Kosherfest 2015

Hundreds of companies displayed a wide array of products for thousands of industry professionals on Novembertenth and eleventh at the twenty-seventh annual Kosherfest at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Kosherfest, a trade show dedicated to the kosher industry, is the largest trade show of its kind. The event drew professionals representing an estimated 6,000 food-service providers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers from all over the world. Kosherfest serves the entire supply chain for kosher products nationally and world-wide.

More than 12 million American consumers choose kosher food products for reasons related to health, food safety, taste, vegetarianism, lactose intolerance or dietary restrictions, according to the Orthodox Union Kosher, one of the world’s largest kosher certification agencies. The industry alone generates more than $12 billion in annual sales, and food industry experts say it will continue to grow.

Though one of the main objectives of Kosherfest is to connect industry professionals with businesses, a lot of the companies say the exposure alone, because of the high volume of attendees, is reason enough to come to the event. Companies like Norman’s Dairy Delight, which specializes in kosher-certified yogurts, said their main goal at Kosherfest is to get the word out about their product.

“It’s show and tell, not show and sell,” said Marty Kairey, a plant manager at Norman’s. He said that possibly in the long term, exposure will translate in sales.

This year’s notable new product was Anderson’s Natural & Kosher Cheese Maker Selection. “Our new product, the Natural & Kosher Cheese Maker’s Selection, is an example how our goal is to always brings excitement and sophistication to the kosher cheese market,” said Brigitte Mizrahi of Anderson International Foods, Inc.

RENEWAL Saving Lives across the Globe

“Renewal” is a name that is often heard in our community these days. Renewal is a
non-profit organization dedicated to assisting people suffering from kidney disease. The Renewal team is dedicated to saving lives through kidney donation. Having facilitated nearly 350 kidney transplants, Renewal has done what was once thought to be impossible.

Just a short while ago Renewal was approached by a person from the Sephardic Community in Mexico. He had a friend that was in dire need of a kidney transplant. Within a few months a donor was found from Brooklyn, and the recipient and his family were flown to Mt. Sinai hospital. The transplant was a success and very special relationships were formed between the donor, the recipient, and their families.

Renewal saw thatthere is a large community in Mexico with no resources for kidney transplants. In order to address the needs of Jewish patients there, Renewal representatives David Schischa and A.J. Gindi have made several trips to Mexico to service both the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Communities. On November 17, 2015 Renewal facilitated its ninth transplant for a community member from Mexico. Salomon Abadi from Mexico City attended a Renewal event in Mexico and was inspired to become a donor. He heard how very difficult it is for people to live on dialysis. He wanted to make a difference, to make a change in someone’s life.

Facilitating almost one transplant a week, Renewal is aware that their work has just begun. Community representative A.J. Gindi was quoted as saying, “Being part of the Renewal team has been a life changing experience. Seeing the faces of donors and recipients and their family members, hearing their stories of what this moment means to them, cannotbe described in words. Unfortunately there are many more people out there that need our help. We average three to four new patients a week, and find it difficult to keep up with the pace. We need to bring awareness to the Sephardic community as well as other communities about what it takes to be a donor. This can be done. People just need to be educated. Together we can change the world… one kidney at a time.

If you are in need of a kidney donation or if you know of someone that is suffering from kidney failure please contact our Community Advocate A.J. Gindi at

Local Rabbis Launch
New Weekly Learning Program in Eatontown

The all-new Eatontown Torah Center has initiated its first endeavor, its “Weekly Learning Program.” And what a launch it’s been! Merely six weeks old, the Learning Program already hosts nearly one-hundred boys and men who flock to the Eatontown Synagogue every Wednesday night. Delicious dinners catered by Dougie’s, Glatt Bite, and Carlos & Gabby’s to name a few, areserved before the crowd divides into several groups and delve into enlightening Gemara classes.

With many rabbis on staff, the Weekly Learning Program is the first of its kind to offer an analytical, in-depth approach to Talmud study, and is enjoyed by boys and men from the Jersey Shore Area.

