Rabbi Michael Pont public
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On Yom Kippur 2023 Rabbi Pont delivered a sermon commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. In late September, it was widely viewed as one of the worst wars that Israel has had to fight in its 75 year history. We had no idea that the Jewish world was about to be changed forever. This week you can listen to this same sermon, knowing n…
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Ever wonder how the Conservative movement came to allow driving to Synagogue on Shabbat? Or whether it feels differently about driving electric cars on Shabbat? Or how it was decided that a livestreamed minyan was OK during the COVID-19 pandemic? This week Rabbi Pont talks to Rabbi David Fine of Ridgewood, New Jersey who sits on the Halacha Committ…
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In the early morning hours of October 7th, Hamas stormed Kibbutz Holit, a small kibbutz in southern Israel. As the terrorists went house to house, Adi Kaploun Vital hid with her two small children while her father hid two houses away. Adi’s actions on that fateful morning saved the lives of her father and her children, Sadly, Adi was murdered by Ha…
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Part of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Marlboro Jewish Center is doing an act of chesed, or kindness, for those less fortunate than you are. Every year, our 7th graders find new and exciting projects that are special to them and use those projects to give back to their community. This week Rabbi Pont gave our 7th graders the chance to tell you, t…
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What is the best way to leave a legacy? Inspired by wanting to make sure that his daughter always knew the family from which she came, Jeff started writing down the memories of his childhood and the family myths that had been passed down through the generations. Those stories turned into a great new book, The Black Hole Pastrami and Other Short Sto…
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In the Conservative Jewish world, few Rabbis have their fingers on pulse like Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal. Rabbi Blumenthal serves concurrently as the CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabbinical Assembly through a strategic alignment between the two organizations. This week, Rabbis Pont and Blumenthal have a wide ranging organ…
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For more than three months, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has been engaged in a war with Hamas that feels like a defining moment for the present and future of the state of Israel. Few can offer the perspective of today's guest Aaron Cooper, an American who made moved to Israel after high school, joined the IDF, was in the West Bank on October 7th…
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By day, Sam Levine is a music teacher at Lloyd Road School in Matawan, New Jersey. At Marlboro Jewish Center, Sam Levine is a talented musician who leads Tot Shabbat and plays in the Shabbat Unplugged Band. On October 2023 he added another title to his name, Wheel of Fortune contestant. On this episode Rabbi Pont explores what led Sam to the Wheel …
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What is the best gift you've ever given? It probably doesn't top what Chrissy Esptein, a young mother of two beautiful daughters, gave to her friend Kieran this past September when she donated her left kidney to save his life. Shaped by the loss of her father on September 11th, 2001, Chrissy always knew that organ donation was something she wanted …
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This week Rabbi Pont is joined by Rabbis Lindsey Healey-Pollack and Andrew Pepperstone, hosts of the podcast Sacred Realms. Sacred Realms discusses the intersection between Judaism and a wide range of sci-fi and fantasy books, movies, and television shows. Each episode, Rabbi Lindsey and Rabbi Andrew discuss what they have been watching or reading …
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Few movements in the Jewish religion have been as successful as that of Jewish camping. Each year thousands of Jewish children participate in an immersive Jewish experience that brings them closer to their religion and builds a lasting Jewish identity that is unmatched by any other youth program. This week Rabbi Pont talks to Rachel Wisniewski, a p…
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On this week's episode, Rabbi Pont welcomes Dr. Stacy Gallin back to the podcast. Dr. Gallin is the founder of The Ferencz Institute for Human Rights, Ethics and the Holocaust, a non-profit organization doing the important work of using the lessons of the Holocaust to rid our world of hate of all kinds. Dr. Gallin's current projects include Athlete…
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Six days ago our world was shattered. For nearly a week we have all tried to make sense of the horror that Hamas brought upon Israel last Shabbat. In the wake of the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust, this week's episode couldn't be more prescient. In an interview recorded prior to October 7th, Rabbi Pont speaks with Dan Rozet…
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Antisemitism is on the rise. There may be no more alarming statistic for American Jews than the reality than six in ten religious hate crimes happen to Jewish people and/or organizations. A shocking statistic for a people that make up less than 2.5% of the population. Fortunately we have people like this week's guest on For the Love of Judaism, Sop…
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Richard Michelson is an award-winning author, poet and artist who is well known for his contributions to the cannon of Jewish writing. His newest collection, Sleeping As Fast As I Can is a four-part book of poetry that is equal parts political and personal as it explores everything from gun violence and social justice, to his relationship with Juda…
