Tenafly—The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades voted last week to continue the policy of closing for Shabbat. In a letter to the Board of Directors, President JoJo Rubach wrote, “By affirming our policy, we send a message to our community about the importance of Shabbat.”
CEO Jordan Shenker said in a phone interview that the issue had been raised for many years in conversation. The board decided to have a thorough discussion in which the background was reviewed, questions raised and feedback given in a deliberate process.
“Ultimately, we came to our decision because we acknowledge that this exemplifies our mission to be deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and values. We are the center of life in the Jewish community. Affirmation of this policy says we have a responsibility to increase Jewish engagement but we have tremendous opportunities to do this Sunday through Friday,” he told The Jewish Link.
Shenker stressed the Board came to its decision as a group that wanted to “understand, clarify and demonstrate the impact of Shabbat closing and why it should be continued.” There was not a schism between constituencies who felt it was good or bad. “It was a beautiful process, discussed in an open, supportive environment,” Shenker said. “It was not a close vote; there were no hold-outs.”
By Bracha Schwartz