July 14, 2024
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Manalapan’s Congregation B’nai Israel Expands Eruv and Renovates Guest House

Rabbi Brodkin with a Verizon installer.

Two recent developments indicate that Congregation B’nai Israel of Manalapan is positioning itself quite well for significant growth in the next few years.

On Sunday June 23 the shul rededicated the newly renovated guest house on their property as the “Larry Bloom Shabbos House,” in memory of a long time member who left a significant bequest for the renovation. The spacious 1,250 square foot guest house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large kitchen/dining room area. The shul’s rav, Rabbi Ken Brodkin, said that the house, built in the 1940s, initially served as the residence for the shul’s custodian and more recently had been rented out for a few decades.

Rabbi Brodkin envisions using the guest house for couples and young families considering moving to Manalapan, scholars in residence, visiting Torah readers and other guests of the shul. Maurice Zagha, the House Vice President of the shul who oversaw the renovation, stated: “This advances our vision of the shul as a home for all Jews, as it enables us to bring in guests for a variety of situations, in a comfortable way, and house them right next to the shul.”

Rabbi Brodkin at front door of the Larry Bloom Shabbos House.

Days before the rededication ceremony, Rabbi Brodkin announced on his Facebook page that the shul had just received permits from Verizon to allow work on their telephone poles, to enable the shul to significantly expand the Manalapan Eruv. The shul previously received permission for this project from the Manalapan and Englishtown townships.

The expanded eruv, which the shul aims to complete before the end of 2024, will bring hundreds of homes within a one mile by one half mile area into the eruv. This change will enable observant families to consider purchasing homes in a much broader area and joining the shul.

Bedroom in the Larry Bloom Shabbos House.

Harry Glazer is the Middlesex County Editor of The Jewish Link. He can be reached at [email protected] and he welcomes feedback (really, he does). He is a huge fan of the marked growth, creative programming and dedicated leadership of Congregation B’nai Israel in Manalapan.

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