THE O.E. SAFETY & SECURITY COMMITTEE describing emergency procedures including evacuation routes.

For volunteering or any questions please contact Jonathan Gotlib at

From the Security Committee:

The Highland Park PD have asked us to inform all members that they have increased patrols and stops at local shuls and increased their presence along Raritan Avenue and, in conjunction with other agencies ramped up their protection of Jewish facilities throughout our county.

At OE during the week prior to the tragic Jersey City massacre we installed additional panic buttons, dedicated phones for 911 calls to the police, taken steps to improve our video surveillance and have been in contact with other agencies and private security experts. As you know, we pay for off duty police to help protect us every Shabbos morning.  We will update you soon, about steps to make the Denison exit safer.

Panic button and 911 phone locations are:

Beis Midrash

Panic Button on woman’s side of mechitzah, along the bookshelf 911 Phone on the back wall, under the Yad Vashem lamp.

Entrance Hallway

Panic Button

Social Hall

Panic Button


911 Phone

911 Phone


Men’s side Panic Button Panic Button Panic Button 911 Phone

Woman side 911 Phone

outside to the right of the walk-in coat closet

Right side with kitchen door on wall.
Inside the entrance, behind the refrigerator
on the wall between the Rabbis study and the playroom

on wall left side of side entrance doors
under the rabbi’s stender
under the Shulchan
main entrance inside - right, next to the yortzeit plaque.

3 row back, next to last seat on the left

Secretary’s office
Panic button Inside the desk drawer

We will be installing more devices and hardening our facility over the next weeks. Please contact Jonathan Gotlib with any suggestions at 908 380 5122

Jonathan Gotlib
Assistant General Counsel Office: (908) 925-1123 ext. 330 Cell: (908) 380-5122

Security Update regarding Ahavas Achim Synagogue

Statement regarding vaccination

In light of the measles outbreak affecting Jewish communities in New York and New Jersey, the board and Rabbi of Congregation Ohav Emeth would like to issue the following statement:


Measles is a highly contagious, life threatening disease. Measles is also preventable. According to the CDC, the recommended two doses of MMR vaccine is 97% effective against measles. Those who are immunocompromised or are too young to be vaccinated rely on herd immunity to be protected against this potentially deadly disease. It is our obligation to do everything we can to protect ourselves and safeguard our community against danger.


Congregation Ohav Emeth strongly urges all parents to vaccinate their children on the timetable recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC.


Adults born between 1957 and 1989 may not be immune to measles even if previously vaccinated. 
We encourage everyone in this age group to consult with their doctor regarding an immunity test (titer), or booster vaccine.

If your child is older than 6 months but less than 1 year old, we recommend that you consult with your pediatrician to see if your child should receive their first dose of the vaccine early.

The safety of our congregants is paramount. For this reason we request that individuals who do not have a registered medical exemption and have not been vaccinated against measles refrain from entering the building or participating in shul functions.

Please see the attached resource for a more information on the importance of vaccination.


For a statement on vaccinations from the OU and Rabbinical Council of America, please use the following link:

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Community News Updates

Please be aware of the following important message, received from my colleague Rabbi Yaakov Luban, Rabbi of Congregation Ohr Torah and Executive Rabbinic Coordinator of the Orthodox Union.

The message is as follows: 

"Please be advised that the sushi department in the Acme store on Ryders Lane in Milltown is no longer under OU certification. In addition, the Acme deli which was OU certified is now closed. 

Rabbi Yaakov Luban
Executive Rabbinic Cooordinator
Orthodox Union

PBA Scam Alert: 
The Borough of Highland Park has informed us that people have been receiving calls claiming to be soliciting for the Highland Park PBA. THIS IS A SCAM. Please do not donate to or share any personal info with the caller. If you have received one of these calls, please call the Highland Park Police.

Plastic Bag Ordinance:
Effective May 1,2019 plastic shopping bags will not be provided by vendors throughout the borough. Please bring your own bags when shopping.
(Re-using plastic bags you already have is totally fine.) for more info

Fri, July 3 2020 11 Tammuz 5780