Life Beyond New York

I read with great interest the “Life Beyond New York” cover story in the winter 2013 issue.

As a member of the Shomrei Torah Fair Lawn New Jersey Community Growth Initiative Committee, we also participated in this past year’s OU Communities Fair.

After reading the article and especially the quotes by Rabbi Steven Weil, Rabbi Judah Isaacs and Stephen Savitsky, I could not be prouder of our accomplishments. Over the past five years, over seventy-five families have moved to Fair Lawn and have joined Shomrei Torah.

Mr. Savitsky wrote, “The most important element in community building is the strength, leadership and vision of the rabbi and rebbetzin.” That quote certainly embodies Rabbi Benjamin and Rebbetzin Shevi Yudin and Rabbi Andrew Markowitz, our assistant rabbi, and his rebbetzin, Sarah.

Rabbi Weil wrote, “A shul should allocate a growing percent of its operating budget to quality youth programming.” One of the attractions that continue to fuel Shomrei Torah’s growth is our focus on our youth. Not only do we have an in-house nursery school, but we have programs and groups for children of all ages, including Shabbat youth groups, a junior congregation and a youth minyan. As important is our award-winning NCSY chapter, under the leadership of Rabbi Ethan Katz.

Your article had a section entitled “Alternatives to Teaneck.” Fair Lawn is certainly a wonderful alternative (and only eight minutes away, east on Route 4!). Our houses are affordable and our proximity to the New York and New Jersey job markets is an important factor. I encourage your readers to spend a Shabbat with us.

Willie Hochman
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

This article was featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Jewish Action.