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For the Love of Judaism
Rabbi Michael Pont
Rabbi Michael Pont, Senior Rabbi at Marlboro Jewish Center, shares his weekly message of love, inspiration and Torah.
Nov 24, 2023
Sci-fi and Judaism
This week Rabbi Pont is joined by Rabbis Lindsey Healey-Pollack and Andrew Pepperstone, hosts of the podcast Sacred Realms. Sacred Realms discusses the intersection between Judaism and a wide range of sci-fi and fantasy books, movies, and television shows. Each episode, Rabbi Lindsey and Rabbi Andrew discuss what they have been watching or reading recently, do a deep dive into a main topic, bring out from "the Geniza," something from the not-that-distant past, and more. Whether Sci-Fi is your thing or not, you are sure to enjoy this conversation about the many overlaps between a popular genre and Judaism.
Nov 10, 2023
Friendships Forged: The Importance of Jewish Sleepaway Camp
Few movements in the Jewish religion have been as successful as that of Jewish camping. Each year thousands of Jewish children participate in an immersive Jewish experience that brings them closer to their religion and builds a lasting Jewish identity that is unmatched by any other youth program. This week Rabbi Pont talks to Rachel Wisniewski, a photo journalist whose article on Jewish summer camp appeared in the Washington Post this summer. They are joined by mother-daughter duos Sarah and Carly Kreisler and Susie and Nili Suissa who experiences at Camp Nah-Jee-Wah Rachel followed for her article.
Oct 27, 2023
A Meaningful Journey
On this week's episode, Rabbi Pont welcomes Dr. Stacy Gallin back to the podcast. Dr. Gallin is the founder of The Ferencz Institute for Human Rights, Ethics and the Holocaust, a non-profit organization doing the important work of using the lessons of the Holocaust to rid our world of hate of all kinds. Dr. Gallin's current projects include Athletes Against Antisemitism and Discrimination, a program focused on helping college athletes use their platforms to give back to local, national and international communities. This summer, Dr. Gallin and Rabbi Pont led Marlboro Jewish Center's Journey of Remembrance to Poland and Greece. On this episode, they are joined by Micah Spero, the youngest participant on the journey, whose presence helped create a unique bond between him and congregants fifty years his senior.
Oct 14, 2023
Lessons from the Yom Kippur War
Six days ago our world was shattered. For nearly a week we have all tried to make sense of the horror that Hamas brought upon Israel last Shabbat. In the wake of the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust, this week's episode couldn't be more prescient. In an interview recorded prior to October 7th, Rabbi Pont speaks with Dan Rozett, former IDF soldier and Director of Community Relations and Israel Engagement with the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, and Shmuel Varod, a former IDF soldier who fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Hear from Dan and Shmuel about their experiences in the IDF and about the lessons Israel should learn in this, the 50th anniversary of its deadliest war...until now.
Oct 2, 2023
Seeking Allies on College Campuses
Antisemitism is on the rise. There may be no more alarming statistic for American Jews than the reality than six in ten religious hate crimes happen to Jewish people and/or organizations. A shocking statistic for a people that make up less than 2.5% of the population. Fortunately we have people like this week's guest on For the Love of Judaism, Sophie Shafran. A senior at Indiana University, Sophie is an Emerson Fellow for StandWithUs, a one-year program that trains, educates, and empowers student leaders on college campuses around the world to battle antisemitism in their communities. Sophie is an inspiring young woman who is dedicated to fighting one of the biggest battles facing Jewish young adults today and her conversation with Rabbi Pont will leave you wondering how you can do more.
Sep 15, 2023
New Season. New Year.
Shana tova! What better way to usher in the new year than with a new season of For the Love of Judaism. On this episode you will hear two recent sermons given by Rabbi Pont, both of which are must listens to get you in the mood for the high holidays.
