For more than 90 years, the Mt. Freedom Jewish Center has been an anchor for Jewish identity in Morris County. As a Jewish Center, the MFJC is much more than a place of prayer and study. MFJC offers a variety of programs and events for the enjoyment and enlightenment of our members and the broader community. We dance with celebrants at their times of joy and embrace those who are grieving, offering vital support during times of need.
Mt. Freedom Jewish Center has a very active program of religious and social events. For ages 1 to 101, there is something for everyone at MFJC. Bring your children to our weekly tot-shabbat, monthly Junior Congregation, and celebrations for every holiday (click here for Youth activities). Adults can enjoy a variety of Educational programs (link here to Adult Ed page) and social events throughout the year, including Scholar-in-Residence dinners and weekends, wine and cheese gatherings, movies, and more. Whether a Tu B’Shevat Seder, a Hamantaschen Bake, or a Shabbat dinner, something is always cooking at MFJC.
Programs are organized by our Youth Committee, Teen Club, Sisterhood and Men’s Club, Israel Committee and anyone else who has a great idea!
Sisterhood is engaged in a variety of events and projects, for MFJC women and the entire congregation, including an annual membership party, the Channukah Shabbat Dinner, a Fashion night, cooking demonstrations, sponsorship of guest speakers, and a host of other classes and social events.
The Sisterhood continues to develop new and exciting ways to provide interesting opportunities for enrichment of all women at MFJC including singles, families, young professionals, and the young-at-heart. All women (shul membership not required) are invited to join the Sisterhood to enjoy the programs and helping with its activities.
Men’s Club sponsors various programs, for men and the entire community throughout the year. Occasional Sunday breakfasts have been very popular, with the men as the chefs. Men’s Club also organizes trips to sporting events and museums. Over the last few years, we have had a number of government representatives visit for lectures and question and answer sessions. Holiday related events sponsored by Men’s Club include the annual Simchat Torah BBQ and the Lag Ba’omer Festivities for the entire community.
Men’s Club is always open to new ideas and members to help bring more interesting programs to life.
Our youngest members need to feel that their parent’s spiritual home is their spiritual home. The youth of MFJC have opportunities each month – beside Shabbat and Holiday services – for educational and social activities. We decorate the Sukkah in the fall, host musical Havdalah, pizza and movie nights in the winter. Year round, we coordinate “off-site” programs, such as visiting area nursing homes to spread Channukah cheer, or trips to the Turtle Back Zoo. Our kids make positive associations when they think of Synagogue.
Our youth need to graduate to become leaders for tomorrow. We philosophically believe that we must actively integrate our teens with all aspects of synagogue life. They serve as role models for the youngest members, so teen involvement in youth programs and services are very important. Our teens are involved in youth programs such as Jr. Congregation, sharing their knowledge with the younger members. Lastly, our teens also take part in Chesed (acts of kindness) programs, giving of themselves to help others.
Jewish life is a sensory experience too. Jewish tradition has been passed on through the millennia as much from the smells of cooking as from books and ideas. As a family-community, MFJC values shared Shabbat meals. Throughout the year, MFJC hosts Shabbat dinners for members and guests to break Hallah bread. The dinners may coincide with a holiday such as Tu B’shvat or a Pre-Pesach dinner, and may have a theme – such as Shabbat Shira, a guest speaker and activities. The dinners may just be for the fun of it. Regardless, each dinner is an opportunity to relax and enjoy Shabbat with friends.
Chesed – Social Action – Acts of Kindness — these are all terms that mean caring for each other in and around our community. Chesed grows from an understanding of a shared humanity. These acts can seem as ordinary as helping to make the morning minyan or bringing in a few cans of food for the food pantry, but each act is truly honorable and has a great impact.
We provide support to a Shiva house in time of sorrow, through comfort foods, daily minyans, and just being there for those in need. We help the sick with dinners and visitation and prayer, and we support the elderly and homebound with kindness and Kavod, dignity. And we collect Tzedakah during Purim and Pesach and year-round through the Rabbi’s Discretionary fund to help support families and institutions in urgent need.
MFJC members of all ages are involved in Chesed. Young members visit nursing homes to bring smiles to the residents’ faces; teens have participated in food drives and Midnight Run, a NYC-based program that distributes food and clothing to the homeless.
The shul welcomes your ideas and support to help all of us fulfill the mitzvah of Chesed.
A few times each year, Mt. Freedom Jewish Center brings noted Jewish Scholars to MFJC for a weekend of learning through stimulating lectures and conversation. Whether it’s conversation at a Shabbat dinner, an intriguing D’var Torah during Shabbat services, learning at Seuda’at Shlishit before Shabbat ends, or a stimulating question and answer session over Sunday breakfast, both our members and our visiting scholars are enriched by the experience. Past Scholars have included Rabbi Yitz Greenberg of the Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) and the Jewish Life Network; Rabbi Jeffrey Fox of Yeshiva Chovevei Torah’s Maharat Program; and Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz of Uri L’Tzedek, the Orthodox Social Justice organization.
Scholar-in Residence programs are funded by the shul and The Rosenbaum Lecture Fund, generously created by Dr. Lee and Mrs. Linda Rosenbaum, which supports the visit of one major scholar-in-residence program each year.
The founding of the State of Israel spiritually, physically, psychologically, transformed every Jew in the world. With this historic event, MFJC believes this is the ‘beginning of the redemptive age’ for the Jewish people and the world. We keep Israel above all else.
We show our support through a variety of programs and holiday celebrations. If Israel is on your agenda, come hear one of many speakers educate us on current events; join us for our Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration, or come enjoy an Israeli movie night!
Speakers from the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), Israel Bond representatives, ambassadors, and guests from private Israeli organizations visit often and provide stimulating lectures and interactive programs. We also have programs that feature Jewish Cooking, Jewish History, Adult Education, and Local Events, and much more.
Moreover, each year, MFJC has a large contingent present at AIPAC in Washington, DC, showing our support for Eretz Yisrael. Each year, we proudly march down 5th Avenue waving the Flags of Israel at the Israeli Day Parade.
Our Israel Programming Committee is busy planning our Israel-related events for the year. If you are interested in helping, please contact Rav Menashe.
At Mt. Freedom Jewish Center, we recognize we are part of a larger community that includes people of all faiths. We have much work to do in our neighborhoods to better the world. Despite different tenets and practices, our faith in God as the giver of life demands that all people, gifted with the ‘image of God,’ work to improve life for ourselves and our communities.
Rav Menashe is a founder of the Interfaith Council of Morris County, through which he has worked to promote interfaith programs and foster understanding throughout the Morris County community. He was instrumental in creating the annual Interfaith Holocaust Memorial Service. Working with other religious institutions such as St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church or Mt. Fern United Methodist Church, the program has guest speakers, prayer and song. Each year the service alternates sites, one year at MFJC, the next year at one of the other places of worship. These programs run year round and participation is an act of community building.
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