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The Yellow Candle - Yom Hashoah Program

Over seventy years ago, half of the earth's Jewish population perished at the hands of another Amalek, an Austrian house painter who seized control of Europe and threw the earth into darkness. God's light unto the other nations flickered but did not die. A new, modern Exodus arose from the depths of despair and tragedy.  From the ashes of Europe, survivors of the Holocaust, or Shoah, made their way towards new lives. Emigrants dispersed around the world, to the new State of Israel and to the western hemisphere. In these places, they began to rebuild shattered lives.  In the following decades, survivors asked another question. How could Yahrzeits be observed for those victims whose entire families had been wiped out? An idea was born, a special memorial candle with yellow wax, in remembrance of the yellow stars forced upon European Jews in the 1930s.

NEVER AGAIN!  “The Holocaust was the most evil crime ever committed.”

                           - Historian Stephen Ambrose

NEVER AGAIN!  “I made the visit [to Buchenwald, April 12, 1945] deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’”     - General Dwight D. Eisenhower                              

NEVER AGAIN!  “To this day, there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened -- a denial of fact that is baseless and ignorant and hateful.”

 - President Barack Obama

A video from the artist who created the new "Yellow Candle"

NEVER AGAIN!  “To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time…Not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are also responsible for what we are doing with those memories. For the dead and the living we must bear witness.”

- Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel

NEVER AGAIN!  “When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, 'What have you done?' there will be many answers. You will say, 'I became a jeweler.' Another will say, 'I smuggled coffee and American cigarettes.' Another will say, 'I built houses.' But I will say, 'I didn't forget you.'”

Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal

NEVER AGAIN!  “To us, recollection is a holy act; we sanctify the present by remembering the past. To us Jews, the essence of faith is memory. To believe is to remember.

- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel


As I light this Yellow Candle, I vow never to forget the lives of the Jewish men, women, and children who were martyred and are symbolized by this flame. They were tortured and brutalized by human beings who acted like beasts; their lives were taken in cruelty. May we be inspired to learn more about our six million brothers and sisters as individuals and as communities, to recall their memory throughout the year, so that they will not suffer a double death. May we recall not only the terror of their deaths, but also the splendor of their lives. May the memory of their lives inspire us to hallow our own lives and to live meaningful Jewish lives so that we may help to insure that part of who they were shall endure always.

Early Bird Ordering Begins November 20th
(please remeber to check off MRJ when ordering)




Article IX of Constitution

SECTION 6. Nominating Committee
The President shall appoint the Nominating Committee, which shall consist of the Chairman, and not less than six (6) nor more than sixteen (16) additional voting members of the EC.  
At least 70 days before the first session of each Biennial Convention, there shall be sent to each Affiliate, the names of the chairman and members of the Nominating Committee.  The notice shall also inform each affiliate of its right to make recommendations to the committee of candidates for nomination to be elected members of EC as provided in Article VIII.
A copy of the recommendations shall be sent to each member of the Nominating Committee by the MRJ Office not less than 60 days before the first session of the Biennial Convention.
Recommendations may be made in writing by no less than seven (7) members of the EC or by resolution of an Affiliate.  The recommendation(s) shall be sent to the office of the MRJ, not less than 45 days before the first session of the Biennial Convention.  
Not less than 30 days before the first session of the Biennial Convention, the Nominating Committee shall report and publish nominations to the EC.  Tom Wiener Chairs Nominating Committee -




Meeting convened at 9:00 am by President Steven Portnoy.

