FORMER IDF LONE SOLDIER TO RECEIVE MJE STUDENT RECOGNITION AWARD
Loren Baum grew up in Albany, NY and after college decided to attend graduate school in Israel.  Upon graduating he served in the Israel Defense Forces after which he moved to New York City where he met Rabbi Jonathan Feldman and started coming to MJE.  With little background or education in Judaism, Loren soon became a regular at MJE and over the next two years attended classes, Shabbat, and MJE events growing steadily in his observance. This past January he married Yaffa Faena and will be receiving the Student Recognition Award at the MJE East dinner in June!
MJE SUCCESSES MARCH – MAY 2017

MJE PESACH 2017 BY THE NUMBERS 

FIRST NIGHT SEDERS: We had 81 attendees at Bedford Park for First Seder at Downtown MJE and another 69 at the first Seder at MJE West. Another 27 MJE’ers had a Seder with an MJE Rabbi or MJE Host Family for a total of 177 participants.

SECOND NIGHT SEDERS: We had 115 people at the Second Seder at MJE West led by Rabbi Shuki & Sara Klein and another 19 MJE’ers had a Seder with an MJE Rabbi or MJE Host Family for a total of 134 participants for the second night.

HOSPITALITY: MJE set up 61 people for home

(MJE staff and MJE host families/Fusion) hospitality meals the first days, and 50 people for the second days plus another 35 on Chol Ha’Moed Shabbos.

PASSOVER PREP: 81 MJE participants sold their chametz. Several individuals also Kashered their kitchens and many have checked our list of kosher restaurants and options of where to eat during Chol Ha’Moed and sent in questions to our Rabbis and educators before and throughout the holiday.

YOM HASHOAH WITH THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE

On Monday, April 24, MJE partnered with the Museum of Jewish Heritage and Young Friends of The Museum to deliver “Stories of a Survivor and Memorial Service”. We were joined by 460 young professionals for an incredibly meaningful night of mourning, reflection and healing. Rabbi Mark Wildes delivered opening remarks encouraging everyone in the audience to not just commemorate the Shoah by attending a memorial service, but to honor the memory of the 6 million lost by doing something authentically and positively Jewish this year – celebrating Shabbat, going to a Hebrew or Jewish studies class, taking a trip to Israel…etc.

Dr. Moshe Avital, in interview with Miriam Leichtling, shared his absolutely incredible story of surviving Auschwitz, other camps and a death march after losing almost his entire family. To this day, Dr. Avital is a man of great faith and Torah observant. It was his love of Judaism and his warm memories of Shabbat and holidays with his family that gave him the will to go on during the hardest, loneliest times. The audience beamed with pride as Dr. Avital recounted his participation in creating the modern State of Israel as a refugee who snuck into British Palestine, escaped prison, and fought bravely for the Haganah in Israel’s War of Independence.
YOM HAZIKARON/ YOM HA’ATZMAUT

Under the leadership of MJE West Director Atara Neuer, MJE partnered with The Jewish Center and other UWS shuls (Kehillat Reim Ahuvim, Ramat Orah, WSIS and Ohav Zedek) to put on our largest Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut program yet! We had 591 registered attendees with over 100 people showing up at the door. The event was made possible with the generous support of JCC Manhattan, UJA-Federation of New York and the UWS Celebrates Israel Initiative.

