Although my friends and some of our close readers like to humor me occasionally and tell me they barely remember a time before The Jewish Link existed, or before our paper became a core part of their weekend reading, I certainly do remember. It’s truly hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we started The Jewish Link. And in preparation for this milestone anniversary, I looked back and reviewed what I had written for our 200th edition, our fifth anniversary, our seventh anniversary, and our ninth anniversary last year, and I have to say that a decade feels a bit different. There’s something about the number 10 that just makes this anniversary feel a bit bigger, more special/chashuv, more something, although it’s hard to put my finger on why exactly that is so.
So is there anything special about the number 10? I looked at a few sources and seforim and I saw that there is much that is special about the number 10 in our tradition. Perhaps the idea that speaks the most to me is the idea attributed to the Maharal that 10 represents the number where individual units are united in a collective whole or become categorized as a community, such as when 10 men form a minyan. I think the connection here is pretty obvious, and also pretty special. What started as The Jewish Link of Bergen County, serving a geographically small community, has truly exploded over the past decade. I hope I am not being presumptuous in saying that on the occasion of our 10th anniversary, I truly feel that we have taken the many individual units, the various communities, we serve, and joined them into a collective whole, perhaps not in every way, but certainly in all the important ways, including love and care for our fellow Jew, whether he lives next door or across the bridge, ahavat Yisrael, and so much more.
As a paper, we have certainly taken this special milestone to a whole new level with our 10th Anniversary Mega Giveaway Contest featuring 10 great prizes and a new winner announced every day since March 1st. Mazal tov to our winners so far and winners still to come! And many thanks to the literally thousands of readers who submitted entries and who also let us know their favorite parts of The Jewish Link. (See the pie chart on page 104 which breaks down which are our most popular sections, based on the contest entries and their feedback.)
I would like our readers to know that I read every single contest entry that came in and every bit of feedback that was sent. I was blown away by the diversity of opinions. Some of you wrote paragraphs of comments and feedback…wow…and I loved reading it all, the criticism and the praise. I really wasn’t too surprised to learn that our readers’ favorite sections were our schools & sports, letters to the editor, community news and divrei Torah. Of course, many just noted their favorite columnist or writer, which was great to read as well. And for some, we have too many divrei Torah, and for others, too few. For many, the letters to the editor and schools/sports were their favorites, and for others, the home & living or features were their favorites. I learned that everyone has a favorite section of our paper and everyone also looks at The Jewish Link in a slightly different way. It’s something I have intrinsically known about our readership but the contest brought it home to me clearly.
I was also quite heartened to read that just as popular as our top sections were the ads that we run in our paper weekly. As an advertising-based business, it’s quite wonderful to have our readers tell us that they also read the paper for the ads, and I am very happy for our advertisers, old and new, to see clearly that the advertising in our paper not only gets read but they are actively sought out, valued and are, in fact, one of the most important components of our paper. I also feel blessed that so many advertisers have succeeded in growing their brands, their name, their customer base and clients, their sales and ultimately their bottom line, in advertising with The Jewish Link over the past decade.
We have also taken this anniversary to a new level with a special 10th anniversary section on pages 93-104 where you can read the many contributions by our devoted, dedicated and talented staff and contributors who make The Jewish Link a reality week in and out. As the publisher, I felt both awed and humbled at reading what they wrote in honor of this milestone. I felt awe because of how much our paper means to our special team and staff who produce it. And I felt humbled by realizing how big the paper has gotten and how much bigger it is from the early days when I was producing it on my dining room table, staying up all night routinely and even helping to deliver it personally.
It’s amazing that we have created something together—in such a relatively short time—that so many feel so devoted and dedicated to. I truly feel blessed by The Jewish Link on many levels and one of those levels is our staff, our talented editors and salespeople, and all who make the weekly paper a reality. Our editor Elizabeth Kratz has written a beautiful piece starting on this page and expresses much of what I am thinking, and much more clearly and better, about how special our staff is. I hope you read it. A heartfelt thank you to Elizabeth, Jill, Jennifer, Michal, Nina (Mom), Harry, Channa, Dena (my wife), Meir, Bracha, Adam N., Steve G., Steve W., Risa, Avi, Simon, Ruth, Cathy, Sherry, Shifra, Batya, Pearl, Gila, Yaakov, Avi, Yisroel, and anyone else I may have inadvertently left out!
Another important thank you is to my friend and co-publisher Mendy (Mark) Schwartz, who I still believe thought I was crazy for approaching him in mid-late 2012 about starting The Jewish Link (although he denies it vehemently). He loves telling me how he gets so many comments about how thick the paper is recently and how not a single week goes by when our paper doesn’t come up in a conversation with community members, friends and associates. Mendy, you have been the best partner and friend I could ask for over the past decade.
Last but not least, my biggest thanks and appreciation go to you, our readers and the communities we cover and serve. After a decade, I like to believe that we have become a vital piece of the fabric that keeps our community together. We have hopefully become an integral part of your Shabbat and weekend reading. We try to do our weekly best and write about what matters to you and to our schools, shuls, nonprofits, our area rabbis and lay leaders. We hope to continue in this shared mission for many years to come. Thank you Jewish Link readers and fans for a very special 10 years!By Moshe Kinderlehrer, Co-Publisher
Since I started at The Jewish Link almost nine years ago, it has blossomed—from a local newspaper to the vital community resource it is today.
