July 20, 2024
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Beth Aaron to Honor George Friedman and Alden Leifer

On Simchat Torah, Congregation Beth Aaron will honor two individuals who continue to devote themselves to the synagogue. The honorees this year are Alden Leifer as Chatan Bereishit and George Friedman as Kol ha-Ne’arim. Beth Aaron also will bestow upon Rabbi Larry Rothwachs the kibud of Chatan Torah for all the many things he continues to do on behalf of the synagogue to allow it, as a kehilla, to grow in Torah, avodah, and gemilut chasadim.

Beth Aaron President Isaac Hagler discussed Alden Leifer’s selection as Chatan Bereishit. “Alden will do anything and everything needed of him, and this has had a tremendous impact on the shul. He believes in hakarat hatov and embodies chesed activities.”

Soon after the Leifers moved to Teaneck in 1987 they became involved in Beth Aaron. Alden served on the synagogue board and as chair of the fundraising committee and, after six years, became president of Beth Aaron and served for two terms. Alden also chaired the rabbinic search committee that selected Rabbi and Chaviva Rothwachs, and he served for many years as the auctioneer on Simchat Torah.

Alden’s dedication to learning led him to inaugurate a morning Mishnah chabura (15 minutes of Mishnah study prior to the 7:10/7:15 a.m. daily minyan), which has now nearly completed the study of the entire Shisha Sidrei Mishnah. He organizes the synagogue’s annual learning of Mishnayot, manages the shul’s Mishnayot lending library and arranges for the annual siyum Mishnayot.

Alden also originated the synagogue’s annual Project Thanks (to offer thanks each Thanksgiving to the dedicated firefighters who serve the community), and he continues to run this successful project each year.

There are many reasons that George Friedman was selected as this year’s Chatan Kol ha-Ne’arim, among them two particular explanations that link to this very appropriate honor. For many years, George served on the Simchat Torah kiddush committee, and he is also very closely related to the designer and the mind behind Beth Aaron’s brand-new Kol ha-Ne’arim tallit—his wife, Ellen, of whom he often says “I’m hitching a ride to shamayim on her coattails.”

Members of Beth Aaron for about 40 years, the Friedmans joined in what he terms “Aliyah Bet,” affiliating with the new synagogue shortly after its founding. They felt that Beth Aaron was the best fit for them due to its size and friendliness, as well as the fact that their presence made a difference.

Over the many years of his membership, George served on the synagogue board, seudah shlishit committee for 25 years, and the bikur cholim committee, as well as the above-mentioned Simchat Torah kiddush committee. Using his professional legal expertise, he also chaired a Constitution Revision Task Force.

George is gregarious, and he also uses the term “friendliest shul in town” to describe Beth Aaron. While he may not now know all the members in a shul that continues to grow, he knows that the uniqueness of Beth Aaron in 1976 or 2016 is that the people are really concerned about each other and are willing to do whatever it takes to celebrate the good times and help each other get through the bad times.

The synagogue extends hakarat hatov to its very worthy honorees.

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