We started the evening with an absolutely packed Mincha service lead by Rabbi Mark Wildes (CLICK HERE FOR HIS TALK). We then had a very moving Yom Hazikaron memorial service lead by Matt Schwartz and other former Chayalim/ Lone Soldiers who shared memories of their friends who fell in combat. Beautiful tunes were sung by A Cappella group Six13, and we held a moment of silence for our holy brothers and sisters who gave their lives to protect the Jewish People.
We said a prayer for the State of Israel, and sang a triumphant Ha Tikvah, and transitioned to the festivities of Yom Ha’atzmaut which kicked off with giant circles of mitzvah dancing! Hundreds of young professionals ate Israeli food and blue and white cupcakes, and enjoyed a concert by Six13 well into the night.
COMMUNITY NACHAS
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR COMMUNITY!
Former MJE Fellows Kathy Shira Felberbaum & Gilad Kedem gave birth to a daughter, Yael Haddasah
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Former MJE Fellow Jennifer Cohen & Danny Cohen gave birth to a daughter, Revital Chaya
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MJE Participant Arnie Nebtakov and Jaclyn Frey got engaged
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MJE Senior Educator Chani and Dr. Alan Perlman gave birth to a son, Eliezer Yakir
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Former MJE Fellow Jennifer and Geoffrey Platt gave birth to a son, Jack Alexander (Yaakov)
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Former MJE Fellow Daniel Remin and Fruma Reiss got married
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Josh and Former MJE Fellow Sara Lewisohn gave birth to a daughter, Nora Sydney
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Eva Reichenberg and Zizi Mincovetzky got engaged
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Former Fusion Leader Becky (Gabin) and Pinchas Nissani gave birth to a son, Kaleb Obadyah
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MJE Senior Fellow Elyssa Plotkin and Jonathan Tannenbaum got engaged
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Former Fusion Leader Ari and Elianna Platt gave birth to a daughter
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MJE Participants Dan and Melissa Paretsky gave birth to a son
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MJE Wednesday Night Learning Tutor Amy Kohen and Sam Sroka got married
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MJE Participants Dassi Fant and Gillad Matityahu got married
RABBI WILDES SECURES BOOK DEAL!

RABBI MARK WILDES SIGNS WITH SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

Rabbi Wildes is in the process of writing his first book! The book will present Jewish wisdom, culled from some of Rabbi Mark’s classes and sermons, to help today’s generation find greater meaning and happiness in an age of instant gratification and too many choices.
Skyhorse Publishing has signed on to publish the book and is working closely with Rabbi Wildes to prepare it for the shelves. The company has had forty-six New York Times bestsellers and has over 6,500 titles in print!

MJE Board Member George Rohr will be dedicating the book.
IN THE NEWS

RABBI MARK WILDES DISCUSSES YOM HASHOAH ON PBS METROFOCUS/ CHANNEL 13

 
What does it mean to actively remember?

RABBI MARK WILDES ON “JM IN THE AM”

 
Nachum Segal gets an update from Rabbi Mark Wildes with a focus on the upcoming MJE trip to Israel.

MJE’S YOM HAZIKARON/ YOM HA’ATZMAUT PROGRAM WRITTEN UP IN NY BLUEPRINT

 
“Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut Bridged for an Evening”
by Maya Klausner

RABBI MARK WILDES QUOTED IN JERUSALEM POST

 
“Does Death Penalty Meet Jewish Values?”
By Danielle Ziri
WILDES ON THE ROAD

UPCOMING

ELI TALKS
On Thursday May 25, Rabbi Mark Wildes will be speaking on “Failing Forward” as part of the ELI Talks spring series, hosted at the JCC Harlem. ELI Talks is the “Jewish Ted Talks”, and recorded segments attract tens of thousands of online viewers. Tickets can be PURCHASED HERE for the night Rabbi Wildes is speaking.
TEANECK SHABBATON
Rabbi Mark Wildes, Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal and Executive Director David Miller will bring a group of over 30 MJE participants to Teaneck, NJ for a Shabbaton the weekend, May 12th – 13th . Rabbi Wildes will speak at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun on Shabbat morning.

PAST

HODS 5K RACE 
Rabbi Mark Wildes participated along with MJE staff member Yael Haller and MJE participant Scott Brenner in the Halachic Organ Donation Society 5k race this past Sunday, May 7. Footage of Rabbi Wildes running was shown on CBS Channel 2! Half the money raised went to MJE and half to raise awareness for this important cause.
 
JEWISH JOURNEYS
On Sunday March 19th – Rabbi Wildes spoke on the topic of “Reaching Out & Searching Within” to Jewish Journeys of Northern New Jersey part of The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Program in Bergenfield, NJ.
PASSOVER SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE

Rabbi Wildes was a Scholar in Residence at the prestigious PGA Passover Program in Palm Beach, Florida over Pesach.