Thinking about those early days gives me the opportunity to recall some of the stories I wrote that left an impression on me, for various reasons (and in chronological order): In 2015, I got to meet John Starks, the former New York Knicks guard. As a huge Knicks fan in the ’90s (and even today), that was pretty awesome!
Remember Don Greenberg, the young man from Teaneck who was a Binghamton University Watson School of Engineering graduation speaker, but because the graduation was on Shabbat he had to pre record his speech since he wouldn’t use the microphone? Talk about Jewish pride!
Writing about Ari Goodman, and his family’s struggles to bring him back from being trapped inside himself due to his “severe low functioning autism,” was a powerful experience. His mom, Clara, made a huge impact on me. So much so that I wrote about them again over a year later.
Another story that touched my heart was about the Landsman family, whose two sons, Benny and Josh, were diagnosed with Canavan disease. That was a tough one, but I got to follow up with them a year later and was thrilled to hear there had been some progress. I still follow the family’s progress on Facebook.
The biggest surprise was when we did the “Most-Read Stories of 2022” and I discovered that my article on the opening of the West Orange Fooderie was No. 2. An even better surprise for the store’s owner!
Other than the stories, just a few memories that stand out. Sitting in our offices and coming up with titles for our columns (which we affectionately call “slugs”). My favorites have always been “The World According to Schmutter” (kudos to Elizabeth Kratz) and “Take a Hike” (that one was Jen Hoffer) and, most recently, “Gen Z Taking Charge” (my own contribution). Also, all the AIPAC policy conferences that I attended. The writers’ lunch that ended just before the start of that freak November storm back in 2018. The first time I met our extremely dapper former contributor Norbert Strauss, in our (very casual) office, with him in a full suit and tie. The first time Nachum Segal came into our office and I realized just how tall he really is. COVID, and the opening of the unofficial satellite office of The Jewish Link (aka my living room). And so many more.
So many memories. So many great years. Here’s to many many more to come.Jill Kirsch
When friends see me reading The Jewish link on Shabbos (which I do each week, cover to cover) they all have the same question: ‘You’re reading the paper now?? Didn’t you already read it during the week while you worked on it?” And my answer is always, “NO, I was way too busy putting the paper together to actually read any of it!” Sure, I could tell you how many words a specific article has, whether it came in on time or snuck in after the deadline, and even what page it is on. But I don’t have time to actually sit down and read the articles until the weekend. I get to enjoy our paper like all of our readers: on the couch on Friday night, with my kids grabbing it out of my hands to see who the “Sportstar of the Week” is. Or while drinking my coffee on Shabbat morning, with our out-of-town guests sneaking glances at the real-estate open houses.
I feel privileged that I get to experience The Jewish Link from both angles. During the week I collaborate with our editors, designers, salespeople, advertisers and writers to get everything just right. It can feel like a blur of emails, meetings, WhatsApp messages and paper drafts. And on the weekend I get to enjoy the fruits of our labor by reading our amazing publication filled with informative news, meaningful divrei Torah and entertaining features, as well as informative ads.
Mazel tov to The Jewish Link for 10 incredible years, and thank you to everyone who has played a part in reaching this milestone!Jennifer Hoffer
Production Editor/Director of Marketing
The past six years at The Jewish Link have been filled with compelling news stories and perspectives, plus personal growth and satisfaction from contributing to a space where shared information and common purpose unite the surrounding Jewish community. I love the close relationships I’ve built with the amazing people who work to put out this often 180-page paper every week. It’s gratifying to have a part in building this dynamic publication, contribute to its growth and expansion, and stretch my own creative skills. One of the highlights for me has been producing The Jewish Link Wine Guide, which has become the only magazine of its kind to catalog the kosher wine market, introduce readers to new (and tasty!) products and connect the global kosher winemaking community.
I love seeing the hidden talents that emerge when people approach us with new column ideas—many of which quickly become fan favorites—think Daniel Chazin, Zachary Greenberg, Shayna B. and Martin Bodek. It’s exciting to showcase individuals from the community and give them a platform to contribute. It’s always fun to highlight kids in the paper, whether for chesed, school programs or sports accomplishments. I’ve seen the thrill on my own kids’ faces when they’ve been featured and I know it’s the same for everyone. There’s something about seeing your name, or face, in print and enjoying that five minutes of fame.
Some of my favorite memories over the years have been collaborating with colleagues—whether on an article, a new idea or a lunch order. The opportunity to interview interesting people for a story and be among the first to hear breaking news, whether local or global, is a perk of this job and is always exciting. I look forward to the paper’s continued success and am happy to be part of the team that makes it all happen. Happy 10th anniversary to The Jewish Link!Michal Rosenberg
I guess that it is true that time flies when you are having fun. It is important for everyone to know how much blood, sweat and tears go into the production of this wonderful newspaper each week. Yet the camaraderie and feeling of togetherness we have established in the office is one of the many perks of working there.
I am extremely proud of Moshe who we thought was a dreamer when he came to us with his plan to begin a newspaper in the Teaneck area. Quite honestly, it is all to his credit that this took off so amazingly. (Thank you Mendy as well.)