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Throughout history Jews have been the victims of persecution and discrimination that has forced them from the places they've called home. While the stories associated with the Holocaust are often-told, the stories of the Jewish people in Cuba during the 1950s and 1960s are not as well known. And still, these stories are among the most harrowing, es…
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Breast cancer awareness is one of the most highly visible fundraising campaigns around. Most of us think that breast cancer is curable and so prevention is the key research priority. And yet, tens of thousands of people will die from breast cancer every year. 98% of those deaths are at the hands of metastatic breast cancer And yet, this MBC receive…
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In 1939, the USS St. Louis left Hamburg, Germany headed for Havana, Cuba with more than 900 European Jews aboard. Counting themselves among the lucky few to escape Hitler's Germany, they thought they were headed for refuge. The passengers happiness quickly turned to fear as they were denied entry to Cuba, followed by the United States, Canada and m…
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As Israel gets ready to celebrate its 75th birthday later this month, the only Democracy in the Middle East finds herself dealing with unprecedented internal strife. The judicial reform package being pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition has led to weeks of protests that involve hundreds of thousands of Israelis taking to th…
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As time goes on, there are fewer and fewer survivors of the Holocaust to share their stories of strife, courage, bravery and resilience. Fortunately, the world has women like Amy Goodman who is part of a growing movement of 3rd generation families that are sharing their grandparents stories. This week Amy sat down with Rabbi Pont to talk about her …
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On this week's podcast, Rabbi Pont shares two sermons he gave at Friday night services at Marlboro Jewish Center in recent months. The first uses Lionel Messi winning the world cup to teach a lesson about how we treat the elderly while the second shares the interesting origins of some famous Jewish (and not so Jewish) superstitions.…
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All of you rabbinic podcast lovers unite! Rabbi Pont was recently interviewed by Rabbi Daniel Levine for his podcast JLife with Rabbi Daniel so it is our pleasure to play their full interview for the For the Love of Judaism audience this week. Don't miss this great conversation between two conservative Rabbis about the state f conservative Judaism …
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Meet Jay Fisher. A remarkable 19 year old young man living a full and fantastic life with autism. This week, Rabbi Pont caught up with Jay, along with his parents, Debra and David, along with his younger sister Shoshana, to talk about how their lives have been impacted by Jay's diagnosis. Do not miss this inspiring story of a family who doesn't let…
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Since its destruction nearly 2,000 years ago, Jewish scholars have studied the second Holy Temple, which stood as the center of Jewish life until 70 C.E. Who would have thought that one of the foremost experts on the Temple and what it actually looked like would be a martial arts instructor and Expert LEGO® Builder from Minnesota. Meet Yitzy Kasowi…
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Israel has had an unprecedented number of elections over the past several years. Five times Israelis have headed to the polls in search of a stable government that can serve the needs of all Israelis. While this most recent election resulted in the first solid majority win in several years it comes at a heavy price for many secular Israelis. With a…
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Community cookbooks have been a part of Synagogue culture for decades. More than just recipes, they are the through line of generations past to the future of Jewish families around the world. Few, if any, know more about Jewish cookbooks than PhD candidate Natalie Ross who is writing her dissertation on the people behind Jewish cookbooks. Natalie, …
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The fastest growing sport in the United States is a sport that most people had never heard of before 2020. From senior communities to youth leagues, pickleball has taken the country by storm. Today, more than 36 million Americans have played pickleball at least once and more courts are being built every day! This week, Rabbi Pont sat down with Eric…
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Since 1981, Fred and Murray's Kosher Delicatessen has been a staple of high quality kosher food in central New Jersey. From their Freehold, New Jersey deli they serve customer favorites like the pastrami and corned beef to other staples like knishes, french fries and desserts to the delight of thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish families each year. …
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It has been said that we are living through the second golden age of television. The amount of content available everywhere from Netflix to Amazon, Hulu, Paramount and on network tv is unparalelled to any time in the industry's history. It is an amazing time to be a television writer. This week, Rabbi Pont catches up with Sam Block, a Marlboro nati…