May 12, 2023
Sleeping As Fast As I Can
Richard Michelson is an award-winning author, poet and artist who is well known for his contributions to the cannon of Jewish writing. His newest collection, Sleeping As Fast As I Can is a four-part book of poetry that is equal parts political and personal as it explores everything from gun violence and social justice, to his relationship with Judaism and the struggle of an aging parent. In this week's episode, Rich and Rabbi Pont talk about everything from this amazing new collection, his Jewish journey, a surprise phone call from Maurice Sendak and an inspiring dinner with Leonard Nimoy. Don't miss it!
May 5, 2023
The Incident at San Miguel
Throughout history Jews have been the victims of persecution and discrimination that has forced them from the places they've called home. While the stories associated with the Holocaust are often-told, the stories of the Jewish people in Cuba during the 1950s and 1960s are not as well known. And still, these stories are among the most harrowing, especially for the Polish Jews who had come to Havana to escape the changing tides of Eastern Europe. On this week's episode, Rabbi Pont speaks with author A.J. Sidransky about his new book, The Incident at San Miguel, and Miriam Bradman Abrahams, whose family this amazing historical fiction is based on. An episode not to be missed, especially for the avid reader out there! The book, The Incident at San Miguel, will be released on May 19. It can be purchased on Amazon in hard cover, paperback, Kindle, large print, and audio book formats. Miriam and AJ are also available to appear at book club and larger events.
Apr 28, 2023
Making Each Day Meaningful
Breast cancer awareness is one of the most highly visible fundraising campaigns around. Most of us think that breast cancer is curable and so prevention is the key research priority. And yet, tens of thousands of people will die from breast cancer every year. 98% of those deaths are at the hands of metastatic breast cancer And yet, this MBC receives around 5% of the funding associated with this deadly disease. Rabbi Pont's guest this week, Tami Eagle, knows this fight all too well. After being given 2-3 years to live, Tami has lived with this horrible illness for more than eight years. More importantly, she has turned her journey into action and become one of the most widely recognizable advocates for those who have been diagnosed with MBC. Tami is an amazing woman and her story is inspirational. Don't miss your chance to hear Tami talk about perseverance, gratitude, and giving and the work she does with #LightUpMBC to bring light to people living with uncertainty every day. For more info on how to get involved with #LightUpMBC for metastatic breast cancer research, please visit http://www.Metavivor.org/LightUpMBC For more info on Tami and The Eagle Method, please visit Motivational Speaker | The Eagle Method
Apr 21, 2023
Surviving the St. Louis
In 1939, the USS St. Louis left Hamburg, Germany headed for Havana, Cuba with more than 900 European Jews aboard. Counting themselves among the lucky few to escape Hitler's Germany, they thought they were headed for refuge. The passengers happiness quickly turned to fear as they were denied entry to Cuba, followed by the United States, Canada and many other countries. With only four countries willing to take passengers in, they were split up between England, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. One of the lucky passengers was Eva Wiener, a 10-month old baby whose family made it to England and survived the war there. With fewer than 20 survivors of the St. Louis still alive, Eva's story is more important now than ever before. Rabbi Pont had the pleasure of welcoming her to Marlboro Jewish Center this week as we commemorated Yom HaShoah...the day of remembrance.
Apr 14, 2023
An Israeli State of the Union
As Israel gets ready to celebrate its 75th birthday later this month, the only Democracy in the Middle East finds herself dealing with unprecedented internal strife. The judicial reform package being pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition has led to weeks of protests that involve hundreds of thousands of Israelis taking to the streets. The situation is rife with challenge, and for a country that already has its fair share of external threats, the internal turmoil poses unique challenges. This week, Rabbi Pont speaks with Jerusalem Post analyst and literary editor Yonah Jeremy Bob, who will visit Marlboro Jewish Center next week. If you have questions about what has been happening in Israel and how it may get resolved, then this is an episode not to be missed.
Apr 8, 2023
A Zissen Pesach!
We hope you had wonderful Seders filled with friends, family and an energetic retelling of the Passover story. This week, Rabbi Pont shares three stories about the ways in which we see God and understand the Torah that will surely help you have a very meaningful holiday!