It was an honor for us (my beloved husband and me) to have the opportunity to share with the community many of our thoughts, concerns and observations of what is happening in our communities. We have never tried to fudge anything. There are several articles which come to mind that we felt the need to discuss situations openly. We shared our family experiences with the hope that others could benefit from them. Our goal has always been to share the need to accept everyone. I will never forget the many telephone calls we received after my Mordechai responded to a columnist who had written an anonymous op-ed about the loneliness he and so many other frum people who were gay experienced. Immediately we opened our home and Shabbat table to them. Obviously, the most devastating moment for me personally was when I forced myself to write about the great earth-shattering loss which I felt when my beloved partner of everything in life passed.
I am grateful to the many people who write to tell me how much they appreciate my column.
Yes, I was “New in the Neighborhood” 10 years ago when the paper began and believe it or not, I still feel that way.
Moshe and Dena, you know that I love you and am proud of your endeavors and pray that the Bayit Association will thrive as much as The Jewish Link!Nina Glick
When I came home from shul this past Friday night, my daughters were sitting on the couch with The Jewish Link in hand, in their usual Friday night, post-davening position. As they poured over The Jewish Link, I was struck by how much the paper has grown since its first issue.
Almost 10 years ago I was forwarded the inaugural issue of The Jewish Link of Bergen County. The fledgling paper was printed biweekly, had 52 pages, mostly monochromatic, and was not readily available. Today the paper, in all its vibrant color, is almost four times its original size and is delivered every Friday to our doors, stores, shuls and schools. More significantly it has become a Shabbat fixture in most homes with its reach stretching well beyond Bergen County.
The first issue of The Jewish Link had only two sports pictures and likely its first typo in one of the captions. Later that week Moshe Kinderlehrer and I met outside of Beth Abraham to discuss the idea for an expanded Jewish Link sports section. I jumped right in and after building the sports section to three pages in the second issue, I officially joined the paper for issue No. 3 as the paper’s first sports editor. I have tremendous hakarat hatov to Moshe and Mendy for the opportunity and, after Rebbetzin Glick, I am proud to be the second-longest tenured editor of The Jewish Link.
Hiding behind The Jewish Link sportstaff (spoiler—it’s only me), I have been able to celebrate some incredible highs with the community and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, I have been able to memorialize some amazing former community members.
Admitting a slight bias, my favorite part of the paper is the weekly “Sportstar of the Week.” The idea was originally pitched as a face in the crowd segment, because “who doesn’t want to see pictures of their children in the paper?” Over the years this section has taken on a life of its own, where I am usually backlogged several weeks at a time. So far, we have featured 434 Sportstars from the age of 5 to those who would rather not share their age. Youth athletes, college athletes, recreational athletes, semi-pro athletes, weekend warriors, moms, dads, grandparents and even whole families have been spotlighted in the section. The Sportstars, their families and usually their bubbies have been very appreciative of the spotlight, and I treasure their thank-you notes and the occasional thank-you gift.
It is my bracha to Moshe, Mendy and the entire Jewish Link family that the paper experiences continued growth in the years to come. Mazel tov!Steve Gutlove
If I had one epiphany about The Jewish Link that I thought was worth sharing, it’d be that this newspaper is decidedly different from most other newspapers I know.
One key difference you can see every week in the sheer heft of this publication. In an era where many print newspapers are shrinking or disappearing, The Jewish Link keeps growing. For decades I’ve been reading two New Jersey daily secular newspapers and I’ve been sad to see them contract as the years have gone by. I’ve seen three Central New Jersey Jewish newspapers rise up, blaze brightly, then fade out. The Jewish Link just looms larger and larger. That’s a vivid testimonial to our advertisers, our growing cast of contributors and our readers who evidently enjoy the content the newspaper offers.
Another essential difference between The Jewish Link and many other publications is that we so clearly care about the growth of the communities we cover. We don’t delight in exposure journalism or “gotcha” accounts; we’re not hot on the trail of the latest scandal or the controversy du jour. Our pages are focused instead on news you can use, Jewish communal concerns and notable developments on the international, national, regional and local scene, and inspirational messages that can enrich our observance and outlook. We don’t darken lives in our pursuit of pulling together a compelling newspaper each week—we uplift lives.
One other fundamental difference between The Jewish Link and other publications is that we provide space for reader submissions and commentaries from people who aren’t regular contributors. If there was one aspect of the paper that makes me the proudest, this might be it. In the nearly five years I’ve been working for The Jewish Link, I’ve had the privilege of welcoming columns from people all over my county and from other areas. This policy isn’t just gracious to the communities we serve, it’s a sound strategy, too. When people tell me, frequently, how something in the paper touched them, I know that part of the “secret sauce” of The Jewish Link is that we care enough about our readers to offer room for people’s neighbors and friends and others they know to share their thoughts.
I wish The Jewish Link continued success, for many many more decades. And I’m proud to be a part of it.Harry Glazer
When I began writing a regular column for The Jewish Link, I had the fear that nobody was going to read my articles. Boy, was I wrong! Each week, I’ll get a couple of emails from readers across the New York metro area, some of them from people I don’t even know! I feel like I am part of one big family.
