Dear Friend,

A few days ago, I received a phone call. “Rabbi Kaminker, there is a new Jewish inmate at the jail that can use your visit!” 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time I received such a call. Throughout the year, I visit Jewish inmates at the Bergen County Jail and this time was no different.

But, as I was driving to the jail, I felt some extra sadness. The High Holidays are just around the corners. How does one celebrate behind bars? What does one feel when, instead of being with family of friends, he is all alone? I bet that the honey doesn’t taste that sweet in jail!

But the moment I walked in the prison cell, I left all of my thoughts behind. I am here to celebrate. I am here to bring joy even in the darkest places. I am here because I firmly believe in the power of the soul to transcend all physical barriers. 

So we sang, and we schmoozed, and we sang some more. It was as if the walls shrunk and the soul was shining bright. When I left, the smile on his face told me everything I needed to know. He felt much better; He was going to make this experience a positive one. He is going to feel the spirit of the high holidays even in the Bergen County Jail.

And as I was driving back, I was thinking about the Rebbe’s vision and inspiration. Whenever a holiday approached, the Rebbe would always remind us to prioritize those who need our help most: the incarcerated, the hospitalized, the homebounds.

I was humbled and grateful for being able to carry the Rebbe’s work here in Hackensack.

Dear friends, standing now a few days before Yom Kippur, I appeal to you to support us in our important work. Simply put, we can’t do this without your help and partnership. 

Please consider partnering with us by donating $180, or any other amount of your choice. This inmate, together with so many others who have been helped by us, will greatly appreciate your donation and care.

Your donation will enable us to…

  • Coordinate visitations to the jail, hospital, rehab center and people who are homebound

  • Open our doors and welcome all Jews to our services, regardless of affiliation or background 

  • Build a beautiful Sukkah mobile that will travel throughout Hackensack 

  •  Serve delicious Kiddush after services

  • And much more!

Click here to make a difference! Donate in our High Holidays campaign! 

Thank you so much in advance, your support is greatly appreciated!

Wishing you a Shana Tovah, a happy sweet new year, filled with blessings, health and happiness, 

Rabbi Mendy & Shterna Kaminker