For more information, contact

Ike Dweck of SAFE Addresses
“Jewish Recovery” in Atlanta

Mr. Ike Dweck, Founder and Executive Director of The SAFE Foundation in Brooklyn, New York recently traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to address the local Jewish community’s social workers about the drug problems their community is facing. His presentation was titled “Jewish Recovery.”

Mr. Dweck commented, “They [in Atlanta] have the exact same issues that we [in New York] have – whether it is drugs or alcohol, kids getting involved [in substance abuse] at a young age because they are curious, or doctors over-prescribing pain medications. It’s amazing- we are dealing with almost identical problems.”

One attendeeof the presentation said, “Ike’s was one of the best continuing education presentations I’ve ever attended. He followed the direction of the crowd and really knew how to engage everyone. The communication was lively and truly rich!”

Indeed, the social workers and addiction therapists who filled the room at The Jewish Family Career Center in Atlanta clamored with questions and keen interest for the entire two hours.

Questions were focused on how The SAFE Foundation deals with those who resist getting treatment, how the family of the patient is engaged to increase the effectiveness of the program, and how religious practices are respected in group therapies and rehabilitation facilities.

Another attendee said, “Ike brought a wealth of knowledge and did an outstanding job of explaining the care required for Jewish patients.”

The Jewish community of Atlanta has requested that Ike return and repeat his presentation for their leaders and rabbis.

Rabbi David Ozeri Calls for Pay Raises for our Rebbes at Agudah Convention

In a passionate speech on Mosei Shabbat at the Agudah Convention in Stamford, Connecticut, Rabbi David Ozeri warned that the future of Klal Yisrael is in grave danger because of the dismal salaries paid to rebbis.

Rabbi Ozeri spoke eloquently,noting that while the Jewish community has lavished attention on the sick, children at risk, and the unaffiliated, those in chinuch are being neglected, and are inadequately compensated for the invaluable services they provide.

Describing chinuch as “themost lofty field which the universe has to offer,” Rabbi Ozeri noted that with our children being exposed to unprecedented outside influences, quality rebbis are more important than ever, yet many are leaving the field because they cannot support their families on the salaries that they receive.

Translating from Hebrew to English, Rabbi Ozeri quoted the Pele Yoetz, who promised great rewards to those who ensure that rebbis are paid appropriately.

Rabbi Ozeri read an essay written by Rabbi Shimon Schwab who lamented that people find money to give for every segula, while overlooking those who perform the greatest task of all: educating our children.

“Is this a way to treat the greatest heroes or ourgenerations? It is time to wake up and smell the coffee. Let us give up the Pesach vacation hotel just one year and use the dollars saved to give our children’s rebbis and morahs their due.”

Rabbi Ozeri contended that the burden of increasing salaries cannot be placed upon the parents and those who are struggling financially, but rather upon baalei tzedakah who donate significant funds to various causes. He asked them to see this as the most important investment for the future of Klal Yisrael.

Home Fire Safety Program
#GetAlarmedNYC Launched

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Member Chaim Deutsch and others announced the launch of a new fire safety program on Monday, November 2, #GetAlarmedNYC, the largest smoke detector giveaway and installation program in
the nation.

The $4 million fire and life safety initiative will provide free installation of 100,000 photoelectric combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms to tens of thousands of city residents, targeting communities in all five boroughs that pose the greatest risks from fire, according to FDNY statistics and analysis.

Funding for this program is provided by the City Council and the non-profit FDNY Foundation, while fire safety product manufacturer Kidde will contribute smoke alarms. The American Red Cross will be providing organizational support and volunteers who will work with fire safety educators from the FDNY Foundation and install the alarms in private homes and apartments, and provide fire prevention education information.

The American Red Cross will provide other critical organizational support to help reach this goal as well as vital fire prevention education information. The free installation program will be available to communities throughout New York City, and will prioritize installations in neighborhoods that statistically pose greater risks for fires, injuries and deaths.

The initiative will span two years, with hundreds of alarms installed each week by volunteers from the American Red Cross. New York City residents can obtain more information about the program beginning today by calling 311. The FDNY and Red Cross will host community events in all five boroughs where city residents can schedule installations in their homes.

The smoke/carbon monoxide alarms that will be installed are sealed devices that do not require new batteries and are designed to last for up to 10 years.