BWC Community Editor
In the 10 years I have been writing for The Jewish Link, I’ve met many accomplished people and learned about lots of subjects. I love talking to people who follow their dreams to write a book or start a business. One of my favorite stories was an interview I did with Rabbi Abraham Twerski z”l, when he lived in Teaneck, about a book he had just written, the Rabbi and the Nuns. In our interview, he was forthcoming, warm and genial. As a bonus, he shared his insights on a sefer I mentioned that I was reading in a class.
I enjoy writing cookbook reviews, happily testing recipes on my willing family. I have been covering fashion for the past few years and find it gloriously inspiring to meet frum, entrepreneurial women determined to create the clothing they wanted but couldn’t find. I have been learning new skills by collaborating with our digital editor, Channa Fischer, to make multimedia Instagram promos for my stories, and doing more work in photography. Last summer, I accompanied Editor Elizabeth Kratz to a wine pairing dinner at the phenomenal restaurant Salt in Long Branch, at which Yatir Winery introduced their new Darom label. I concentrated on visually capturing the incredibly beautiful and delicious dinner presentations, while she focused on the text.
Creating stories with words and photos for The Jewish Link is a rewarding job, and the people I collaborate with make it even more enjoyable.Betty (Bracha) Schwartz
Special Sections Editor
There’s something that can’t be read or seen when one picks up a copy of The Jewish Link.
It’s beyond the headlines, the photos and captions, divrei Torah, news and commentary.
It’s the people, purely and simply. The Jewish Link is a media company made up of kind, caring community members who are doing their best with each edition to inform its readers and highlight its advertisers.
I was really privileged to join Moshe Kinderlehrer’s team early in his young media company’s life, working closely with Editors Elizabeth Kratz and Jill Kirsch.
After a career with the Baltimore Jewish Times, I found a staff that was willing to learn, to take some risks, but with every move predicated on improving the product for the good of the readers and advertisers.
This was not cutthroat journalism nor was it “gotcha” journalism. Instead, this was responsible, well-written but most of all, well-connected Jewish community journalism.
The Jewish Link differs from other Jewish news publications in that it has a neshama, a soul. It is a product that haggles over the most intricate points of lashon hara versus the news. And where some area Jewish newspapers look to stick a figurative finger in the eye of Hashem or question Israel’s raison d’etre, the Jewish Link is about Kiddush Hashem and makes no secret of its love and support for Israel.
There is no reason to ask why it is New Jersey’s fastest-growing Jewish media company. I am proud of it today as I was way back in its beginning.Phil Jacobs
Former Associate Editor
The Jewish Link has become an important voice for Jewish belief and observance. Sadly, other venues are often hostile to traditional Judaism and are often not suitable for a Jewish home. May Hashem continue to bless The Jewish Link staff and continue to crown it with ever greater success and Torah impact! It is an honor to be part of this fine team!
Rabbi Haim Jachter
Walking the Line With Rabbi Jachter
As I have been writing for The Jewish Link for close to 10 years, I feel that I have witnessed a beautiful burgeoning of a community treasure.
I have known Publisher Moshe Kinderlehrer since he was a classmate of my own daughter at Yeshiva of Central Queens. We became reacquainted almost 14 years ago when we moved to Grayson Place and became neighbors.
Professionally I have had four highly gratifying careers. I taught English/ESL at John Bowne High School in Flushing, Queens, for close to 30 years, where I was privileged to introduce a course in the literature of the Holocaust, which I taught for 18 years. During the course, I hosted Holocaust survivors who related their stories, which left an indelible impression on my multi-ethnic students.
For six years, I directed a government sponsored Russian retraining program for adults through Adelphi University. We trained these immigrants in accounting and computers and helped them find jobs. Most importantly, we taught them Yiddishkeit through our English classes and were successful in bringing some of them back to the fold.
After retiring from the Board of Education, I worked as a recruiter for The Joel Paul Group, specializing in educational placements, for 10 years. I was gratified when I placed a young, dynamic educator at the helm of a Jewish day school in the U.S., and even in Australia, knowing that I was positively impacting hundreds if not thousands of Jewish day school students in their knowledge of Torah and practice of maasim tovim.
In 2003, I asked Moshe Kinderlehrer to give me an opportunity to try my hand at writing, which I had always been passionate about. The “shidduch” worked, and I am still writing for The Jewish Link with the current title of senior staff writer. I can truly say that working for Moshe and his incredible staff of warm, devoted, gifted and admirable women and men has been a gift.
To me, Moshe is a “tzaddik” in that he provides a forum and audience for people in the larger Jewish community who have created projects and programs designed to help individuals with professional and educational advancement, physical and mental challenges, recreational and avocational pursuits and any other chesed imaginable. I have “met” the most creative and caring people through my interviews and have come away inspired and invigorated. Even when writing about commercial businesses (fortunately no longer about sports) I have been truly impressed by the creativity of the founders and their concern for not only the bottom line but for the benefit of their customers.
Thank you Moshe, Elizabeth, Jill and all of my colleagues at The Jewish Link for the privilege of being part of your illustrious TEAM!
