Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

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05 A message from the Jewish Federation 05 Shalom Lehigh Valley partners with Made Possible 06 Working for Facebook, living in Lehigh Valley 07 Jewish families enjoy the pace of Valley living 08 Programs bring together adults of all ages


09 After big city life, Allentown impresses the Andrews Family 11 The Jewish Federation: Supporting & convening the local Jewish community & beyond 12 A place where business booms - big or small 13 Q&A with a local HR expert


15 Lehigh Valley clergy wish you Shalom 17 Volunteers say Shalom to new additions 17 PJ Library opens doors for young Jewish families 17 Just Born sweetens lives in the community 18 Our favorite places 20 Women’s Philanthropy: Join the fun and be a force for good 21 Healthcare professionals find meaning through Maimonides


24 A week in the life of a Lehigh Valley Jewish family 26 Interfaith group has a BIG vision for Bethlehem (and beyond) 27 Shop local for all your Judaica gifts 28 5 ways our community fights antisemitism 29 Want to visit Israel? Let Federation help get you there 29 What is the work of a community shaliach? 32 Elements of Jewish life 33 A recipe inspired by local history


34 Jewish schools & camps right in your backyard 35 Overnight camps deliver summer fun nearby 37 Religious schools & youth groups offer something for everyone 39 Jewish Family Service is here for you 39 JFS programs are powered by volunteers 41 Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation bolsters community 44 Jewish holidays / candle lighting times 45 Directory of Jewish agencies & synagogues

Stay up to date on Jewish life in the Lehigh Valley ONLINE at and on INSTAGRAM @shalomlehighvalley

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Jewish Federation Shalom Readers, New to the area or thinking about making a change in life? We want to let you in on a little secret. Tucked away just an hour north of Philadelphia and 90 minutes from New York City, you’ll find a vibrant, diverse, picturesque community – the Lehigh Valley. The Lehigh Valley offers city living, quaint downtowns, suburban leisure, rural farmland – whatever your heart desires. Plus, leading employers look for quality talent, telework is easy, housing is affordable and free time is spent at many area attractions or in the great outdoors. Add all of that to a Jewish community with the amenities you seek, and you’ll be ready for your next adventure.

The Jewish Federation is HERE FOR GOOD in the Lehigh Valley. What does that mean? It means we are, and always will be, the engine for Jewish communal life, in partnership with the many Jewish agencies and synagogues that make our community so spectacular. In the pages ahead, we invite you to get a taste of all that our community has to offer. More than 8,000 Jews call the Lehigh Valley home. Will you do the same?


Happy reading,

Gary Fromer President

Jeri Zimmerman Executive Director

Shalom Lehigh Valley

PARTNERS WITH MADE POSSIBLE By Stephanie Goodling While Shalom Lehigh Valley aims to welcome newcomers to the Jewish community, Made Possible has a similar goal with the greater Lehigh Valley community. We are proud to partner with them to bring you this issue of our magazine. Made Possible in Lehigh Valley is a regional branding and marketing initiative that shows off all the amazing things that are possible here in the Lehigh Valley, and why it’s such a great place to visit, work, learn and live. The initiative is championed by Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), Discover Lehigh Valley, the Lehigh Valley Chamber and the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors. Don Cunningham is pres-

ident and CEO of LVEDC and the founder of Made Possible. “The Lehigh Valley is underrecognized for the size and quality of the region,” said Cunningham. “Diverse populations with a diversity of talent and skill sets are the regions that are retaining and attracting companies. We have that in the Lehigh Valley, along with a good quality of life for people at all different stages of life. From schools to neighborhoods to restaurants, nightlife and cultural arts or access to trails, mountains and rivers − the Lehigh Valley has it all.” Cunningham, who served as Mayor of Bethlehem and Lehigh County Executive among other positions before his current job, also contributes a monthly column on business and economics to The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown. A recent article highlighted some of the dynamics of population growth in the area. “Diversity of ethnicity, of race, of religion, that has been

the Lehigh Valley’s story, and it is an interesting one,” Cunningham said. “The strength of the Lehigh Valley for centuries has been its diversity. Immigrants have come here from the time of the millworkers, when there were 53 different languages spoken in a few square miles in Bethlehem, for example, to now. It’s our heritage, and we want to broaden that.” One of the things that makes the Valley unique is that “we’re not a suburb of anywhere,” according to Cunningham, “We’re our own market.” With nature always close by, multiple colleges and universities, two large health networks and other growing industries, “you have all the assets of a larger city and the pastoral elements of a more rural community, it’s a little bit of the best parts of cities, suburbs and rural areas all in a nice-size community, kind of like a large city and a small town mixed together,” summarized Cunningham.




Editor’s note: This article is reprinted with permission from our partner, Made Possible in Lehigh Valley. Visit them online at Jason Toff ’s resume reads like a short list of some of the biggest and most popular tech companies in the world. He has worked for Google, YouTube, Vine, and currently works as Director of Product Management at Facebook. Over the years, his successful career in the tech industry has led him to live in such places as Manhattan, Hoboken, San Francisco, Menlo Park, and the East Bay area of California. So where does he live now? The very place he was born and raised: the Lehigh Valley. “Since coming back, my wife and I have found a whole new appreciation for the Lehigh Valley,” said Toff, 34, who moved back to the region this winter. “I’ve reconnected with a lot of folks from my childhood. It’s nice coming full circle.” Toff continues to work for Facebook, where he has spent the last year-and-a-half developing new apps separate from the main Facebook application, like Collab,, and Forecast. 6

Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

Facebook employees haven’t worked in its headquarters for over a year due to the COVID-19 crisis, and many of its employees have moved out of the expensive Bay Area as the company has shifted toward remote work for its employees. “The Lehigh Valley is a great place for remote work,” Toff said. “We have an international airport nearby and I could pop into the New York City office occasionally as needed. It works out well for me, since I can take my boys to school before California wakes up, then call in for meetings during West Coast hours.” Toff was born in Allentown, attended Parkland High School, and stayed in the state for college, attending the University of Pennsylvania. His wife, Cristina, is also from the Lehigh Valley, having grown up in Macungie and attending school in Emmaus and Allentown. They have three children. The primary reason they moved back to the region was to be closer to their parents, who in turn could be closer to their grandchildren. They originally expected to return only temporarily, but ended up buying an acre of land in a great Lehigh Valley location

for what Toff said “would’ve paid for a sub-par studio in San Francisco or New York City.” In addition to the comparatively low cost of living, Toff particularly likes the Lehigh Valley’s central location, close proximity to major cities, wealth of recreational amenities, and great schools. “The Lehigh Valley has a number of things going for it,” he said. “ It’s two hours from New York City and one hour from Philadelphia. That’s amazing! In the Bay Area, it’s not unusual for people to commute for one to two hours to work each day given how bad traffic has become there.” Toff joined Google in 2008 as an associate product marketing manager, and moved to the Bay Area for the role. Eventually he transitioned into a product manager role at YouTube, before getting a job as Head of Product at Vine in New York City, going on to become the General Manager for the video app. He developed an interest in virtual reality and took a job building out Google’s New

York City virtual and augmented reality teams. Toff later moved to a partner role at Area 120, Google’s internal incubator for new ideas, before taking the job he currently holds at Facebook. Toff said the Lehigh Valley has been very helpful in preparing him for his career and providing the resources for his eventual success. He and his wife are active parents with the Jewish Day School and Jewish Community Center’s Early Childhood Education department. “I was very lucky to have some great teachers and mentors,” he said. “It’s not a coincidence that we’re sending our oldest son to the same elementary school I went to, and my other son to the same place I went to preschool.” Toff and his family have enjoyed taking hikes around some of the covered bridges in the Lehigh Valley, and look forward to visiting Trexler Park and taking advantage of the region’s many other recreational amenities when the weather becomes a bit warmer.

