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Shabbat in Jersey City
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Mayor Fulop, outreach organization join for rooftop dinner
BY JOANNE PALMER

Steve Fulop, Jersey City’s first-term mayor, just won re-election in a landslide; he got 78 percent of the vote

Mr. Fulop, a Democrat who was a Wall Street trader before September 11, and then joined the Marines, and then became mayor of the state’s second largest city, has much to celebrate. This Friday night, he’ll celebrate something else as well. Shabbat.
He’ll be at what is billed as the Rooftop Shabbat dinner, in a space overlooking the Jersey City waterfront, as one of many guests of Mesorah NJ, an outreach organization with a growing presence among the Jews moving into the city.

Of course, Mr. Fulop is a natural at a Shabbat dinner. He’s the grandson of Holocaust survivors, the son of an IDF veteran, and a onetime student at the Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva in Edison, where he grew up, and then the Solomon Schechter School of Union and Essex (although he left for public school because he craved soccer).

Today, he said, “I’m obviously very secular, and if anybody reaches out I go; I have done a lot of different events with different parts of the Jewish community.

“I do this for a lot of different communities” — not all of them Jewish – “but I am Jewish. My background is a large part of who I am.”

The city is increasingly Jewish as well, he said. “We have three synagogues; we have a very large community of secular professionals who identify as Jewish. Many are young, but there are more families here now.” There is also a growing chasidic presence in southern Jersey City, he added, as families move there from Brooklyn.

The invitation to Shabbat dinner — which is open to the public (but by the time you read this it’s too late to go) — says that it will involve specialty cocktails and gourmet food. It’s aimed at unaffiliated young professionals.

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Posted on: 11/18 8:44
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