Senior Staff Writer
At the end of December, 2018, I wrote a letter to Moshe offering The Jewish Link food columns, book reviews of exclusively Jewish books, and feature stories. Moshe answered within a day, expressing his interest in being on my mailing list. He soon began using regular food columns and created what has been a warm, friendly and interesting working relationship, answering every one of my concerns. I sit in Jerusalem, and he is in New Jersey, and I am really pleased to have this commitment for my work.Sybil Kaplan
Food and Wine
Not every Jew has the ability to live in Israel, but every Jew must “live Israel” as part of his or her religious and Jewish identity. For the first time in 2,000 years, Israel isn’t a faraway dream, but rather a reality. Sharing perspectives on the issues, ideas and challenges of life in Israel has hopefully bridged readers of our newspaper to our common heritage and our joint historical project of returning to our ancient homeland.
Torah is everything, and should provide navigational wisdom to guide us through the maze of modern culture. As our culture rapidly changes I have searched for Torah wisdom to help shape our personal behavior as well as our public response to the revolutions of modern culture. Torah may not provide direct answers, but its wisdom must shape every nook and cranny of human experience.
As our reality was upended by COVID-19, I wrote a diary sharing my own struggles to make sense of our bizarre journey through this pandemic. Hashem sends us messages even though we don’t always understand them. Through my diaries I searched for His voice as it spoke to us through a worldwide pandemic.
Thank you to the phenomenal staff of writers and contributors of The Jewish Link. It is an honor to be part of your paper. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.
May vision and spirit continue to soar from the hills of Gush to everyone who waits to one day return home.Rabbi Moshe Taragin
Torah From Eretz Yisrael
I want to share how much I love writing for The Jewish Link. Even though you think I am teaching you what I knew for years, it is really me learning new things constantly and then sharing them. This is the best vehicle for learning. I have to understand the subject myself before I can explain it!
When I started writing regularly in 2015, I had just published my Esther Unmasked book. It has articles relating to all the holidays. I thought I would write mostly about those topics and help to promote my book. I was also waiting for an important book on the liturgy by Prof. Reuven Kimelman of Brandeis University to come out. I figured that in about six months it would come out and then I would have much material of interest to write about.
It is now 2023. His book has not come out yet (but will very soon). Meanwhile, in 2016 I realized that I could write very good articles on subjects I had known little about (provided I was not rushed and had time to research them.) The end result is that, based on these columns, I have now authored three books of 60+ articles in the past few years (in addition to my two previous books). I never imagined any of this when I started writing! (I was even able to have two of the last three books—all published by Kodesh Press—reviewed in the Jerusalem Post.)
I would like to thank the several people who write to me regularly with encouragement. They know who they are!
After a few months of writing, I was several weeks ahead. Later, I was several months ahead. Now, due to covid and the post-covid era (no longer commuting daily to downtown Manhattan), I am over 12 months ahead. Of course, I do not send the articles to the paper on a FIFO (first in, first out) basis. Rather, now that I have a large selection, on many weeks I try to match the parsha.
I could never do any of this without the help of Rabbi Moshe Schapiro, Rachel Berliner and Rebekah Shoemake, who, in their role as librarians at YU, promptly scan me what I ask for. (Twenty five years ago, I had to write to the JTS library. It took three weeks and they billed me $15!)
Someone once asked me: “What is it like working for Moshe Kinderlehrer?” The reality of course is that I work all alone at home, often at 4 a.m.. I have never been inside The Jewish Link office. (I was outside in the hall, once.) And being one year ahead, there is no pressure whatsoever!
I cannot imagine what my life would be without The Jewish Link! Thank you Moshe, and thank you loyal readers!Mitchell First
It was sometime in 2014 that I heard first about The Jewish Link with a very generous write-up about my life. Never did I imagine that a few years later I would be the one writing for The Jewish Link. It was that wonderful lady Jill Kirsch who introduced me to this, guiding me all the way through the steps that needed to be completed before it came to appear in print. For three and a half years it was Jill who was always available with suggestions and all around help for my writing, under the heading “Personal History.” It was also the “Big Boss,” Mr. Kinderlehrer, who came to my aid whenever there was a problem that needed his attention.
I thought that I would write for a few weeks and then I would “retire,” but it wasn’t to be. With Jill’s constant encouragement I just kept on going until 2020, when I came to realize that I had “run out of” personal history. You can’t make up personal history, either it happened or it didn’t. If you have a good imagination you can visualize what the future might be, but not history: It’s going, going, gone.
So having retired from my profession in 1985, I now retired again. I must admit I miss the rush of meeting deadlines. But that is life. You do what you can, and when the time comes, you say goodbye.
It was a pleasure working with the staff, but particularly working with Jill made the job so much easier.
I wish that The Jewish Link will have many more 10th anniversaries to celebrate, and if Hashem allows me to be there then, I will again have a few words to say. The only problem is the size of the paper. In 10 years from now The Jewish Link will be heavier than the Sunday New York Times, and I might not be able to pick it up. But there is always Dorothy, my “help maid,” who can turn the pages for me.
All the best for the next 10 years.
Former Personal History Columnist
Writing for The Jewish Link has transformed my Shabbos experience.