Mar 31, 2023
More than a Number
As time goes on, there are fewer and fewer survivors of the Holocaust to share their stories of strife, courage, bravery and resilience. Fortunately, the world has women like Amy Goodman who is part of a growing movement of 3rd generation families that are sharing their grandparents stories. This week Amy sat down with Rabbi Pont to talk about her family's story, her recent appearance on The View, and the work she does with a fascinating organization, Numbers to Names. In the current climate of rising antisemitism, this is not an episode to be missed.
Mar 24, 2023
Messi and Magic
On this week's podcast, Rabbi Pont shares two sermons he gave at Friday night services at Marlboro Jewish Center in recent months. The first uses Lionel Messi winning the world cup to teach a lesson about how we treat the elderly while the second shares the interesting origins of some famous Jewish (and not so Jewish) superstitions.
Mar 17, 2023
For the Love of JLife
All of you rabbinic podcast lovers unite! Rabbi Pont was recently interviewed by Rabbi Daniel Levine for his podcast JLife with Rabbi Daniel so it is our pleasure to play their full interview for the For the Love of Judaism audience this week. Don't miss this great conversation between two conservative Rabbis about the state f conservative Judaism and how they see their place in the Jewish world.
Mar 10, 2023
Meet Jay Fisher. A remarkable 19 year old young man living a full and fantastic life with autism. This week, Rabbi Pont caught up with Jay, along with his parents, Debra and David, along with his younger sister Shoshana, to talk about how their lives have been impacted by Jay's diagnosis. Do not miss this inspiring story of a family who doesn't let a challenge stand in the way of living their best lives. See more of Jay Fisher on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/@honestlyautistic2635.
Mar 3, 2023
Brick by Brick
Since its destruction nearly 2,000 years ago, Jewish scholars have studied the second Holy Temple, which stood as the center of Jewish life until 70 C.E. Who would have thought that one of the foremost experts on the Temple and what it actually looked like would be a martial arts instructor and Expert LEGO® Builder from Minnesota. Meet Yitzy Kasowitz, founder of JBrick, maker of custom Jewish LEGO® sets and educator of Jewish communities around the world with his 1/35th scale model of the Beit Hamekdash. In advance of Yitzy's trip to Temple Beth Ahm on March 19th, Rabbi Pont sat down with Yitzy to talk all things Jewish Lego® as well as the many ways Yitzy uses his creations to help Jews around the world get in touch with their Jewish heritage.
Feb 24, 2023
A Tipping Point for Democracy in Israel
Israel has had an unprecedented number of elections over the past several years. Five times Israelis have headed to the polls in search of a stable government that can serve the needs of all Israelis. While this most recent election resulted in the first solid majority win in several years it comes at a heavy price for many secular Israelis. With a Prime Minister on trial and an alliance made with several far right wing factions, Israel is facing a tipping point...continue as a liberal Democracy or serve the needs of the few in order to keep power centered with those who currently hold office. This week, Rabbi Pont speaks with Dar Nadler, the Israeli Emissary for the Jewish National Fund about the state of politics in Israel including the real (and not so real) impact it is having on younger Israelis.
Feb 17, 2023
The People of the Cookbook
Community cookbooks have been a part of Synagogue culture for decades. More than just recipes, they are the through line of generations past to the future of Jewish families around the world. Few, if any, know more about Jewish cookbooks than PhD candidate Natalie Ross who is writing her dissertation on the people behind Jewish cookbooks. Natalie, who has more than 300 community cookbooks in her possession has traveled the world to learn more about Jewish cooking around the globe and the people, both professional and amateur, who have put their recipes on paper. This is a great conversation that you will not want to miss.
Feb 11, 2023
Bonus Episode: It's Superbowl Sunday!
Need some last minute prayers for the big game? Rabbi Pont has you covered. Whether you are rooting for the Chiefs or the Eagles, you'll want to listen to three minutes of why the talmud thinks your team is gonna life the Lombardi Trophy at game's end.
