By: Gary Simeone
When Rabbi Yaacov Shusterman and his wife, Fraida, saw the old synagogue, a mile away from their current location in Flanders, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to look into the property. Last month, the couple ended up buying the property, which was going to be sold to the town and developed into a park. They recently turned the new building into a temple called Temple Hatikvah.
“I am very grateful that the Town and the Chabad Jewish Center, were able to make this happen and I’m excited for our Jewish community, that we’ll be able to continue to provide the same type of services for people of all ages in a much wider and larger space,” said Rabbi Shusterman. “We initially rented this small office space here in Flanders, three years ago and this new location is going to help us and all of our congregants immensely to move into a newer and bigger building.”
Shusterman, who has been a rabbi for over twenty years, said that the new building was a nice place and a perfect fit for the programs and activities that the synagogue offers.
“In this bigger space, we’ll be able to hold more classes, have our own sanctuary and even a rabbi’s office. We’ll be able to offer more programs and services and build a bigger sense of Jewish pride and identity within our community, which to me is the most important element of Judaism.”
The rabbi and his wife, Fraida, founded the Chabad Jewish Center in September 2004, as a Jewish Community Center to serve the needs of residents in the area. The couple is passionate about Judaism and developing a sense of community amongst their own people.
“Our philosophy is simple; even though many Jews may embrace many levels of observance in their personal lives, there should be a place for all Jews without labels or affiliations, to develop a sense of community, enhance the Jewish experience in an enjoyable and engaging manner,” said Rabbi Shusterman. “With tolerance, sincerity and deeply rooted values, the Chabad can help you find and develop that Jewish spark in your heart.”
All of the Centers’ services and programs will continue to take place at the new Temple. These programs include the Kabbalah and Coffee with the Rabbi, the Torah reading and discussion and the popular Kiddish lunch which includes Jewish staples like challah, fresh salads, Kugel and ‘Cholent’ which is a traditional Jewish stew that is typically eaten during lunch on the Shabbat holiday.
Temple Hatikvah will also continue to host the ‘Sunday Morning Tefillin Club for Men.’
The Temple is located at 58 Pleasant Hill Road.
The rabbi said that anyone who wishes to sponsor a club in honor of a birthday, anniversary or yahrzeit, or hold a talk or conference at the Temple, to reach out to him through his email, Rabbi@mychabadcenter.com.
You can find out more information about the temple and all of the programs and services it offers on the website, http://www.templehatikvahnj.org.