Everyone in my house reads The Jewish Link. My wife starts on the first page and reads straight to the end, dog earring pages along the way for me to look at. My 10-year-old, Stevie, goes first to the schools in our area page to see if his picture is in the TCA mentions, then he turns to the memes. Even my parents in White Plains read The Jewish Link. I usually get follow-up questions or feedback in my parents’ “after Shabbos” phone call.
Me? I look to see how my articles came out. Did the ideas in my head translate onto paper the way I imagined? Did I choose the right picture to transmit my vision? Did my article continue on to the next page? I could go to The Jewish Link website before Shabbos to check, but there is something very Shabbosdik about physically reading the printed words in my hands. There is something Shabbosdik about sitting with my family, within sight of my wife’s Shabbos licht, sitting atop my grandfather’s grandmother’s candlesticks. There is something Shabbosdik about looking at the people I am speaking to without an electronic device in my hands.David Roher
My favorite memory starts from the very beginning when Moshe told me that he and Mark were starting The Jewish Link. I was excited for Moshe and felt it was a great match of his talents and creativity. The proof is in the pudding, as you can see: Expansion of the paper’s geography, writers, content and advertisers. The Jewish Link is a pretty thick paper these days. When I have an idea that I think will benefit the readers, I like knowing that I can express it through The Jewish Link.
Mazel tov to Moshe, Mark and the talented Jewish Link staff. Wishing you all an infinite amount of bracha to continue bringing important news and ideas to our people.Carl Guzman
Home and Living
It’s somewhat strange to think that in April it will be 10 years since I started writing for The Jewish Link. At the time, a friend and fellow Teaneck resident recommended that I reach out, based on my work as an eating disorder activist. I began writing—first with the intention of an eating disorder awareness series, and then as a regular columnist. Through my time at The Jewish Link I have always been grateful for the opportunity to discuss topics related to mental health within a Jewish platform; so often issues that run rampant are shied away from in the community; we wish for things to remain hush-hush. But not The Link—this paper has always allowed me to write about topics that call out the very real struggles that exist, with the hope of creating more awareness and just that—hope. I’m beyond appreciative for this ongoing opportunity and for being able to draw from my own history and also my current life as both a clinician and regular human being, to reach others and provide some sense of validation or education.
Thank you to The Link, and happy anniversary!Temimah Zucker
I have many fond memories as I approach seven years working for The Jewish Link. My interactions from day one with Moshe in his offices, along with my subsequent dealings with Elizabeth and Jill over the years, have been more ones of friendship rather than a business collaboration. In fact, when I needed advice a little while back on a personal writing project, my friends at The Jewish Link were among the first I approached, and of course they came through.
Among my favorite memories have been those occasions when the entire writing team got together with the editorial staff in Teaneck, reviewing protocol, getting to know each other and exchanging war stories. Perhaps most meaningful though have been the many people and organizations I’ve met over the years while covering their stories, having the opportunity to shine a light on their worthy endeavors. One that was particularly satisfying was an interview with Allan Brauner of Fair Lawn, who has devoted years researching and reconstructing the lives of forgotten Holocaust victims. Months after the story appeared I received an email from a producer at Ancestry.com who had read it in The Jewish Link and sought Allan’s contact information. Following many, many hours of production both at Allan’s home and in Germany, the segment was produced for all to see.
Mazal tov to the Jewish Link on its 10th anniversary. Wishing you many more years of success.Robert Isler
One Motzei Shabbat in the dead of winter 2015, after picking up a copy of a “new” publication at Dunkin’ in Elizabeth, my brother Al suggested that I submit one of my articles to The Jewish Link. “The Guggle Muggle” fit the bill. The Link immediately recruited me to write more. Soon after I submitted a second article, The Link approached me to become a reporter, and it wasn’t long before my name appeared on the masthead.
While I refuse to play favorites, here’s a shout-out to any centenarians I interviewed. To my readers, whose comments are always welcome; making new friends is exhilarating. I appreciate The Link allowing me to gain experience as a journalist. Jill Kirsch contacted me early on, suggesting that a story was not ready for publication. She apologized, saying it would be too close to the deadline for me to get it in on time. Ready for the challenge, with determination, my response to Jill with a smile was, “Watch me.” Working like rapid-fire to cut the article down to the required word count and substance was a success.
While the readers may be unaware of the process of getting a piece to publication, anyone following my writing knows that my mantra is, “Everyone deserves a legacy.” There will be no finer legacy than that of The Jewish Link. May the newspaper and its dedicated staff members continue to go from strength to strength.Sharon Mark Cohen
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be associated with The Jewish Link from the beginning. I write about Jewish education and related topics. This gives me a great platform to share my thoughts with the Jewish community. I am very fortunate that my observations usually generate positive reactions either in print or in person; even the occasional disagreement is welcomed since it means people are reading and talking about what I write. It also gives me an opportunity to engage with people and expand upon what I wrote.
I wish the The Jewish Link family of writers, editors and staff much success going forward.Rabbi Dr. Wallace Greene
It is with great pleasure that I wish a happy 10th anniversary to The Jewish Link. With your finger on the pulse of your readership, you have become the “go-to” paper for so many people, offering compelling news, divrei Torah and entertainment.
