At its annual (virtual) meeting on December 8, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey (Federation) honored Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT) President Marjorie Wold, among several others, for extraordinarily leadership efforts in the Jewish community this past year. Marjorie Wold is a resident of Colts Neck. The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey brings together the Jewish community across Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties to address the issues facing Jews individually and as a People locally, in Israel, and around the globe.
Federation board member Jeffrey Schwartz, addressed the virtual gathering stating, “One of the greater roles of Federation is bringing partners together to make our lives sustainable. These people stepped up to make a difference in Jewish life. All are extremely inspiring.”
He stated of Mrs. Wold specifically, “A long-time Federation leader, Margie brought synagogues together to share their strengths and solutions during the COVID pandemic.”
In a video presentation Wold stated, “As COVID hit, everything shut down. Our clergy and I were worried on how to reach out to everyone with support and supplies. As time went on and we realized the virus was going nowhere, I reached out to the other synagogues with the Federation’s help.”
A monthly organized zoom call was arranged and proved a lifeline to many temples struggling in these unique circumstances. This was a project Wold had hoped to organize early on in her temple service after she met and learned from other religious leaders in conferences she attended throughout the country. She wanted to replicate those synergies in her local community. Ironically, it took COVID, which squashed everyone’s busy schedules, and rendered them home and available for collective communication to take place.
Mrs. Wold explains, “This program helped build bridges when so often we feel like islands. We are a minority. I like to think that each time we can get together, everyone wins.”
By pooling their best practices, temples were able to assist one another.
For example Wold states, that while MRT had been livestreaming services on their website for years, other temples had not ventured far in the technology realm. MRT was able to assist with what would have ordinarily been a daunting undertaking. But other synagogues helped out with lower-tech issues, like how can we hold High Holy Day services while prayer books remain locked up in closed temples?
She states, “One temple described how they did it, and, with many volunteers, we copied their pick-up and drop off prayer book service program. It worked beautifully, and many were so happy to help in these difficult times.”
Wold adds, “We were truly a lifeline to each other and Federation made this happen.”
For more information on The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey visit their website at https://jewishheartnj.org.