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired generations of Americans to fight for what is right...to do the hard work of making the world a better place...to do tikkun olam. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Rabbi Pont sat down with Naomi Eisenberger, founding executive director of The Good People Fund. Don't miss a chance to hear about this unique organ…
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Every few years, the United States Postal Service commissions an artist to create its Hanukkah postage stamp. This year, a new stamp was unveiled, designed by world-renowned Judaica artist, Jeanette Kuvin Oren. Jeanette's work can be seen at over 400 Synagogues, community centers, schools and camps everywhere from Pittsburgh, to Miami, to Prague. T…
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Six13 is a groundbreaking, six-man a cappella vocal band that is bringing an unprecedented style and energy to Jewish music, with nothing but the power of the human voice. The band is uniquely comprised of members from varied Jewish denominations and upbringings, creating an entertainment experience that has been universally acclaimed across the gl…
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It doesn't take a scientist to know that the past three years have been anything but ordinary for our children. Research is now beginning to shed light on what pediatricians and developmental pediatricians knew all along...that the impact of COVID-19 restrictons on our children is significant and serious. But it wasn't all bad! This week, Rabbi Pon…
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It's our Thanksgiving episode! We can think of no better way to honor the spirit of this holiday than to talk to Marisa Kraus, Senior Nutrition Coordinator for Jewish Family & Children Services in Monmouth County. Every month, Marisa coordinates the Meals on Wheels program which has nearly tripled in size since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I…
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Did you know that one organ and tissue donation can save the lives of up to 8 people and enhance the lives of up to 75 more? More importantly, did you know that all branches of Judaism support organ and tissue donation unequivically? Organ and tissue donation is one of the greatest mitzvot that any person can do. In honor of National Donor Sabbath,…
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On Monday, November 7th, Marlboro Jewish Center hosted a unique panel discussion in commemoration of Kristallnacht. It included special guest and former Davidson College basketball coach Bob McKillop who joined us to share his experience taking his team to Auschwitz with Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor (z"l). Their journey is part of a new book, U…
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Harvey Hecker is a trailblazer. The first Orthodox Jew to join the New York City Police Department, the intersection of Harvey's career and his Jewish identity is as important as it is interesting. Listen to this week's episode to hear stories for Harvey's twenty years on the job and the many different ways that this pioneer made a positive impact …
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All over the world scientists and other scholars of free thought are under attack by governments that seek to undermine their efforts to find the truth. On this week's episode, Rabbi Pont is joined by Dr. Eugene Chudnovsky, Co-Chair of the Committee of Concerned Scientists and Distinguished Professor of Physics at the City University of New York, t…
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Jess Kaplan and Jordan Paul both grew up at Marlboro Jewish Center. In the years since they graduated high school they have gone on to become star college athletes. On this episode, they reconnect with Rabbi Pont and talk about the demands of beng a college athlete and how it intersects with their desire to maintain a Jewish identity durng their co…
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The Tattooed Torah is an animated short film based on the well-known childrens book that has been teaching young children about the Holocaust for generations. On this episode, Rabbi Pont interviews filmmakers Marc Bennett and Greg Ferkel who brought this important story to life in an award winning animated film. Listen in to hear about how this fil…
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And....we're back. After a summer without For the Love of Judaism, Rabbi Pont is back with some exciting guests for season two. We kick it off with Rabbi Mark Cooper and Hazzan Lior Melnick who will be joining Rabbi Pont and Cantor Michelle Teplitz on the bima at Marlboro Jewish Center for the high holdays this year. This is a great chance to get t…
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For generations, interfaith families were made to feel like they had no place in American Jewish society. But times have changed. In today's landscape, many Synagogues are rightfully embracing these modern Jewish families as important members of the community whose uniqueness is a strength, not a threat. On this episode Rabbi Pont welcomes Dr. Kere…
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Come From Away is called Broadway's 100-minute feel good sensation, and for good reason. Now in its 6th year at the Schoenfeld Theatre, this Tony Award-winning musical tells the true story of the five days following September 11, 2001 in Gander, New Foundland where 7,000 stranded passengers were met with overwhelming human kindness in their time of…
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It is not easy to be a kosher caterer but when it is done right, it is a lot of fun to attend a well catered event! Marlboro Jewish Center is thrilled to have formed a partnership with Ira Zahler and IZ Events as the new in-house caterer at MJC. After 30 years as an off-premises Kosher caterer in New York, Ira is bringing his fantastic food to cent…
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