Over the years, I have been approached by numerous people who have told me that they eagerly await my articles in The Jewish Link, and often read my articles at the Shabbat table to inspire and connect their families to Eretz Yisrael. Recently, I met new olim in Israel and, upon learning where they lived, I inquired how they chose that community to settle their family. The husband and wife looked at each other, smiled and then responded together, “Your articles in the Jewish Link guided us.” These experiences help me appreciate the power of the written word, and the sacred responsibility that writing for this paper entails.
Dear publishers, editors and columnists: Congratulations on this significant milestone. May you go mei’chayil el chayil in continuing to serve the Jewish community with honesty, sensitivity and integrity.Gedaliah Borvick
Israel Real Estate
My monthly column, iDeclutter from the Heart, first appeared in the Jewish Link in July, 2019 and has been running for three and a half years. My dog, Shepsi, whose photo appears regularly, is part of my brand. Shepsi debuted in May, 2020, and in February 2021 a caption began to accompany her photos.
Each month it’s so fun choosing her pose and a fitting caption. With the encouragement of my Aunt Nancy, who remembers how I once wanted to be a writer, I established a book for my articles.
Thank you to Risa of the advertising department and Jennifer of the production department for their endless support and patience. I thank the editors of The Jewish Link for taking a chance on me and offering me my own column. They have consistently given me the freedom to choose my monthly topics, allowing my creativity to flow. I wish them all countless more years of mazel, bracha and parnasa.
Also, a big thanks to my Aunt Nancy.Ellen Smith
My husband and I are grateful to be part of the Jewish Link family. Providing a publication which is informative, entertaining and inspirational is no easy feat. Even the advertisements are interesting and eye-catching. Most of all, in this anniversary we celebrate the impact of promoting Hashem between the lines. TEAM: Together We Accomplish More.
Special thanks to Moshe Kinderlehrer for bringing us on as colleagues and as friends. We appreciate you, Jill Kirsch, and your literary team par excellence more than you know. May Hashem bless you and your families with many more years of success in all of your endeavors.
Our favorite columns although we truly enjoy the variety of all fellow writers: Reb Judah Mischel, Nina Glick, Jonathan Caplan and any time Reb Moshe Kinderlehrer writes his own thoughts and insights. Each person contributing their unique talents weaves together “more than a newspaper,” like no other. We have grown personally and professionally as well as grown our circle of friends, listeners, readers and recognition.
Thank you, Jewish Link and thank you, Hashem!Al and Sarah (Newcomb) Gordon
Let the Music Play
Pre-covid, my favorite day of the week was the day I volunteered at Ben Gurion Airport, greeting olim and seeing them through the aliyah process. I would hold up a sign welcoming them, tell them what to expect in the offices upstairs, and help calm nerves through an exciting, but also potentially overwhelming, experience.
I haven’t volunteered at the airport in three years, but The Jewish Link has afforded me the opportunity to meet and greet olim in a different way, by interviewing them and asking them what they love about living in Israel. I hope the readers are as inspired as I am by the stories and journeys that brought these exceptional people on aliyah, and I hope I have the privilege of interviewing many more olim as they make their way home.Aviva Zacks
The Jewish Link is my local paper and has become a welcoming home for my material and books. My children have also found themselves on its school pages, celebrating their various accomplishments. Lately, thanks to my “Parsha Cuff-Link” column, complete strangers approach me to play the game, and we enhance Shabbat with Torah discussion. Everything is elevated by the quality of the collective work. Congratulations on 10 years, and may you not only survive the decline of the American newspaper, but thrive for generations to come!Martin Bodek
The Parsha Cuff-Link
I would like to extend a mazal tov to The Jewish Link on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. I have been an avid Link reader for years, enjoying the political articles and searching for family and friends in the school updates. I greatly appreciate The Jewish Link and its editors’ acceptance of my idea for a biweekly chess column and the assistance they have provided me in publishing many articles during the past few months. I have thoroughly enjoyed providing educational and, I hope, entertaining chess content and receiving positive feedback from readers. Contributing to The Jewish Link has been an excellent experience and I look forward to continuing to write “The Link’s Gambit.”Ethan Feder
The Link’s Gambit
As somebody who just moved to New Jersey and started reading The Link in late 2020, it’s hard for me to imagine that the paper is only 10 years old. By the time it got to me, The Link was pretty much fully baked. I started grabbing it at shul every Friday night as a way to help myself get acquainted with local goings-on in and around my new home of Fair Lawn.
Just shy of a year later, I was attending a planning meeting as a member of the committee for the New Jersey Kosher Food and Wine Expo. Afterwards, a guy walked up to me and told me that he really liked the restaurant reviews that I wrote on Facebook and asked if I had any formal training. I thanked him and explained that I had studied sports journalism in college. It was then that Moshe Kinderlehrer told me I should write for his newspaper.
My first big article was about the OU not certifying Impossible Pork. Soon after, I wrote a piece about traveling to Arizona with my family that prompted a reader to contact me. He explained that his family was considering vacation, but not Arizona… until my endorsement.
As somebody with a day job and two babies, readership like that is what keeps me going. As I wrote a few sports features, the community feedback was huge. My profile had apparently grown enough to justify what is now my bi-weekly restaurant column.
All this came along because Moshe and the staff at The Link were willing to give me a platform to resuscitate my hibernating hobby.