The following Reports were given to the EC:

1.         Report on forthcoming MRJ Convention.  Convention will be held in July, 2017, at the Marriott in Crystal City outside of Washington, DC.  Our convention will be held at the same time as the FJMC convention, although certain events, and, in particular, religious services, will be conducted separately.  Several prominent speakers have been invited, and are expected to attend and address the attendees, including former Congressman Barney Frank, and possibly other present and/or past government officials such as Rabbi David Saperstein, Ambassador for religious affairs in the Obama administration and former director of the Religious Action Center.
2.         Report on ideas and suggestions for fund raising was presented by Larry Krasnoff.  This committee has adopted the name GELT- for Giving Embraces Lesson of Tzedukah. Presentation of fundraising suggestions were:
a)         EC members committing to make annual contributions;
b)         Voluntary member donations from men belonging to Brotherhoods and/or others
3.         Rob Himmelstein spoke about revisions to the constitution and by-laws of MRJ. Some minor changes have been made but more significant revisions should be ready by the July convention and a final version should be ready for review and discussion by that time.
4.         Bob Ingrum gave a report on the Committee for Social Action (CSA).  Bob sits on this committee (it is a Religious Action Center {RAC}) committee) and, in particular, on a sub-committee regarding sexual assault on campus.  He related his experience at the most recent meeting and a discussion ensued about the extent of “social action” which included whether or not the URJ, and especially MRJ should become involved in politics.  One topic of discussion was whether we should make any statement regarding cabinet appointments and, in particular, the attorney general nominee, Sen. Sessions.  President Portnoy reported that the RAC had taken a position in opposition to the nominee.
5.         Treasurer’s Report.  In the absence of Treasurer Paul Cohen, Dan Checkman gave an abbreviated Treasurer’s Report.  We have approximately $500 left in Citi Bank and they are closing our account.  Remaining funds are in a segregated account with the Union and a new account will be set up for MRJ.  Our funds that have been held by URJ are being returned to us.  URJ is holding approximately $69,500 of our money.
A Motion was made and seconded to pay the outstanding amount to FJMC.  Motion was passed unanimously.
Mention was also made about a website "" which provides free and/or low cost software and hardware for non-profits. MRJ has purchased a three-user version of Quickbooks 2017 for non-profits. Our Treasurer and two Assistant Treasurers have each received a copy.

Good and welfare followed the announcements and reports.  (Old business and New business were covered in the above reports.)

Meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

 /s/ Larry Pepper
Larry Pepper
MRJ Secretary



Carpe Diem!  You are invited to seize the opportunity to join with your fellow Men of Reform Judaism and Federation of Jewish Men’s Club Brothers as we celebrate our joint, collaborative biennial Convention in Washington, D.C.  July 19 through 23, 2017.  Our conventions will be held at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in the Metro Washington, D.C. area, close both to ground and air transportation.

As our FJMC Brothers so aptly put it: “the world, Judaism, synagogues, and Jewish life are constantly changing.”   While the tandem conventions will provide us a great many shared programming choices (club training, succession planning, volunteering, etc.), MRJ, to be sure, will offer its own power breakfasts, its own information sessions, MRJ awards, and our own Shabbat service.

MRJ is a valued partner and contributor in the upcoming convention.  You are encouraged to participate in our MRJ gathering; we encourage you to invite your own Brotherhood members to join in discovering new “tools to effectively respond to the individual, family, community, and Movement challenges” facing both MRJ and FJMC.  We encourage all Brotherhoods who are financially able to consider underwriting all, or in part, of an officer’s registration and attendance; in fact, consider assisting all your Brothers who wish to attend the Convention.

To get started, access the website. Then click on “Learn More-Register Now,” and then on Men of Reform Judaism Convention 2017 on the right-hand side of the screen.  There, among other information, you’ll discover that the convention is meant to include your entire family in pre-planned events.  We’ll see in you in Washington, D.C. for leaning, ruach, and camaraderie.


Want to know what really happened in Newark?

Men of Reform Judaism Database Questionnaire:
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HERE IS A LINK TO:  an article published by URJ
in "Inside Leadership"
Jewish Men's Groups Agree to an Unprecedented Collaboration

Link to a story on our collaboration as published by JTA

Further coverage of our collaboration

Originating the position within URJ, is Evan Traylor, who is the "Presidential Fellow for Millennial Engagement"
Here is a link to a blog piece written by Evan on one of favorite topics - Millenials
Look for the shoutout to MRJ and Roc

MRJ was proud to sign on.  Read the statement here:

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