Megan Hyman and her husband, Adam, were living in New York City with young children at the beginning of the pandemic, so they wanted to find somewhere with a little more open space. Luckily, her position with J. P. Morgan Chase allowed her to work from home, and they packed up and returned to her husband’s hometown of Allentown indefinitely. With her husband starting a remote position with a real estate firm in Washington, D.C., their future permanent location was unsure. But one thing that was definite was how much the Hymans enjoyed being in the Lehigh Valley. “We really just kind of fell in love with it here,” shared Hyman, who got to experience being a “room mom” at the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley. “That has been an incredibly warm, friendly, welcoming environment for us. We couldn’t physically connect with people in person, so it was nice for our son to have that outlet, something that was just his that he could do,” she said. The Hyman kids also enjoyed the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley’s Early Childhood Education and camp programs, and they were signed up for JDS again in Fall 2021. “We would love for this to be a longer term solution. My inlaws are here, and it’s been really great for our family,” said Hyman. “The people in Allentown have been so welcoming and warm, and even in a world where you have these health-related barriers to making connections, I still found other people from JDS were reaching out and encouraging planning fun activities for

students and finding ways for teachers to feel appreciated. It was definitely a positive insight into what a more normal life here would look like. The school has been a major, major factor for us.” Sybil Preisler moved to Kunkletown with her adult daughter, Tracy Haym, from the Morristown, New Jersey area, in February 2020. One month later, they found themselves in a brand new place in the middle of a global pandemic. “It was good for us to have a chance to unpack a little bit, but it closed everything down as far as our ability to meet people, but we did get to know the neighborhood a little bit,” said Preisler. They also became as involved as they could with Congregation Brith Sholom in Bethlehem through virtual programming throughout the year. “A friend of mine grew up in that synagogue and her parents are still very active. And they seem to be the kind of congregation that I had come from after 30 years being affiliated in New Jersey,” said Preisler. Even though she wasn’t able to visit in person for over a year, she enjoyed attending holiday services and taking classes online. “I felt very welcome when we received welcome packages for the High Holidays, Chanukah, Purim and Passover, which I thought was really, really nice,” added Preisler. Preisler and Haym chose their new home because they “wanted more of a country atmosphere,” and they are pleased to have found it. “We moved to a lovely lake community, and we can see the

Top left, Megan Hyman and family. Top right, Sybil Preisler. Above, Julie Fraenkel and parents.

lake from our house, just a few yards down the hill,” shared Preisler. A retired educator, Preisler now would recommend the Valley as an affordable place to live to others who share her interests in nature, gardening and mahjongg. “The best part has been being so close to nature all the time and yet close enough to shopping and medical care, which has been terrific,” she said. Julie Fraenkel is a young professional who found herself rushing back home at the start of the pandemic like so many others. She was working in the restaurant industry in New York for a few years after graduating from Bucknell University, but when COVID hit, her job was no longer an option. “I was actually with my dad the day before the city shut down. He works in finance and knew something was about to happen, so he said ‘you should just come home.’ I didn’t really pack anything, he woke me up at four in the morning, and I moved back home,” Fraenkel recalled.

After she got back to Allentown, Fraenkel got a remote job working in event sales for a gallery in New York. She used the time at home to reconnect with some old friends she grew up with at the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley and at BBYO. She also made a big decision about her career. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, so I’ve been earning my master’s from Lehigh University during COVID. The program has been virtual the whole time, so I’ve been able to be pretty flexible and take classes from anywhere. I’ve really been loving it,” shared Fraenkel. When she’s not checking out the new restaurants in Easton and Bethlehem with her new friends from Lehigh, Fraenkel is enjoying the slower pace of life in the Valley. “I loved every second of my childhood growing up here and everything at the JCC day camp and JDS. Now that I’m back, I’ve been taking advantage of being in the suburbs. I start every day with a really long walk with my dog, and that makes every day better,” said Fraenkel.


By Stephanie Smartschan No matter your stage of life, the Jewish community has something to offer you. In your 20s, 30s or 40s and looking to make connections? The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Young Adult Division or PJ for Parents program could be the place for you. Both offer the opportunity for younger adults to form friendships, celebrate holidays and participate in fun activities together. The Jewish Community Center offers a whole host of programs for adults, including classes and clubs for those who share a common interest along with entertaining and educational in-person and virtual events. Jewish Film Nights at the JCC offer a chance to screen and discuss topical films of Jewish interest. Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation offers interesting and exciting programs for women and the Federation’s Maimonides Society hosts brunches around health care topics. For the 50 plus crowd, Friendship Circle at the JCC is the place to be as members come together every week for luncheons, musical entertainment, art projects and more. Jewish Family Service also periodically hosts programs for adults, like recent webinar programs on mindfulness, family matters and advice for caregivers and the annual Phyllis Ringel Memorial Lecture. Local synagogues also frequently host programs for their adult members, and nonmembers are often invited to join. 8

Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

By Rabbi Nisan Andrews My family and I were happily settled in London when, unexpectedly, we found ourselves moving back to North America. I interviewed for several positions and, fortunately, was offered three different pulpits. One was in Chicago, the city where I attended Rabbinical seminary, married my wife, and two of my children were born. Another was in my native Canada, to where I have always wanted to return. However, Hannah (my wife) and I chose the third option, Congregation Sons of Israel in Allentown.

Allentown impressed us immensely. It is a city that has a small-town feel with a true sense of community. We observed widespread volunteerism; the work of the community did not just fall to a select few. Allentown wants for nothing in terms of Yiddishkeit, as Sons of Israel facilitates three minyanim every day, a Daf Yomi, and other regular classes given by rabbis and laypeople. The LVKC provides kosher facilities, a Chevreh Kadisha and Mikvah. We even have an Eruv which covers a substantial portion of the city. In addition to demonstrating that this is a

growth-oriented community, these are all ventures that neither a single person nor a small coterie could create. Education is also a strong suit of this community, with a local day school that creates an individualized curriculum for every student. Hannah is proud to be a Judaics teacher at the Jewish Day School. There are

further options for continued Jewish education with busing to secondary schools in Philadelphia. All of these factors brought us to Allentown. This hospitable community affectionately welcomed my family and me, and we are thrilled to carry that forward by warmly welcoming you.

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Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley raises money to support a world-wide network of organizations that do two things: care for people and nurture and sustain the Jewish community now and for future generations. Some of that money goes overseas – to Israel and to 70 countries around the world. Much of it stays right here in the Lehigh Valley, helping both Jews and non-Jews. Check us out at / jewishlehighvalley / jfedlv

Federation supports the only food bank in the 18104 zip code, serving 130 families a month at Jewish Family Service, and helps provide counseling to people of all backgrounds and transportation and more for older adults. We support the Keystone STAR 4-rated early childhood education program at the Jewish Community Center, along with a summer camp program, a fitness and aquatic program and community events open to everyone.

Our groups provide a collegial experience for women, young adults, health care professionals and anyone interested in friendship and philanthropy.

We bring Israel to the Lehigh Valley and brings Lehigh Valley residents to Israel, building people-to-people connections.

Federation publishes the only Jewish newspaper in the Lehigh Valley, the award-winning HAKOL.

Our staff and volunteers provide free Holocaust education in local public schools, focusing on building tolerance and reducing prejudice.

We host community events -- from celebrating Israel’s birthday to remembering those lost in the Holocaust.

Over $3.6 million is allocated to our community, Israel, and Jewish communities in need around the world.ool, synagogues and agencies.

We’re educating the next generation of Jewish leaders at the Jewish Day School who will work to make the world a better place.

Federation supports programs for children and teens like PJ Library, which provides free books to local Jewish children.

Federation advocates for causes that are important to Jewish people and provide forums to develop greater understanding of Jewish issues here and around the world.

We offer adult education and resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Federation advises all of our institutions and helps them apply for security grants at the state and federal levels.

Our community works with the Institute for Religious and Cultural Understanding at Muhlenberg College.



Brad Finberg’s pre-K picture is on the wall of the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley. He grew up going to school and camp there, and his parents were very involved in the Jewish community. Now that he’s running his own IT company, Finberg does what he can to support the community himself by providing his services to local Jewish agencies and synagogues. Fascinated with computers as a child, he studied them at Penn State University. Starting his first business while a student, now Micro-Innovation, LLC, keeps him busy as it continues to grow. “I chose to stay in the Lehigh Valley because we had people who knew us and our name was getting around. We got a following organically,” explained Finberg. He’s happy with the decision to stick to his roots now that he has a family of his own. “I would say that the Lehigh Valley has always been a great place for starting families. It is a great location between two big cities. [Where I live now] in Macungie, it is a very calming town with very friendly people and a lot of opportunities for young couples and their children to enjoy the area. It’s a wonderful place to live,” said Finberg.