Feb 10, 2023
Paddle Up: Pickleball is Here to Stay
The fastest growing sport in the United States is a sport that most people had never heard of before 2020. From senior communities to youth leagues, pickleball has taken the country by storm. Today, more than 36 million Americans have played pickleball at least once and more courts are being built every day! This week, Rabbi Pont sat down with Erica and Mike Rosenberg, founders of the Pickleball Club at Monroe which will become the largest indoor pickleball club in the state of New Jersey when it opens in September. This conversation is perfect for avid pickleballers and pickleball-curious future players alike. Plus, you will learn the real story of where the name comes from. Don't miss it!
Feb 3, 2023
Pastrami on Rye
Since 1981, Fred and Murray's Kosher Delicatessen has been a staple of high quality kosher food in central New Jersey. From their Freehold, New Jersey deli they serve customer favorites like the pastrami and corned beef to other staples like knishes, french fries and desserts to the delight of thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish families each year. This week Rabbi Pont sat down with owners Kurt and Chris to talk all things kosher deli. Make sure to listen in, but be prepared for your mouth to water!
Jan 27, 2023
Being Jewish in Hollywood
It has been said that we are living through the second golden age of television. The amount of content available everywhere from Netflix to Amazon, Hulu, Paramount and on network tv is unparalelled to any time in the industry's history. It is an amazing time to be a television writer. This week, Rabbi Pont catches up with Sam Block, a Marlboro native and writer on the hit drama NCIS Los Angeles to talk about her experience on the show and about being a young Jewish writer in modern day Hollywood.
Jan 13, 2023
The World Needs Good People
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired generations of Americans to fight for what is right...to do the hard work of making the world a better place...to do tikkun olam. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Rabbi Pont sat down with Naomi Eisenberger, founding executive director of The Good People Fund. Don't miss a chance to hear about this unique organization making a massive impact across the US and Israel.
Dec 16, 2022
Judaism through Art
Every few years, the United States Postal Service commissions an artist to create its Hanukkah postage stamp. This year, a new stamp was unveiled, designed by world-renowned Judaica artist, Jeanette Kuvin Oren. Jeanette's work can be seen at over 400 Synagogues, community centers, schools and camps everywhere from Pittsburgh, to Miami, to Prague. This week, Jeanette sat down with Rabbi Pont to talk about her experience designing the postage stamp and her amazing 40 year career creating beautiful Judaica, which can be seen at http://www.kuvinoren.com.
Dec 9, 2022
Creating Harmony through Jewish Acapella
Six13 is a groundbreaking, six-man a cappella vocal band that is bringing an unprecedented style and energy to Jewish music, with nothing but the power of the human voice. The band is uniquely comprised of members from varied Jewish denominations and upbringings, creating an entertainment experience that has been universally acclaimed across the globe by Jewish organizations and individuals from equally varied backgrounds and generations. They have performed everyone from New York to Los Angeles, to Vienna and even the White House and this week they are coming to Marlboro, New Jersey to perform at Marlboro Jewish Center (tickets available at https://www.mjcnj.com/six13). Three of the guys took a few minutes to catch up with Rabbi Pont to talk about all things Jewish acapella and the role that SIX13 plays in the Jewish world.
Dec 2, 2022
How to Fix What the Pandemic Broke for Our Children
It doesn't take a scientist to know that the past three years have been anything but ordinary for our children. Research is now beginning to shed light on what pediatricians and developmental pediatricians knew all along...that the impact of COVID-19 restrictons on our children is significant and serious. But it wasn't all bad! This week, Rabbi Pont is joined by Dr. Allison Smoller, a developmental pediatrician who will share some of the challenges and opportunities that her patients have faced over the past few years, as well as some important advice for any parent looking to help their children recapture some of what they lost due to COVID-19.
