April 18, 2024
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The Jewish Learning Experience Celebrates 36th Year

(Courtesy of The Jewish Learning Experience) The Jewish Learning Experience (JLE) will be celebrating the 36th anniversary of its founding at its annual dinner Motzei Shabbat, November 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Aaron.

The Jewish Learning Experience is a grassroots, independent adult outreach organization in Bergen County. Its mission is to reacquaint Jewish adults with their religious heritage through classes demonstrating the relevance of the Torah in contemporary times, experiential programs, and Shabbat and High Holiday explanatory services. The JLE caters to individual needs, including home hospitality and one-on-one learning.

Since its inception in 1985, the JLE has touched the lives of more than 10,000 unaffiliated families in Bergen County and beyond. This is a great start, but there is still much to do. Right here in Bergen County, there is still a strong need for kiruv. Many neighbors and friends don’t know the beauty of Shabbat or the deep knowledge contained in the Torah. Join the JLE dinner to support this worthy cause and reach out to learn how you can get involved.

The JLE has tremendous hakarat hatov for its many organizers, volunteers and participants. They are especially grateful for all of the effort that has been expended over the last two years. They had to drastically change the way programs were run and raise funds without the help of an annual dinner last year.

JLE is excited to honor five people who contributed heavily to the JLE’s functioning over the last few years and continue to be pillars of our organization: Joy and Robert Sperber; Chaya and Daniel Hager; and Basil Edelstein.

Joy and Rob Sperber both come from families that valued their Jewish heritage and wanted to practice it and pass it onto their children. Joy and Rob have spent their entire marriage in Teaneck, where they raised their three daughters: Rachel, Aliza and Tali. The family, along with their cute dog Sparky, live in the Beth Aaron community.

Joy and Rob are natural givers, always volunteering on countless projects, in their shul and the

Jewish community. Joy is a pillar of the JLE organization, chairs committees frequently, and organizes the international Shabbat Project dinner for Teaneck. Rob volunteers with the Men’s Club at Beth Aaron and is a staple at the many kiddushim held at the shul. Together they enjoy hosting family, friends and newcomers alike at their table. They look forward to meeting new faces through the JLE and inviting them to their home for Shabbat meals.

Chaya and Daniel Hager have lived in Teaneck for the past 18 years. Both Chaya and Daniel work in finance. They have four children: Michal (married to Avigdor Wiener), Ayelet, Avigayil and Yosef. Chaya and Daniel daven at Beth Aaron. They were happy that the tent minyan housed in their backyard was available to the community when the shuls were closed or had limited access during COVID. The Hagers were integral in sustaining the 36-year continuity of the JLE Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur davening, by opening their home in 2020 during the pandemic.

Basil (Abba Zev) Edelstein is a sophomore at MTA high school on the fast track to semicha, IYH. He has been living in Teaneck for the last 10 years and is an alumnus of Yeshivat Noam. He loves Jewish learning and experiences and sharing them with others. Basil is a Ba’al Koreh at his shul, Congregation Bnai Yeshurun (CBY), as well as at many COVID-tent minyanim, almost weekly. Through JLE, Basil has had the opportunity to lead Tu B’Shevat seders and Pesach seders, and read Megillah on Purim. Whether in person or by Zoom, Basil delivers his divrei Torah and leining expertise with care and dedication.

He feels honored to be trusted with the leadership roles he has been offered at JLE and looks forward to continuing to contribute as well as spread the word about this amazing organization. Basil’s proud parents are Aviva and Jonathan Edelstein, and his siblings are Ori, Ezra and Amalya. His grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are sharing nachat, too.

JLE looks forward to greeting the Bergen County community at the dinner.

RSVP Rabbi Justin Wexler, 201-621-3829. Email: [email protected]. Address is 270 Grayson Place, Teaneck NJ 07666.

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