Ellyn Elstein worked as a nurse for 10 years before she decided she wanted “to take away people’s pain in another way.” That’s how she became The Closet Lady® of Creative Closets Ltd.


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

In 1983, with a three-month-old in tow, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to starting the Allentown business that is now busier than ever. At the beginning, Elstein did closet installations and all the administration of the business herself out of a tiny basement room in her own home. Now, she has a 3,000 squarefoot showroom with 13 different display rooms, including Murphy beds, home offices, a wine cellar, a walk-in pantry, a laundry room and a mahogany dressing room. Creative Closets serves new homebuilders and custom clients along with commercial clients like hotels and universities. She’s also passed on her organizational and business savvy to her son, Andy, inventor of the Boot Butler. Elstein makes sure that her company gives back to the community, offering around 200 gift certificates a year to local charity auctions. She also personally has served on the boards of the Jewish Community Center and Temple Beth El. For 22 years, Elstein wrote the “Ask The Closet Lady” newspaper column, where she was happy to answer readers’ questions, and she still welcomes the chance to give advice to the community.

JAY’S LOCAL Lyell Scherline grew up attending the Jewish Day School and the Jewish Community Center in Allentown. He and his wife were living

in Manhattan but in the process of opening their restaurant, Jay’s Local, in Lyell’s hometown when the COVID-19 outbreak started. “It was just a helpful excuse for us to move back to the Valley,” explained Scherline. The “Jay” in Jay’s local is his father, Jay Scherline, z”l. The law practice he started is well-known in the community. With photos of him proudly on display and his handwriting adopted as their logo script, Jay’s memory is felt strongly in the cafe. “My dad was very involved in doing philanthropic work. He did so much for other people, so I try to keep in mind, how would my dad handle this?” said Scherline. The “Local” comes from their commitment to sourcing local ingredients. “My dad really fell in love with the Lehigh Valley, so that’s why we tried to showcase local farms and vendors,” said Scherline. Located near the Muhlenberg College campus, Scherline took student and faculty feedback seriously. “They wanted healthy options, snacks and good coffee with affordable prices and convenient hours. All that stuff we factored into the concept,” he said.

it’s also easy to get to the companies, you’re not dealing with terrible traffic situations. SLV: Can the Jewish community help professionals get started?

Tina Hamilton founded myHR Partner, Inc. in the Lehigh Valley 19 years ago. The company has now grown to the point where they can handle some or all of the human resources needs of businesses large or small. Because of Hamilton’s expertise in all things HR, we wanted to ask for her insight into the job market here in the Lehigh Valley. Shalom Lehigh Valley: What would you say are the biggest or best employment sectors in the Valley? Tina Hamilton: The nice thing about the Valley is we do have a well-rounded opportunity for employment here – you can find pretty much every industry, every sector. We have the two major hospital systems (Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health Network), of course, and so many colleges and universities. Some of the other major sectors are manufacturing and warehousing. Really, there’s an incredible demand for high quality office professionals at almost every level. It’s a great time to move here. SLV: What would you say to someone who just moved here and is looking to network? TH: It’s all up to the person and what they’re interested in. We have great opportunities with the Workforce Board development center that can give you help with everything

from resumes to finding jobs. There are lots of huge, free opportunities from networking industry groups through the Chamber of Commerce to groups like Allentown Young Professionals. Honestly, just getting involved in any industry groups would be a great start. The nice thing about the Lehigh Valley is that we’re large enough to be able to meet a lot of different people but small enough to really get to know people quickly. It’s kind of the best of both worlds between being close to a larger city but you won’t disappear in the crowd.

TH: I think I would say once you’re here, if you know no one, get involved right away with the JCC or a synagogue and start asking a few people about looking for work. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly they can make connections. It’s so different from a big city. I’m confident you’ll meet a few people and they’ll help you really get started. About Tina: Tina Hamilton is CEO and President of myHR Partner, Inc. She also writes a monthly newspaper column for The Morning Call and is a regular contributor to Tina was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, where she started her employment experience working at the corner deli owned by her father, a Holocaust survivor.

SLV: What do you look for when you’re hiring a new prospect? TH: There’s great opportunity for anybody in the Valley who comes here with a steady work history – that is #1. Someone who really understands the value of old-fashioned work ethic combined with a modern approach to work, with the latest technologies. So many companies are hiring remote positions, that’s the biggest demand we have right now. A lot of Lehigh Valley companies are modern enough and in tune enough for that. But the reason people like to come here for remote work is that you can be remote, but



Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23


By Rabbi Steven Nathan Jewish tradition teaches "each Jew is responsible for one another." We are an interdependent people. That is how we have survived and thrived over so many millennia in spite of the fact that so many have tried to destroy us. The Lehigh Valley Jewish community certainly understands this, as do its clergy members. This is not something which we should take for granted. I've lived in other communities where the clergy had difficulties cooperating. This is not the case at all in the Lehigh Valley. And it's one of the things I treasure most about living here. Clergy cooperation, and collaboration, are not just given "lip service" here.

Front row: L-R: Rabbi Melody Davis, Congregation Bnai Shalom; Rabbi Allen Juda, retired Congregation Brith Sholom, currently JFS president; Rabbi Moshe Re'em, Temple Beth El. Back row: L-R: Rabbi Michael Singer, Congregation Brith Sholom; Rabbi Steven Nathan, Lehigh University Hillel; Rabbi Nisan Andrews, Congregation Sons of Israel; Rabbi Seth Phillips, Congregation Keneseth Israel. Not pictured: Rabbi Marjorie Berman, Temple Israel of Lehighton; Rabbi Yaakov Halperin, Chabad of the Lehigh Valley; Student Rabbi Armin Langer, Congregation Am Haskalah; Cantor Jill Pakman, Congregation Bnai Shalom; Cantor Ellen Sussman, Temple Shirat Shalom; Cantor Robert Weiner, Congregation Bnai Shalom.

Once a month, the Jewish Clergy Group of the Lehigh Valley meets to discuss how we can best serve our community, ways in which we can collaborate, and simply to create a community of colleagues. Conservative, Reform, Chabad, Modern Orthodox, Reconstructionist…

we all support each other and work together in order to serve our community. It's my pleasure to serve as the chairperson of this wonderful group of colleagues. On behalf of all of us we say "Shalom Lehigh Valley!" May this be a year of joy and fulfillment for all of us.

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Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23


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By Stephanie Smartschan

By Stephanie Smartschan Each and every newcomer to the Jewish community is a blessing to be welcomed. Especially when those newcomers are also new to this world. Friendly volunteers from the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Women’s Philanthropy division are excited to reach out to local Jewish families upon the arrival of a new baby. The volunteers then set up a time convenient for the family to pay a visit and say Shalom. They bring with them a bag of goodies, gifts from local Jewish organizations and businesses. With permission of course, the baby is then photographed in his or her brand new Shalom Baby bib for publication in the community Jewish newspaper, HAKOL. Are you expecting or have you recently had a baby? Or know someone who has? Contact Abby Trachtman at 610-821-5500 or abbyt@ to schedule your visit.

For more than 10 years, PJ Library in the Lehigh Valley has brought Jewish families together through stories, friendships and meaningful experiences. Free Jewish-themed books arrive in the mail each month, delighting more than 300 children ages six months through eight years who are enrolled in the program. After that, it gets even better, as nine-to-11-year-olds choose their own books through PJ Our Way. “Anna looks forward to her PJ Library books each month,” her parents, Cecilia and Jonathan Bloch, said. “The books are very colorful and child-friendly as well as educational. They help to teach her good values and to teach her about her Jewish heritage. She asks to read them over and over again throughout the month.” PJ Library also frequently hosts events for families – in person and virtual – to celebrate Jewish holidays, offer age-appropriate Jewish content and allow families to meet and form bonds. “We’ve loved getting to know other Jewish families in the Valley!” parent Brie Marks said. “PJ Library events are a great way to introduce our girls to Jewish traditions and meet others in the community.”

