May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Just three short or long years ago on October 28, the day that this edition of the Link is being published, is the anniversary of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.

Lesser known is that on the same day three years ago, we, the Glicks, moved into our new home in Bergenfield. We did not believe the reports of a major hurricane. The skies looked blue and beautiful as we awaited the arrival of the moving van carrying all of our belongings. As the day progressed the men working on the move kept saying how anxious they were to get this job done and move onto their next stop in Boston because rumor had it that there was going to be an awful storm. We laughed and thought privately that we knew much better about storms, coming from Quebec where we had experienced a major ice storm that had paralyzed the city of Montreal for several weeks.

We were wrong. As we all now know, Sandy was memorable. Since our arrival back in the USA we have weathered together many other little challenges. We are trying to establish ourselves at a time in our life when usually one’s life is quite settled. Nothing from our past really counts here because no one really knows anything about us. Any accomplishments that we attained, any involvement in community that we grew together with, any relationships that we formed with so many are in the past. In our new life we have begun from scratch. We listen to people talking about when their children grew up and which classes they were in and what their classmates are doing now and we sometimes feel as though we are from Mars. It’s hard to be a part of most of those conversations. It enchants us to hear about the growth of this community and what it was like when the pioneering families arrived here. Not much in the line of kosher facilities (if any) and slowly, significant changes as the population grew. Whereas we knew most things about community leadership in Montreal with an active federation, vaad, and so much else, here we are just learning that organizations such as Project Ezrah do exist. Whereas in the past the many rabbis in Montreal all knew each other no matter which strain of Judaism they represented, here in Teaneck we hardly know any of the rabbis. We are frequently listening to conversation that we know nothing about. Neither of us grew up in the Bronx, Brooklyn or Staten Island, which seems to be the mainstay of where many people in this community came from originally.

Despite all of this, and looking behind us on our third anniversary, we realize that we have met some lovely people who have welcomed us and understand our feeling of being “new in the neighborhood.” They have sweetly helped our transition. We use our GPS less but still depend upon it even in this area where many streets are totally foreign to us.

We will never get used to having to bag our own groceries and schlep them to the car after years of enjoying “car service” in Montreal. We do love having people pump the gas for us. Doing it in the winter when the temperature is minus 30 is not too pleasant!

We still wonder at the fact that we see our grandchildren as frequently as we do. We know that they had more fun with us in Montreal because at every visit we tried to plan special activities for them. Yet we are comforted by their fun and anxiousness to see us. Just being able to “pop over” is still amazing.

When someone uses the term “Ma” loudly in Shoprite, Nina never would think of turning around and lo and behold it might be one of our daughters who happens to be there at the same time. Indeed, a new experience.

We miss our neighbors and our street. We miss the camaraderie that we had with so many. We miss going to the mall and always meeting someone that we knew. We miss walking into stores and being greeting by the proprietor as an old friend. We even miss the French language (not too often), but definitely the diversity of the Jewish population in Montreal: the Sephardim and the Ashkenazim living next door to each other and learning from each other’s cultures. On the other hand, where else would we be able to have turkeys in our backyard? Where else would we attend a shul where sometimes there are six minyanim filled to capacity on Shabbos morning? There are many sights here that are a wonder to see, but it takes time, and for us, on the occasion of our third anniversary, we have to declare that, once again we still do feel “New In The Neighborhood.”

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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