So here’s to another decade of The Link. I can’t wait to see what happens along the way.Nati Burnside
It was in the depths of lockdown in the summer of 2020 that my dear friend Elizabeth Kratz called and asked me if I’d like to do some copy editing for The Jewish Link. Having been in PR for years, writing and working closely with copy editors, this was a chance to apply all I’d learned—and best of all, to keep on learning.
I’m always asked, “What does a copy editor do?” We’re the folks behind the scenes who shape and put the finishing touches on the articles you read: from spelling and grammar to punctuation and fact-checking. We give misplaced modifiers a proper home; look up uncommon words (I recently learned a new one: omertà, from Jacob Savage’s excellent “The Vanishing”); check numbers (a stray zero left in a recipe’s oven temperature could melt steel!); put words in and take words out; and generally make sure that what you read is clearly and compellingly written.
Elizabeth recently summed up the vision she and Moshe have for The Jewish Link: proudly Jewish, proudly Zionist. That’s why I feel privileged to contribute to the stories the paper publishes week after week. It’s an honor to review “Covenant and Conversation” by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, zt”l. I always look forward to the crazy humor of Mordechai Schmutter and the kids’ stories by Yair Daar. Pieces by Nina Glick and Debby Pfeiffer have brought tears to my eyes. Working for the paper, I’ve learned so much, and I know readers have, too. And I couldn’t do this gig without Jill Kirsch, my supervisor, who always knows how to get to the heart of a story.
I’m so glad to see the paper in Upper West Side synagogues like Lincoln Square and Ohav Sholom. I know people are reading it because on the rare occasions when The Link hasn’t been delivered, I hear about it. At a recent Shabbat dinner in Manhattan, a guest told me that he will traverse the neighborhood to find The Link. Now that’s what I call a publication’s reach! (I suggested he’d be a perfect “Superfan,” but alas, he’s a little shy.)
Congratulations to The Jewish Link on its 10th anniversary! Hope I’ll be here for anniversaries to come.Cathy Fisher
I started at The Jewish Link as an intern before becoming a staff writer and eventually an assistant editor. My career trajectory has since changed from journalism to teaching, but I have always credited The Jewish Link for giving me an outlet to grow as a professional writer. Some of my favorite pieces published in The Link are the articles about two of the oldest synagogues in the U.S., a profile on an Iranian-Jewish woman’s story of escaping persecution and starting a new life in America, and the moving story of a Holocaust survivor during a ceremony for a memorial exhibit displayed at Secaucus Junction in 2020.
To me, journalism at its best is when a publication gives people a chance for their voices to be heard and shared with the greater public—at the very least to inform, and at the most to inspire change. I feel grateful that The Jewish Link gave me a chance to be a part of that process.
If it hadn’t been for Moshe, Elizabeth, Jill and everyone else at The Link who put their faith in my writing and reporting, and who took the time to mentor me during my days as an intern and editor, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet so many new people and share so many of their stories.
Thank you to everyone at the paper, and happy anniversary!Elizabeth (Lizzie) Zakaim
As a freelance contributor, I have had the opportunity to interview members of the Jewish community breaking new ground, including Greg Zuckerman, author of the critically acclaimed “A Shot to Save the World: The Inside Story of the Life-or-Death Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine”; and founding members of JOWMA, an organization committed to supporting, empowering and advancing the careers of Orthodox female physicians, medical students and college and high-school students thinking about a career in medicine. These are stories that will stay with me.Sherry Kirschenbaum
Copy Editor/Staff Writer
My three summers interning at The Jewish Link were spent learning new skills, fostering deep professional relationships and experiencing unparalleled growth. As a writer and peer mentor, I had the opportunity to engage with multiple facets of The Jewish Link experience. My writing skills were carefully honed each week, and my professional talents soared under the guidance of Moshe, Elizabeth, Jill (my mom) and the entire staff. Beyond journalistic techniques, the Jewish Link team ensured focus on our personal growth. Thanks to their efforts, every intern learned the importance, and value, of workplace interpersonal relationships; those relationships helped transform us from interns to professional journalists. I am very grateful to my Jewish Link family (no pun intended).Hannah Kirsch
Interning at The Jewish Link in the summer of 2021 was an awesome experience. Moshe, Jill and Elizabeth were nothing but kind, and I’m thankful I got to learn from them. In those few weeks, I got to write a range of stories, from local news to movie reviews, and business profiles to divrei Torah. Seeing the behind-the-scenes working of the paper made me appreciate just how much work goes into producing the final edition that thousands read each week. And the deadline day lunches were pretty great, too!Elazar Abrahams
I started out as a summer intern for The Jewish Link, and was later brought on as a staff writer. My experience writing for The Jewish Link forged a stronger tie to my local Stamford Jewish community as I am always on the lookout for stories I can pitch to Jill Kirsch, senior editor. A few months back I wrote an article about my mechina program called “The Effects of Shavuah Nivutim.” This story enabled me to be very honest and vulnerable. I received so many messages from members of the Stamford Jewish community who read my piece. Comments like “Great lessons in resilience and perseverance,” “Excellent reporting,” and “Beautifully expressed” meant so much to me.
The Jewish Link has guided me, supported me, encouraged my creativity and is definitely like a second family to me.Julianne Katz