July 23, 2024
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Jewish Bar Association of NJ to Kick Off With High-Power Gala July 18

Group’s first annual event features world-famous music star Matisyahu, other special guests.

(Courtesy of JBAR) The newly formed New Jersey State Bar Association (JBAR) is hosting its first annual gala on Thursday, July 18, featuring a world-famous musician and other special guests and surprises. The “July Chai”* Launch Celebration will entertain and nourish its hundreds of expected members and other attendees from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange.

Matisyahu, the Pennsylvania-born Jewish reggae performer who has played in Israel and all over the world, will be a special musical guest.

Speaking of the singer, the Jerusalem Post described his two-night performance at a Jerusalem club in April as “amazing,” elaborating: “With Matisyahu singing his well-known lyrics about values of the Jewish people in Jerusalem itself, to a crowd who have suffered six months of war and national trauma, it seemed as if, for a few hours … everything fused together into a world of fire and soul.”

Matisyahu is noted for many songs, but his peace anthem, “One Day,” stands out.

The song’s lyrics, in part, are:

“One day, this all will change, treat people the same

Stop with the violence, down with the hate

One day, we’ll all be free and proud to be

Under the same sun, singin’ songs of freedom…

All my life, I’ve been waitin’ for

I’ve been prayin’ for the people to say

That we don’t wanna fight no more

There’ll be no more wars and our children will play.”

Matisyahu, though not a political figure, has inadvertently caused controversy, being barred from several planned concert appearances—most recently in February, in Santa Fe and Tucson, because of pro-Palestinian “blacklisting” over the singer’s steadfast support for Israel.

Two New Jersey State Police officers will also be in the spotlight at the event, one of them Jewish and the other Muslim. At the invitation of the Miller Center on Policing and Community Resilience, a division of Rutgers-University, the two officers visited Europe in early May as part of the annual “March of the Living,” commemorating the Jewish Holocaust and the fighters and survivors who prevailed, despite the Nazi regime’s attempts to exterminate them. The troopers’ contribution to interreligious understanding will be honored, and Miller Center representatives will be part of the program.

“We are thrilled to host such an exciting event, sure to be both meaningful and fun, so early in our life as an organization,” said Joseph Lemkin, president of JBAR and a shareholder with Stark & Stark in Hamilton. “In addition, the funds we expect to raise at the gala will enhance our ability to tackle many of the issues and projects we have already begun, including assisting Jewish future lawyers as they make their way through their education; advocating for New Jersey’s Jewish legal and layperson community; and advocating for fair and just treatment for Israel and her proud supporters in the state and around the country in the face of rising antisemitism.”

Tickets for the gala cost $195 for members and $225 for non-members. The event will feature a kosher buffet and an open bar for paid attendees. Registration information is at this link: https://jbarnj.org/meetinginfo.php

JBAR is a full-service bar association founded in 2024 to serve the needs of New Jersey’s Jewish legal community and that of its affiliates. JBAR is a resource for education, advocacy, mentorship, scholarships, networking events, community support and more.

*The Hebrew word “Chai” means “life,” and its numerical equivalent in the Hebrew alphabet is 18—thus the significance of that numeral in Jewish life and on the calendar; Jews often give gifts for special occasions in dollar amounts that are multiples of 18.

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