Ross Born considers it “beshert” that his grandfather moved his candy business to Bethlehem in 1932. Just Born Quality Confections has been here ever since, now run by Born and his cousin, David Shaffer. Born attended the Jewish Day School, “lived” at the JCC as a kid, and had his bar mitzvah at Temple Beth El. He and his wife, Wendy, have both led boards and committees at local organizations in both the Jewish and greater communities. Giving back is so important to

Families with kids ages 6 months through 8 years old with Judaism as part of their lives, are welcome to sign up, regardless of their Jewish background, knowledge, or observance. Visit to learn more.

him, in fact, that Just Born has an entire community affairs department focused on it. “There are good people here. We couldn’t have our business succeed without good people,” said Born. “We look at ourselves not just as a Jewish business but also as a responsible citizen of the community, so we support the community in many different ways.”


The Lehigh Valley and its surrounding area offer four seasons of fun for all ages. From picturesque hiking and biking trails to skiing, swimming and family attractions, there are so many spots to choose from. To help you narrow it down, we asked families in our community: What are your favorite places to visit in and around the Lehigh Valley and why?


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

Above, The Busch Family at Blue Mountain Resort, Palmerton. We love skiing at Blue Mountain! We are a mixed family in terms of skiing abilities, and Blue Mountain enables us to all ski together and spend some quality time together as a family outdoors, even when it’s freezing out. Left, The Kolpon Family in Jim Thorpe. We love seeing the beautiful fall leaves, riding the train, visiting the town, camping nearby at Mauch Chunk Lake Park, kayaking, and of course hiking and going to the beach there.

Above, The Smartschan Family at Lake Nockamixon, Quakertown. There’s nothing better than a beautiful summer day paddle boarding on the lake. We bring our own boards and like the Haycock Boat Launch, but you can also rent canoes, kayaks and more at the main marina. Above right, The Volchko Family at Grim’s Orchard and Family Farms, Breinigsville. We love picking fruits and vegetables, the smells of fall and getting to run around outside. Right, The Marlin Family at Sunflower Garden at St. Luke’s University Hospital - Anderson Campus, Bethlehem. This was truly a hidden gem! It was free, quiet, fun for the kids to run around and gave them an appreciation of our beautiful surroundings.



Women’s Philanthropy:

JOIN THE FUN AND BE A FORCE FOR GOOD By Stephanie Smartschan A multi-generational community of Jewish women in the Lehigh Valley from all walks of life have discovered the ful-

Beth Kushnick, Women’s Philanthropy president

Family is important to you.

And us.

Country Meadows is family owned and managed. We understand the value of taking care of families and have been serving seniors for over 30 years. We offer a full range of lifestyle options and fellowship on a vibrant campus. Our residents enjoy chef-prepared meals, social hours and fitness classes all week, Jewish study sessions on Fridays, Shabbat services each month and life every day. Call today to learn more, or to schedule a tour and a complimentary lunch in our gourmet Bistro café.

410 N. Krocks Road, Allentown (minutes from Route 22 & I-78) 610-395-7160 Independent Living | Personal Care | Memory Care | Restorative Care 2018_Allentown’s Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23 Shalom Lehigh Valley 2018 Directory.indd


5/25/18 8:29 AM

fillment and powerful impact that comes from being a part of Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation. Through hands-on community service and donations, these women help people in need and keep Jewish life in the Lehigh Valley and around the world strong and vibrant. They volunteer together, learn together, travel together and party together at fun events that forge meaningful connections between like-minded women. They also have the opportunity to hear fascinating speakers, build relationships and stay on top of issues affecting the Jewish community so they can become informed leaders among their peers. “Our collective philanthropy enriches our own lives while improving the lives of others,” said Beth Kushnick, Women’s Philanthropy president. “I hope you will join us to be a part of our impactful community.” Whether you are new to the area or have been here for years, there are many ways to get involved. By making a gift to the Jewish Federation, you can join one of Women’s Philanthropy’s giving societies – Chai Club, Dollar-a-Day, Pomegranate or Lion of Judah. There are also many engagement opportunities available, bringing together groups of women at similar life stages. Fun events open to everyone take place throughout the year. Women’s Philanthropy’s “New in the Valley” group offers a chance for women new to the area or looking to get more involved to learn more about the community and meet other community members. To learn more, contact the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley at 610-8215500 or visit women.

By Aaron Gorodzinsky Are you a health care professional in the Lehigh Valley? Talk to us about joining the Maimonides Society. The society, the first of its kind in the nation, brings together all healthcare professionals, from nurses and physician assistants to dentists and doctors within all specialties, with two objectives in mind: to connect with each other and to keep our community healthy. Members of the Maimonides Society raise funds to support the Jewish community and provide learning opportunities open to everyone. A directory of Maimonides members is published each year and distributed community-wide and can be accessed online at maimonides. In 2022, we are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Maimonides Society with over 110 proud members who are committed to keeping our community both physically and mentally healthy. To celebrate this momentous occasion, and to honor the memory of Dr. Michel Ufberg, z”l, one of our founding members who passed away in 2021, we are purchasing and donating an ambucycle that will save lives daily in Israel. To learn more about the Maimonides Society, or if you’re a medical professional and would like to be a member of the society, visit our website at www.




By Stephanie Goodling

In 2017, Rabbi Michael Singer of Congregation Brith Sholom in Bethlehem saw the spikes of antisemitism and hate on the national news and wanted


to change interfaith relations in his city. To do so, he ended up going door to door at local houses of worship to get the conversation started. Now, the

Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

project has expanded beyond his expectations. “In a world that often divides us by race and economics and politics and religion, we wanted to create an organization that could put forward a positive vision for community and bring people to learn together, have fellowship together and pursue social justice together right here in the community. It was in response to hate, really, but what we’ve been able to do is something that’s radically different, which is really bring about a lot of good,” said Singer. From those small beginnings, the Bethlehem Interfaith Group (BIG) has now grown to include over 20 faith groups, from Muslims to many denominations of Christians to the Jewish congregations of Brith Sholom and Am Haskalah. They meet monthly, basing their mission on education, social justice and friendship. Their activities range from book discussions and movie screenings to days of prayer and Thanksgiving services to “faith crawls” where members visit different houses of worship. They’ve participated together in end of Ramadan celebrations, a Passover Seder, school supply drives and calling for action on climate

change. “Everywhere that we can come together and work together, we’ve been doing that. And the relationships that we’ve forged together, those are priceless. We pray for each other when someone is sick, the community is able to lift each other up when someone is having a difficult moment. It’s really a blessing to put forward a positive vision of community and create something that fosters closer ties and relationships together and celebrate our differences at the same time. That’s the beauty of it,” said Singer. In 2021, BIG gained 501(c)3 status. Singer has stepped down as president, a role which has been taken on by Rev. Beth Goudy of Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley. “I think it so really important for spiritual leaders, of course, we are to care for our respective flocks, absolutely, but then we’re also called beyond that to make connections and work with others of different faiths, to make a better world,” said Goudy. “There is good, solid interfaith work being done and being done again to build a better and more equitable Lehigh Valley.”

By Stephanie Goodling Forget fighting traffic to get to the mall or spending hours scrolling online. The Lehigh Valley boasts some great synagogue gift shops that have everything you need to find your next gift. At Temple Beth El in Allentown, they will help you pick it out, wrap it and even do drop-offs. “We’ve set up contactless pick-up now, too. I’ve even FaceTimed people from the shop. We all appreciate our customers,” said Jill Steigerwald, who runs the store which supports the TBE Sisterhood. Their #1 best-seller is mezuzahs, but they have anything and everything Judaica: Kiddush cups, menorahs, Seder plates, shofars, tzedakah boxes, Shabbat candlesticks, challah boards, dreidels and more. They carry jewelry, hostess gifts and children’s toys.

