As many of us learned at Rosh Hashanah morning services, our new name is “Kol Dorot: A Reform Jewish Community.” Kol Dorot translates to “Voice of Generations” and represents our combined heritage as well as create an open and accepting community for future generations with a vision to meet the changing demographics in our area and needs of Reform Jews today.
Rabbis David Widzer and Noah Fabricant explain, “Our new name, Kol Dorot, reflects our intention to be a voice for the future of progressive Judaism in Northern Bergen County. We stand proudly in the chain of tradition, linked to the generations (dorot) that came before us and the generations to come. Our generation is a family of families, a representative of the Jewish people, and a proud Reform community, open and welcoming to all.” We surveyed our congregants about the values, ideas, and concepts that members believed should be reflected in our new name. The survey results clearly revealed preferences for concepts including family, peoplehood, tradition, community, inclusivity, and sense of welcoming. With these key ideas, the Naming Committee and the Integration Team agreed that “Kol Dorot: A Reform Jewish Community” best represents our new Jewish community.
Co-Presidents of Temple Beth El Angela Schuster and Joel Rubin said, “Kol Dorot will be a welcoming and inclusive community for future generations that honors and cherishes the amazing generations that came before us and laid the groundwork.” President of Temple Beth Or Lee Anne Luing explained, “The integration teams are working together on all aspects of the merger and are excited to plan the new space, which, along with worship, will offer lifelong learning — from day care, nursery school and religious school to various learning opportunities for adult members of our community.”
Both congregations worked with consultants and held town hall-style meetings to understand the needs of their members and included these factors in all aspects of the planning for the new temple.
The integration of our two communities began in 2017, with each congregation ultimately moving to sell our separate buildings. In May 2018, both temples jointly announced the purchase of the property at 660 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell for our new combined home. Architectural work has already begun, and it’s anticipated that the nursery school and religious school will offer programs in the new location starting in September 2019.
Look out for emails and posts as we plan to hold a number of joint services and social events throughout the coming year prior to the official move-in date. Meanwhile, both congregations remain fully operational in their existing spaces and welcome families and students for the current school year.
For more information about the temples, to register for our engaging and meaningful religious schools (grades K-10), or to visit our nurturing and vibrant nursery school, please contact us at:
221 Schraalenburgh Road
56 Ridgewood Road