May 21, 2024
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In Tribute to Rabbi Alvin Marcus, z”l

It was with deep sadness that I read in your paper about the passing of Rabbi Alvin Marcus, z”l, rabbi emeritus of Congregation AABJ&D in West Orange.

I would like to share some special personal memories I have of Rabbi Marcus.

I met Rabbi Marcus in 1979, just as I began working with the Russian Jewish community in the state of New Jersey. At that time, my work primarily involved visiting families who lived at the Jewish Federation apartments in the Robert Towers in East Orange, as well as in Irvington, and arranging for the young adult males to have a bris at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital.

Rabbi Marcus offered his personal assistance, helping pick up the children and their parents in New Jersey and bring them to the hospital in Brooklyn, sometimes as early as 8:30 a.m. In the evening, after the bris was performed and the boys recuperated, Rabbi Marcus would once again make the trip to take the boys and their families home. He did this on a weekly basis. His dedication to this mitzvah was remarkable.

Rabbi Marcus helped secure funds so that communal sederim could be held at Robert Towers and in Irvington, where I conducted the sederim in Russian for the many families who attended.

I also recall many bar mitzvahs which we officiated in his shul. Further, Bris Avrohom’s third annual gala wedding, for Russian couples who weren’t given the opportunity to have a kosher chuppah back in Russia, took place in his shul.

Throughout the years, Rabbi Marcus’ personal advice, support and friendship were central to the many activities that Bris Avrohom did and continues to do in the state of New Jersey.

May his memory be a blessing.

Rabbi Mordechai Kanelsky

Bris Avrohom, Hillside

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