“We have things at every price point. Some are pretty unique, and we have things made in Israel,” added Steigerwald. At Congregation Brith Sholom in Bethlehem, they have a smaller shop, but one that is curated with just as much care. “One of the things I’ve tried to do is support small and local businesses. I’m just always looking for different things because I really want to provide something unusual. A lot of our suppliers are women-run businesses, too,” said Micki Wechsler, who organizes the shop for her congregation. While Wechsler’s displays in the Brith Sholom building are smaller, they still have a lovely selection of Judaica such as tallit and holiday items that change with the seasons. Both shops take special orders and work with their customers to find just the right item for them. You can also shop online at www. or


5 ways our community

FIGHTS ANTISEMITISM By Aaron Gorodzinsky With antisemitism on the rise, it is more important than ever to educate and advocate. The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Community Relations Council, made up of a cross-section of community members, is focused on fighting prejudice, whether right here at home or anywhere in the world. Here are five of the ways we do it:

1. We advocate for legislation Our Federation advocated for the passage of Act 70 in 2014, giving all the schools in the state of Pennsylvania the necessary tools, training and funding to teach about the Holocaust. By 2017, 90% of all school entities in the state reported that they were providing education on Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations within social studies and language arts courses. In 2016, our state became the 14th state to pass anti-BDS legislation, prohibiting the state from contracting with organizations and businesses that boycott the State of Israel or engage in boycotts against Israel while doing business with the state. Our Community Relations Council advocated for the passage of this legislation as well. 2. We help protect our Jewish institutions On Nov. 7, 2019, Act 83 was signed into law, establishing the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program and allowing us to apply for additional security funding to protect our institutions. This program has allowed our Jewish community to apply for hundreds of thousands of dollars in security funding to complement the Federal Nonprofit Security Grant. The security committee of our CRC is helping all local Jewish institutions apply for and obtain security grants. 3. We educate ourselves Our CRC frequently hosts programs to educate the community and make sure we have the necessary tools to fight against antisemitism in all of its forms. These programs range from combating antisemitism on social media and in online video gaming to preventing and combating antisemitism in our schools and universities. They are often geared toward high school and college students. 4. We engage with our elected officials We are a community that communicates often with our elected officials regardless of party affiliation. We meet with them often, and we work with their staff to ensure they are aware of the needs in our community. 5. We take our elected officials to Israel It is hard to explain the vital importance of the US-Israel relationship to our elected officials if they have never had the opportunity to tour Israel and experience the complexities of the country. We support missions to bring local elected officials to Israel and many have already made the trip. To learn more about the work of our Community Relations Council or get involved, visit www.


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Want to visit Israel?

LET FEDERATION HELP GET YOU THERE By Stephanie Smartschan Planning a trip to Israel on your own can be intimidating. Where to begin? Where are the best places to stay? Which shop has the best falafel? Traveling to Israel on a Jewish Federation mission, however, can help to lighten the mental load and allow you to enjoy a top-notch experience. Federation missions also offer the opportunity to see some of the good work happening in Israel and the chance to bond with other community members. As a bonus, you’ll build relationships with Israeli residents of the Lehigh Valley’s Partnership2Gether community in Yoav. To learn more about upcoming trips, visit missions.

Want your kids to visit Israel?


By Stephanie Smartschan After their son spent time in Israel with Pinemere Camp, Karen and Patrick Dacey knew they wanted their daughter to have the same experience. Fortunately, they found the VISIT Israel program that will help make her trip more affordable. VISIT enrollees have the opportunity to save up to $2,400 toward an approved group trip to Israel over eight years. The families contribute $300 each year, and the Federation adds $200, for a total of up to $4,000 plus accrued interest. “We thought it was a great opportunity to take advantage of the match that comes from Federation as well as to slowly put money aside for her trip,” Karen said. “We found the registration process very easy,” she continued. “It was a phone call to the Federation office. Fill out a form and write a check and from then the statements just come to our home, we can just add the money yearly until she’s ready to go.” VISIT participants may use their funds from the summer after 9th grade until they are 25 years old. The VISIT program is designed to fund Israel programs that emphasize Jewish learning or living experiences for a period of at least four weeks in Israel.

By Gavriel Siman-Tov Israeli: Hi, I’m from Israel. Nice to meet you! Someone who has never been to Israel: Oh wow, that's so cool! What’s your camel’s name?* Trust me, any Israeli can relate to this scenario in this form or any other. I'm still not 100% sure why Israel is so related to camels in people’s minds when there are other countries that have so many more of them, but it is what it is. Well the answer is we don’t ride camels to school or to work. I’ll say most Israelis might have been on a camel only as a tourist attraction and nothing more. This is the job of the Israeli shaliach, or emissary. So, okay, it’s really not only to tell people we do not ride camels, but it’s also to bring Israel into the community in any aspects you can imagine, from the idea of a Jewish state to the best food to eat in Tel Aviv. To enforce the connection between the Jewish community to their second home to Israel, starting with early childhood education and going all the way up to older adults, bringing this connection and the real Israel to anyone in the community who wants it. It’s a program by the Jewish Agency for Israel, designed to keep a strong bond between Israel and Jewish people all over the world. A shaliach joins a community outside of Israel for two years, doing life and running programs that share their unique perspective of what it’s like living in Israel. The idea is to bring and show what Israel is really all about -- the good, the bad and everything in between, to see the colorful and the vibrant Israel. Your community shaliach is looking forward to meeting you and introducing you to their Israel! *Yes, you can find a camel to ride on while in Israel.

To learn more, visit


Keep Kosher,

Easier Shop our large selection of Kosher foods along with our Certified Kosher Bakery at the Tilghman Square GIANT


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23


Every Jewish community is built around a host of diverse opportunities for involvement. In the Lehigh Valley, you’ll find plenty of ways to get involved, whether through volunteerism, educational options, synagogue membership or more. “All of the elements you need to build a successful Jewish life in the Lehigh Valley can be found here, whatever your level of observance may be,” said Rabbi Jonathan Powers, director of kosher supervision for the Lehigh Valley Kashrut Commission.

AROUND THE TABLE KOSHER INC. 702 N. 22nd St., Allentown BINAH WINERY 905 Harrison St., Ste. 131, Allentown CARVEL ICE CREAM 2364 Catasauqua Rd., Bethlehem GIANT SUPERMARKET BAKERY 3100 W. Tilghman St., Allentown

9 synagogues of all denominations

LVKC kosher establishments

Eruv (in Allentown)

GIANT SUPERMARKET FRESH FISH 3100 W. Tilghman St., Allentown (only those marked with an LVKC sticker) GIANT SUPERMARKET PRODUCE PLATTERS 3100 W. Tilghman St., Allentown (only by pre-order)

Community mikvah

Chevra kadisha

Jewish newspaper

MANHATTAN BAGEL 3100 Tilghman St., Allentown (bagged & marked bagels available on Sundays & Fridays if pre-ordered) MENCHIE’S FROZEN YOGURT 353 S. Ceder Crest Blvd., Allentown (Toppings are not certified kosher) RITA’S ITALIAN ICES 1908 Tilghman St., Allentown

Jewish education and childcare (from six weeks through 8th grade) 32

Supportive community that cares for older adults and those in need

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Philanthropic and volunteer opportunities

WEIS MARKET BAKERY 1500 Cedar Crest Blvd., Allentown (Bread, cakes and more; only those items with an LVKC Kosher label) Look for the LVKC labels/signs at the above locations. For an updated list and for kosher alerts, visit


By Bayley Carl There are some fabulous local options year-round in the Lehigh Valley for families looking for a Jewish-based education. The Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley has its own Early Childhood Education program. At the JCC, children of all faiths are embraced. They proudly teach Jewish values - which are universal values - such as charity, kindness and taking care of the world in which we live. In addition, children celebrate Jewish and Israeli culture through food, song and story. Attending school at the JCC comes along with many of the same benefits as being a member at the JCC and attending camp at the JCC. The use of their pools and facilities is great! The Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley is a community school that focuses on the individual needs of the child, connection to their community and celebration of Jewish traditions. The JDS serves families with children ranging in age from pre-K to eighth grade. At the JDS, they focus on small class sizes, individualized learning and a holistic educational approach. Character development and civic responsibility are as important as what is learned from a textbook. Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, located in Bryn Mawr, is an excellent choice of high school which buses students from the Lehigh Valley. Barrack is the nation’s first pluralistic Jewish secondary school. The academy prides itself on having a challenging and inspiring education plan. Another option many local students attend is the Modern Orthodox Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Merion Station. Chabad of the Lehigh Valley is based in Allentown and also offers a preschool program. Their focus is on the spiritual and social needs of local Jews of all ages. They hope to inspire their students to nourish their own relationships to Judaism. Acceptance of every Jew regardless of background or prior experience is the hallmark of Chabad’s philosophy. When it comes to summer, kids don’t have to sleepaway to get a great camp experience. In 2021, the JCC unveiled a new outdoor pool. This provided their day campers with an all-new experience. The JCC of the Lehigh Valley offers several different options for camp. It offers a Vacation Camp for grades pre-K through sixth grade. Another option is Camp Adventure, which is a traditional outdoor day camp, running all summer, for grades pre-K through eighth grade. It also offers a wide variety of specialty camps, from theatre to cooking and everything in between, and post-camp, which runs through the end of summer. Chabad also offers their own day camp, Camp Gan Israel, affectionately known as “Gan Izzy.” They also emphasize a love of Jewish heritage and Israel, along with a full itinerary of traditional camp activities. 34

Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

By Bayley Carl Sleepaway summer camp is a beloved Jewish tradition, and there are so many great choices close to home in the Lehigh Valley. Pinemere Camp, located in the beautiful Pocono mountains, feels more like family to many of its campers. This is likely due to the fact that over 90% of families return the next summer for another year of camp. Pinemere aims to have the best summer, every summer. It accomplishes this by creating an environment that its campers want to return to, and also by growing with its campers! Days at Pinemere are packed tightly with activities. In addition to their regular programs, they have various Jewish leadership camps. “Pinemere feels like my son’s home away from home. The minute he arrives at camp he feels like he is returning to a special place. You can see it in his face. He is just SO happy to be there. The staff knows all of the campers, and the kids all know one another, no matter what the age. It is a large extended family that emphasizes Jewish identity and Jewish values,” said one parent. Camp Galil, located in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, is less than an hour outside Philadelphia, New York City and most New Jersey addresses. Galil runs programming for their campers across the tri-state area all year round. From their summer camp sessions to fall and spring seminars at camp and celebrations of Jewish holidays to bowling trips and community service projects. At Camp Galil they focus on fostering friendships that will last their campers lifetimes. They strive to facilitate activities for their campers to stay connected throughout the year. Camp Ramah in the Poconos has over 200 staff members during the summer, the majority of whom were once some of their 400 some campers from one of the summers before. They take a multi-generational approach to their staffing, and many of their campers move on to become staff members. As their families grow, they too

become part of the experience. “At Camp Ramah we promote a culture of inclusion and innovation when it comes to programming for your child. In the bunk, their edah (age group), and among the camp as a whole, your child will experience creative, experiential and just plain off-the-wall fun programming as part of their camp experience,” said a representative from Ramah. Camp Harlam in Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, is one of 15 Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) overnight camps across North America. Camp Harlam consists of smaller communities within Junior Camp, Senior Camp, and the Gesher (Counselor in Training) Program. “The mission of Camp Harlam is to create a vibrant, fun and caring camp community which enriches and strengthens Reform Jewish identity and values while cultivating lifelong friendships,” the camp said in a statement on their website. Camp Moshava in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, aims to educate all members of its camping community to make Aliyah and to establish a model society in Eretz Yisrael, which will serve as an Or La Goyim. At the heart of this endeavor is Bnei Akiva’s ideology of Torah Va’Avodah and Religious Zionism. Permeating all aspects of camp life, Torah Va’Avodah emphasizes the importance of interpersonal rela-

tions, social justice and contributing to community within the framework of Torah and Halacha. As Young Judaea’s national teen leadership camp, Camp Tel Yehuda in New York works each summer to create a diverse and warm teen community dedicated to building lasting friendships, exploring our identities and beliefs, changing the world and, of course, having fun. CYJ Sprout Lake is located in the Hudson Valley of New York. They are a non-denominational camp that aims to inspire Jewish children to live their best lives, connect to Israel and the Jewish people, and to make a difference in the world. Their intimate camp size (maximum 225 campers per session), innovative and inclusive programming, and state of the art sports are key features of their program. And Camp Havaya in the Poconos trains the next generation of rabbis, supports and uplifts congregations and havurot, fostering emerging expressions of Jewish life and encouraging people to be their best selves — always helping to shape what it means to be Jewish today and to imagine the Jewish future.


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By Stephanie Goodling No matter what your affiliation, there is a religious school for your family in the Lehigh Valley. Conservative synagogues Congregation Brith Sholom of Bethlehem and Temple Beth El of Allentown teamed up to provide a virtual school to their students during the pandemic, but each have a robust school of their own. TBE breaks down objectives for each grade from pre-K through seventh on learning about Judaic basics, Hebrew, prayer, Israel, holidays and traditions, and history and heritage. They also have youth choirs and special youth services. TBE is home to the large pluralistic high school youth group experience that teens from across the Lehigh Valley are welcome to join. Brith Sholom also serves kindergarten through seventh grades, and they offer a United Synagogue Youth group for teens. The teens help plan events from lock-ins and outdoor games to movies and laser tag, and are also involved in the religious life and social justice

work of the congregation. Congregation Bnai Shalom of Easton has a mixture of Conservative and Reform traditions in their services. They are offering free religious school to all members. Students enjoy many holiday activities and service projects throughout the year. Another Reform congregation is Congregation Keneseth Israel in Allentown. Their program goes from kindergarten to tenth grade, and includes a variety of clubs and activities that aim to foster Jewish relationships that will encourage students to view the world through Jewish eyes, as well as a youth engagement program. The Reform Temple Shirat Shalom religious school in Allentown meets just once a week and offers hands-on learning from cooking classes to field trips, which other family members are welcome to attend. Congregation Am Haskalah seeks to foster in their students a strong and joyful Reconstructionist Jewish identity in an exciting and engaging environment. They teach skills and

understanding in Hebrew, religious literacy, life cycle events, as well as Jewish history, values, ethics and culture. They work with Post-B’nai Mitzvah teens, as well. The Orthodox Congregation Sons of Israel has youth programming for all ages, which includes chesed projects and edible crafts. And at Chabad of the Lehigh Valley, there is both a Hebrew school and an active CTeens program, where students can engage in fun and mitzvah projects. 37

Gather And Grow

Chabad of the Lehigh Valley

Judaism Done Joyfully



Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley has a variety of services and programs that address the needs of the community. Whether it’s battling food insecurity, social isolation or mental health issues, the staff and volunteers of JFS are here for you. The Community Food Pantry serves all Jewish individuals and families in the Lehigh Valley, as well as our neighbors throughout the 18104 zip code. The pantry was able to adapt and stay running throughout the height of the pandemic to continue to safely distribute food and necessities to over 100 households per month. Each summer, our pantry enjoys donations from local farms like

By Stephanie Goodling The vision of Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley is that “no one in our community should suffer hunger, isolation, abandonment, emotional or physical distress, or lack of community support and caring.” Part of the way that JFS manifests that vision is through a variety of dynamic programs for their clients and community members. And it takes a dedicated crew of volunteers to make those initiatives possible. One such volunteer is Dr. Sam

the Monocacy Farm Project and through our generous donors who give of their own bounty in the Plant a Row for JFS program. Our older adults are valued members of our community, and JFS makes an effort to let them know they are always remembered. Our Mazel Meals program continues to grow, with volunteers delivering made from scratch kosher meals to dozens of recipients each month. JFS volunteers also visit residential facilities to conduct Shabbat services and holiday programming periodically. There are fun groups like the retired men’s monthly Schmooze & Schmear and other ways to connect like Phone-A-Friend and Better

Together. JFS is also able to offer clients help with transportation and guidance on aging resources. And for all ages, JFS’s clinical team offers counseling services to deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress management, bereavement and more. JFS is dedicated to supporting the physical, mental and emotional well-being of our community. We offer

lectures on a range of health topics and are involved with advocacy through the annual Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month each February and throughout the year. JFS is always here for the community, and is always looking for more volunteers!

Bub, who helps run the retired men’s Schmooze and Schmear monthly meetings. His experience practicing family medicine gives him insight into why it’s so important for older people to stay connected with others. “One thing that helps us age successfully is maintaining relationships. It’s been a real privilege. I’ve probably gotten more out of it than what I put into it, and it’s rewarding to see how people are responding to this,” said Bub. His co-facilitator of Schmooze and Schmear is Leon Zoller, who

also volunteers in leading Shabbat services at long-term care residences, delivering fresh-made kosher meals to older adults through the monthly Mazel Meals program and with other JFS activities. “I’ve been delivering Mazel Meals for so long now, they all call me by first name. It’s not just dropping off a package. I love it,” shared Zoller. Others help behind the scenes to keep crucial services like the Community Food Pantry running. “It’s just a part of giving back. Now that I’m retired, I enjoy giving back to the community. I find that volunteering is very fulfilling, and it’s a good use of my time,” said volunteer Larry Center. Albert Derby also helps out with the food pantry by picking up fresh produce each week from the Monocacy Farm Project and occasionally making other stops like at the Second Harvest warehouse in Nazareth.

