Monday, April 19, 2021

2015 was the first full year that Essex and Union counties were “linked” with Bergen through the newspaper formerly known as the Jewish Link of Bergen County, now the Jewish Link of New Jersey. Bergen County has long been associated with Jewish life—its schools, restaurants and other kosher amenities are appreciated and used by many beyond its borders. By incorporating Essex and Union counties and all they have to offer, the Jewish Link has transformed the northern New Jersey Jewish community into a cohesive unit whose offerings have become well known to more than just its readers. Essex and Union residents are no longer “outliers.” We are now truly one unified Jewish community.

The year was filled with memorable local events, both big and small, from synagogue barbecues and carnivals to school trips, Shabbatons and sports tournaments; from school affordability initiatives to exciting and informative guest speakers and scholars in residence; from new community mikvah dedications to hachnasat Sifrei Torah; from memorial commemorations to community Holocaust exhibits and symposiums; from new congregations to synagogue menorah dedications—these are the moments that made 2015 special. As the new secular year dawns, I can’t wait to see what is on the horizon.

We so appreciate the residents of Bergen County for welcoming us so warmly, and we look forward to sharing our news, events and lives going forward. As editor, I would like to personally thank all the synagogues, schools and other community groups, businesses and organizations that have contributed to making this year such a tremendous success. It has been a pleasure getting to know all of you and I am excited for the future. To all in the community whom I have yet to meet, I welcome your emails sharing news or special, local events. I am here to help you, and I promise to respond.

I would be remiss if I did not also sincerely thank my writers—a small team of talented and dedicated individuals without whom this last year would not have been possible. Thank you to Ellie Wolf, Sharon Mark Cohen, Rachel Jager, Faygie Holt Levy, Eileen Bergman, Sherry Kirschenbaum and Leah Gottheim.

A special shout-out to my daughter Hannah, who had her first ever story published this year and has just begun to manage the paper’s Instagram account.

Thank you to all the editors and writers that I am privileged to work with on a daily basis. I’m pretty sure that I’ve got the best job in the world, with the warmest and most supportive colleagues.

Many thanks to the publishers and editors at the Jewish Link of New Jersey, without whose vision this amazing publication would not exist.

And, of course, thanks to you, our dedicated readers, whose feedback each week keeps us coming back for more.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2016.

Jill Kirsch

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