(Courtesy of RVOJCA) The Raritan Valley Orthodox Jewish Community Association (RVOJCA) is a new organization being introduced to the East Brunswick, Edison and Highland Park communities. The purpose of this new organization is to establish a community-wide organization dedicated to enhancing the welfare and well-being of local families, institutions and businesses in the present, while cultivating the region to significantly increase the Jewish population in the future.
“Our goal is to represent the community as one unified entity, pursuing initiatives that will enhance the lives of families in the community, as well as offering support to local institutions and businesses,” said Josh Pruzansky, founder and president of RVOJCA. “For this reason, RVOJCA’s board of directors includes members of every one of the nine Orthodox synagogues located in our communities.”
“RVOJCA was established to address the religious, social and economic needs of our community. Under the leadership of Josh Pruzansky and an outstanding group of lay leaders, this organization will enable our constituency to communicate with a unified voice and it will galvanize our collective strengths and talents to tackle the many important issues that demand our attention,” said Rabbi Yaakov Luban of Congregation Ohr Torah in Edison. “Our community has grown and matured to the point where this organization is sorely needed, and I am happy to express my strong support for this exciting new endeavor.”
“For more than 30 years, I have watched the Highland Park/Edison/East Brunswick communities grow. The major growth spurt took place in the late ’80s and into the ’90s. Every community must ask itself if it will be able to replace the generation before it. That is the primary reason that I am focused on the efforts and goals of the RVOJCA,” said Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg, vice president of RVOJCA and rabbi emeritus of Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park. “It is critical that we focus on a robust community-growth initiative to ensure our sustainability. Strong schools mean strong communities. The RVOJCA will be a vehicle to showcase the wonderful infrastructure that the Raritan Valley Jewish community has to offer.”
The communities of Raritan Valley have a long and rich history. Over the last 50 years, the region has grown into a vibrant Orthodox Jewish community with all the amenities necessary for its success. With a Yeshiva elementary school (Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion, with separate campuses for boys and girls), a day school (Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva [RPRY]) and a Montessori day school (Yeshivat Netivot-Montessori), local children have choices suitable to their educational needs. Edison hosts the world-famous Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva High School and Bais Medresh, and Highland Park hosts Reenas Bais Yaakov, a high-caliber girls high school that attracts students from several communities.
“I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work together with the very talented professional and lay leadership of RVOJCA, to help enhance the Jewish communities of Raritan Valley,” said East Brunswick resident Dr. Jeffrey Chustckie, Vice President of Resource Development of RVOJCA. “The projects we are planning will have the ability to benefit many aspects of Jewish life here in Raritan Valley.”
Raritan Valley has three mikvaot for women, has eruvs in each community and is home to numerous delicious kosher eateries. It is close to the largest highways in New Jersey, has an NJ Transit bus hub in East Brunswick and has two NJ Transit train stations in close proximity to both Highland Park and Edison, making the commute to New York City easy and convenient.
“As one who has been involved in this community for many decades, it is a pleasure to see such an organization as RVOJCA being established, and I am excited to see new young talent becoming active in our community,” said Rabbi Dr. Israel Rivkin of Edison, a long-time community leader.
Rutgers University is located minutes away in New Brunswick. The amenities of its brand-new Hillel facility and huge Chabad House make campus life appealing for Jewish students, with the availability of fresh kosher food options and programming provided by them, RJX and JLIC.
“Raritan Valley is indeed the crown jewel of Middlesex County and a wonderful area to raise Jewish families,” said Highland Park resident David Waizer, Esq., chairman of the board of RVOJCA, and one of three generations of Waizers to reside in Raritan Valley.
Rabbi Reuven Drucker of Agudath Israel of Edison-Highland Park made the following observation about the need for RVOJCA: “Our community has enjoyed significant growth during this past decade, and with that growth comes new challenges. It is important to have a community-wide organization that will represent the entirety of the Raritan Valley kehillah, and work together with rabbonim, school and other organizational leadership to deal with those challenges as we move forward into the next decade. I am confident that Josh Pruzansky and the board of RVOJCA will be successful in coordinating this effort.”
By assisting local families in need and helping them navigate the hopeful end of the COVID-19 pandemic and the post-COVID era, RVOJCA looks forward to the continued growth of Raritan Valley. The organization aims to benefit the local communities by strengthening their voice with local leadership and creating programming that will enrich the lives of all community members.
“Being a part of this community, raising children here and experiencing firsthand the incredible achdus that this community already boasts is a true gift,” said RVOJCA’s secretary of the board, Hannah Farkas of Highland Park. “RVOJCA is a reflection of the communal unity that defines Raritan Valley.”
For more information, please contact the president and CEO of RVOJCA, Josh Pruzansky, at [email protected].