“I enjoy helping the pantry. Knowing people are getting some fresh vegetables into their diet is nice to know,” said Derby, whose wife, Eva, also volunteers with JFS. “It’s been the best decision I made in terms of volunteer work. The very first time I went there, I knew it was the place I wanted to be,” she agreed. All of these volunteers agree that volunteering with JFS is a meaningful way to spend their time. “My wife and I found everything here already when we came here from South Africa in 1977 -- all the different temples and JCC. It’s been due to the charitable work of people that preceded us, and I think it’s really important we give back. That’s why I volunteer,” added Bub.

To learn more, visit

If you’d like to volunteer with Jewish Family Service, contact Chelsea Karp at 610-821-8722 or




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Jewish Population

U.S. Regions for Remote Work

Drive from New York City

Total Population


By Stephanie Smartschan The backbone of any community or organization is a strong endowment fund. Through strategic investment selection, low fees and experienced management, the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation has significantly outperformed its benchmarks in recent years, reaching $40 million in 2021. Housed at the Jewish Federation, this fund serves to secure the future of the entire local Jewish community. Hundreds of community members and nearly all local Jewish organizations have invested in the foundation and helped to ensure continuity of Jewish life for future generations. You, too, can be a part of this endeavor. Contact the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500 or or visit to learn more.



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1150 Glenlivet Drive Allentown, PA 18106

610.395.0980 | |






MAR 17



APR 16-23

APR 6-13


JUN 5-6

MAY 27-28



JUL 27


SEP 26-27

SEP 16-17



SEP 25


OCT 10-11



OCT 17



OCT 18



DEC 19-26

DEC 8-15



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CANDLE LIGHTING TIMES JEWISH YEAR 5782 (2021 - 2022) Oct 1 Bereshit 6:25 Oct 8 Noach 6:14 Oct 15 Lech-Lecha 6:03 Oct 22 Vayera 5:53 Oct 29 Chayei Sara 5:43 Nov 5 Toldot 5:35 Nov 12 Vayetzei 4:28 Nov 19 Vayishlach 4:23 Nov 26 Vayeshev 4:19 Dec 3 Miketz 4:17 Dec 10 Vayigash 4:17 Dec 17 Vayechi 4:18 Dec 24 Shemot 4:22 Dec 31 Vaera 4:27 Jan 7 Bo 4:33 Jan 14 Beshalach 4:40 Jan 21 Yitro 4:48 Jan 28 Mishpatim 4:57 Feb 4 Terumah 5:05 Feb 11 Tetzaveh 5:14 Feb 18 Ki Tisa 5:22 Feb 25 Vayakhel 5:31 Mar 4 Pekudei 5:38 Mar 11 Vayikra 5:46 Mar 18 Tzav 6:54 Mar 25 Shmini 7:01 Apr 1 Tazria 7:08 Apr 8 Metzora 7:16 Apr 15 Pesach 7:23 Apr 16 Pesach 8:25 Apr 21 Pesach 7:29 Apr 22 Pesach 7:30 Apr 29 Achrei Mot 7:38 May 6 Kedoshim 7:45 May 13 Emor 7:52 May 20 Behar 7:59 May 27 Bechukotai 8:05 Jun 3 Bamidbar 8:10 Jun 4 Shavuot 9:19 Jun 5 Shavuot 9:19 Jun 10 Nasso 8:14

Jun 17 Jun 24 Jul 1 Jul 8 Jul 15 Jul 22 Jul 29 Aug 5 Aug 12 Aug 19 Aug 26 Sep 2 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23

Beha’alotcha Sh’lach Korach Chukat Balak Pinchas Matot-Masei Devarim Vaetchanan Eikev Re’eh Shoftim Ki Teitzei Ki Tavo Nitzavim

8:17 8:19 8:18 8:17 8:13 8:08 8:02 7:54 7:45 7:36 7:25 7:14 7:03 6:51 6:39

JEWISH YEAR 5783 (2022 - 2023) Sep 25 Rosh Hashanah 6:36 Sep 26 Rosh Hashanah 7:33 Sep 30 Vayeilech 6:27 Oct 4 Yom Kippur 6:21 Oct 7 Ha’Azinu 6:16 Oct 9 Sukkot 6:13 Oct 10 Sukkot 7:10 Oct 14 Sukkot 6:05 Oct 16 Shmini Atzeret 6:02 Oct 17 Simchat Torah 7:00 Oct 21 Bereshit 5:55 Oct 28 Noach 5:45 Nov 4 Lech-Lecha 5:37 Nov 11 Vayera 4:29 Nov 18 Chayei Sara 4:24 Nov 25 Toldot 4:19 Dec 2 Vayetzei 4:17 Dec 9 Vayishlach 4:16 Dec 16 Vayeshev 4:18 Dec 23 Miketz 4:21 Dec 30 Vayigash 4:26 Jan 6 Vayechi 4:32 Jan 13 Shemot 4:39 Jan 20 Vaera 4:47 Jan 27 Bo 4:55

Feb 3 Feb 10 Feb 17 Feb 24 Mar 3 Mar 10 Mar 17 Mar 24 Mar 31 Apr 5 Apr 6 Apr 7 Apr 11 Apr 12 Apr 14 Apr 21 May 5 May 12 May 19 May 25 May 26 Jun 2 Jun 9 Jun 16 Jun 23 Jun 30 Jul 7 Jul 14 Jul 21 Jul 28 Aug 4 Aug 11 Aug 18 Aug 25 Sep 1 Sep 8 Sep 15

Beshalach Yitro Mishpatim Terumah Tetzaveh Ki Tisa Vayakhel-Pekudei Vayikra Tzav Pesach Pesach Pesach Pesach Pesach Shmini Tazria-Metzora Emor Behar-Bechukotai Bamidbar Shavuot Shavuot Nasso Beha’alotcha Sh’lach Korach Chukat-Balak Pinchas Matot-Masei Devarim Vaetchanan Eikev Re’eh Shoftim Ki Teitzei Ki Tavo Nitzavim-Vayeilech Rosh Hashanah

5:04 5:12 5:21 5:29 5:37 5:45 6:52 7:00 7:07 7:12 8:13 7:14 7:19 8:20 7:22 7:29 7:44 7:51 7:57 8:03 8:04 8:09 8:13 8:17 8:18 8:19 8:17 8:14 8:09 8:03 7:56 7:47 7:37 7:27 7:16 7:05 6:53

*Havdalah time of 50 minutes. Source: Consult your congregation for more detailed holiday candle lighting times.

DIRECTORY OF JEWISH AGENCIES & SYNAGOGUES program starting in pre-K, Spanish and video production. Our personalized learning process features a supportive learning culture, differentiated instruction and age-appropriate opportunities to explore in a safe and creative environment. P


2004 W. Allen Street, Allentown 610.821.8722 JFS is a nonprofit social service agency that provides a multitude of services including counseling, case management, a community food pantry and educational programs. We have dedicated staff whose sole focus is to help older adults age successfully in the Lehigh Valley. Our robust volunteer program offers a wide range of opportunities to get involved and impact the community. With a high level of professionalism and regard for confidentiality, JFS is here to empower individuals and families to live healthier lives and cope more effectively with life's challenges. S, SA



702 N. 22nd Street, Allentown 610.821.5500 The Jewish Federation is a nonprofit organization that funds and supports a community-wide network of organizations primarily responsible for caring for people in need here at home, in Israel and around the world as well as nurturing and sustaining the Jewish community today and for future generations. We provide many avenues for involvement in Jewish life and support causes important to the Jewish community. We are the engine for Jewish communal life in the Lehigh Valley. We are HERE FOR GOOD, and we hope you’ll join us. AE, SA


702 N. 22nd Street, Allentown 610.435.3571 The Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley is a nonprofit community center, whose mission is to build community through educational and recreational programs inspired by Jewish values. We offer a wide array of programs for children and adults of all ages, including fitness, recreation, arts and culture, and we are open to all members of our local community regardless of background. Our goal is to create vibrancy, richness and meaning in the lives of our members and the greater Lehigh Valley community. P, AE, S, C


2313 W. Pennsylvania Street, Allentown 610.437.0721 The Jewish Day School is a community school for pre-K (ages 3-4) through eighth grade. We are open and welcoming to families of all streams of Judaism and Jewish practice. Our school offers an exceptional general studies and as well a stellar Hebrew and Jewish studies program. We offer small class size, a multi-sensory art room, music classes, physical education, a specialized science program, an accredited library featuring a STEAM and computer lab, a Hebrew immersion

1190 W. Macada Road, Bethlehem 610.866.8009 The Conservative synagogue in the heart of the Lehigh Valley that celebrates our beautiful traditional practices with a contemporary awareness. We are an inter-generational community where newcomers become friends and friends become family. From seniors to children, couples to singles, everyone is encouraged to share their talents and viewpoint. Providing opportunities to be involved, lead, socialize and learn together. Home to some of the best cooks in the Valley! R, AE, S, SA, T


1305 Springhouse Road, Allentown 610.435.3521 We are a warm, welcoming, egalitarian congregation, offering educational, spiritual and social opportunities for members of all ages and walks of life. Providing a nurturing environment in which all generations feel at home, sharing each other’s joys and sorrows. In the spirit of repairing the world, we embrace the larger community. R, AE, SA, T



4457 Crackersport Road, Allentown 610.351.6511 Based in Allentown, our focus is on the spiritual and social needs of local Jews of all ages. We are dedicated to the furtherance of Jewish education at all levels in the hope that it will inspire you to explore your heritage and strengthen your Jewish connection. Acceptance of every Jew regardless of background or prior experience is the hallmark of Chabad’s philosophy. P, R, AE, C, T, S


1545 Bushkill Street, Easton 610.258.5343 Congregation Bnai Shalom is a community of Jews that seeks to make all Jews feel at home. Our Friday evening service leans toward the Reform tradition. Our Shabbat and holiday services are more traditionally Conservative. We are a community of seekers, looking for connection to the Holy One through creativity, which is what we share most intimately with God. Our members and spiritual leaders share a vision of a diverse, dynamic and welcoming community that offers many paths to Jewish prayer and supports one another in our spiritual quests. We are committed to honoring tradition while re-imagining and innovating our practices to be more accessible and relevant to 21st century Jews and their families. R, AE, T, S, SA


194 Bankway Street, Lehighton 610.379.9591 Temple Israel of Lehighton is a “Jewel of a Shul” set up on a hill in Carbon County. We are a warm and caring community where all are welcome. Our practice is wide-ranging and pluralistic. We strive for connection to the Eternal through varied modalities: music, discussion, meditation and chanting. We are a new/old community – Temple Israel of Lehighton was founded in 1924 and is currently in the process of “re-Jew-venation.” AE, SA

2227 Chew Street, Allentown 610.435.9074 Our members make us who we are – a caring community committed to worship, wellness, education and mitzvot. Worship is meaningful and participatory, and people support each other during times of celebration and sadness. Through educational, worship and social opportunities designed to meet the needs of a diverse community, members enjoy an environment where the exchange of ideas is encouraged. If you want a close-knit community and to play a part in shaping how a temple can help change the world, please join us. R, AE, SA, T

TEMPLE SHIRAT SHALOM We are a Reform-based congregation, guided by tradition, but not bound by it. What we do best is offer our members a strong sense of community, in which everyone feels valued and respected. We welcome Jews of all backgrounds, including Jews-by-choice, and reach out to unaffiliated and interfaith families. Have you ever gone to services and felt alone in the congregation? That won’t happen at TSS! R, AE, SA


1190 W. Macada Road, Bethlehem 610.435.3775 Join our warm, inclusive community! We are a welcoming congregation that aspires to be as diverse as the Jewish people itself. We gather together to connect with our Jewish heritage and one another, with each of us bringing something essential to the table. We feature creative education, with personalized instruction for adults and children, spirited discussions, and meaningful services that blend traditional melodies with modern values, whether participating in person or online. Truly, all are welcome to come as they are, and our valuesbased, fair-share dues structure never excludes anyone. R, AE, SA


C - Summer Camp P - Pre-School AE - Adult Education S - Senior Programs SA - Social Action R - Religious School T - Teens


2715 W. Tilghman Street, Allentown 610.433.6089 Congregation Sons of Israel is a warm and welcoming modern Orthodox synagogue in Allentown that serves the entire Lehigh Valley community. We foster an atmosphere of spirituality, observance and individual growth. Congregation Sons of Israel is the only synagogue in the region to offer daily morning and evening minyans. A broad spectrum of educational programs appears on our calendar, and we support a strong chesed committee with our mission to invite every Jewish person to worship, study and participate in our community. AE, SA, T




Palmer Township 610.905.2166 A place of learning, growing and camaraderie to enhance the Jewish experience. Offering courses online and in the classroom, holiday and special event get-togethers and a monthly children’s program. AE


Charles Kline Lodge 512 Walnut St., Allentown 610.437.1100

CHABAD AT LEHIGH UNIVERSITY 306 Wyandotte St., Bethlehem 484.934.4400




3140 Tilghman St. P.O. Box 176, Allentown 610.366.7751


2400 Chew St., Allentown 484.664.3470 religionandculture


524 Clinton Terrace, Easton 610.330.5176


216 Summit St., Bethlehem 610.758.4896


For more information visit





Bethlehem 610.861.1314


2238 Chew St., Allentown 484.664.3270 campuslife/hillel


9 West Packer Ave., Bethlehem 610.758.4869



BOUTIQUETOGO.........................19 Marla Duran Design.........................43

Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy...16 Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley......................................37



Allentown Art Museum....................42 Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance..............................................26


Daniels BMW......................inside back



Thank you to the Levin family and photographer Heather Gogal for making our vision for the Shalom Lehigh Valley cover a reality. The cover photo and the photo above were taken at the historic Haines Mill just off the banks of Cedar Creek in Cetronia, PA. The beauty of nature meets the heritage of industry in this spot, summing up the heart of life in the Lehigh Valley. The Levins are a young family choosing to make the Lehigh Valley their home and to participate in Jewish life here. Rachel is a member of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Board and Women’s Philanthropy board and Howie, a child psychiatrist, is a member of the Maimonides Society.

Embassy Bank For The Lehigh Valley......................................19


Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley......................................22 Pinemere Camp.................................40


Bachman Kulik & Reinsmith Funeral Homes....................................8


Giant Food Stores..............................30 Weis Markets........................................4


Gordon Pediatric Dental..................15 Green Hills Family & Cosmetic Dentistry...........................43 Hakim Health Partners.....................42 Lehigh Valley Center For Sight....back Lehigh Valley Peds.............................44 Mark I Notis, DMD, PC....................42 St. Luke’s University Health Network.................................10


Art Gallery & Frame Shop.............44 Bender’s Home Maintenance Plus...42 Creative Closets.................................14 Distinctive Tile And Stone Design...14 Morris Black Designs........inside front


Berman Center For Jewish Studies...43


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2021-23

Chabad of the Lehigh Valley..........38 Congregation Am Haskalah.............14 Congregation Bnai Shalom.............28 Congregation Brith Sholom.............18 Congregation Keneseth Israel..........31 Congregation Sons of Israel............23 Development Corporation for Israel..............................................41 Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley......................................22 Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley......................................37 Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley......................................13 Temple Beth El...................................21 Temple Shirat Shalom......................33


Hof & Reid............................................9 Scherline Injury Law.........................42


Access Ability, Inc.............................23 ComForCare Home Care.................27 Country Meadows Retirement Communities...................................20 Legend Senior Living........................15


Cold Nose Lodge...............................44


The Brian Segel Team........................27


Around The Table Catering.............42 Jay’s Local............................................43 Red Door Catering............................33 Sayre Mansion....................................46 Yianni’s Taverna.................................43


Micro Innovation...............................23 RCN.....................................................36