Nov 24, 2022
It's our Thanksgiving episode! We can think of no better way to honor the spirit of this holiday than to talk to Marisa Kraus, Senior Nutrition Coordinator for Jewish Family & Children Services in Monmouth County. Every month, Marisa coordinates the Meals on Wheels program which has nearly tripled in size since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her busy schedule, she took a few minutes to talk to Rabbi Pont about JFCS, the important work it does, and the growing need that local families have to avoid hunger during the holidays.
Nov 18, 2022
The Gift of Organ Donation
Did you know that one organ and tissue donation can save the lives of up to 8 people and enhance the lives of up to 75 more? More importantly, did you know that all branches of Judaism support organ and tissue donation unequivically? Organ and tissue donation is one of the greatest mitzvot that any person can do. In honor of National Donor Sabbath, celebrated this Shabbat at Marlboro Jewish Center, Rabbi Pont spoke with Kelly Bonventre, Manager of Community Services for the New Jersey Share Network, along with real-life heart transplant recipient Alan Rogolsky about his journey through receiving this life saving miracle.
Nov 11, 2022
Changing the Game: A Kristallnacht Event at Marlboro Jewish Center
On Monday, November 7th, Marlboro Jewish Center hosted a unique panel discussion in commemoration of Kristallnacht. It included special guest and former Davidson College basketball coach Bob McKillop who joined us to share his experience taking his team to Auschwitz with Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor (z"l). Their journey is part of a new book, Unbracketed: Big-time College Basketball Done Right by Graham Honaker and Jerry Logan, who also joined us for this panel. This week's episode is a shorted version of the program and an inspirational story about the good that can rise from even the most terrible ashes.
Nov 4, 2022
On the Job as an Orthodox Jew
Harvey Hecker is a trailblazer. The first Orthodox Jew to join the New York City Police Department, the intersection of Harvey's career and his Jewish identity is as important as it is interesting. Listen to this week's episode to hear stories for Harvey's twenty years on the job and the many different ways that this pioneer made a positive impact on the NYPD for Jews and non-Jews alike.
Oct 28, 2022
The Committee of Concerned Scientists
All over the world scientists and other scholars of free thought are under attack by governments that seek to undermine their efforts to find the truth. On this week's episode, Rabbi Pont is joined by Dr. Eugene Chudnovsky, Co-Chair of the Committee of Concerned Scientists and Distinguished Professor of Physics at the City University of New York, to discuss the work of the CCS on behalf of scientists who have been wrongfully jailed and/or convicted of crimes by some of the most corrupt governments in the world.
Oct 21, 2022
Life as a Jewish College Athlete
Jess Kaplan and Jordan Paul both grew up at Marlboro Jewish Center. In the years since they graduated high school they have gone on to become star college athletes. On this episode, they reconnect with Rabbi Pont and talk about the demands of beng a college athlete and how it intersects with their desire to maintain a Jewish identity durng their college years.
Oct 14, 2022
The Tattooed Torah
The Tattooed Torah is an animated short film based on the well-known childrens book that has been teaching young children about the Holocaust for generations. On this episode, Rabbi Pont interviews filmmakers Marc Bennett and Greg Ferkel who brought this important story to life in an award winning animated film. Listen in to hear about how this film came to fruition and the impact it has made on Holocaust education worldwide.
Oct 7, 2022
The Geometry of Wealth
It is no secret that this has been a tough year for most investors. On this episode, Rabbi Pont is joined by his long-time friend Dr. Brian Portnoy, founder of Shaping Wealth, to explore the psychology of being wealthy and the many emotions that shape our personal views on financial success.
Sep 30, 2022
Making the Wordle a Better Place
On this episode, hear a replay of Rabbi Pont's erev Rosh Hashana sermon where he compares playing a game of wordle to doing teshuvah...a perfect lead in to the coming Yom Kippur. See if you can guess the final word!
Sep 23, 2022
The High Holidays are here!
And....we're back. After a summer without For the Love of Judaism, Rabbi Pont is back with some exciting guests for season two. We kick it off with Rabbi Mark Cooper and Hazzan Lior Melnick who will be joining Rabbi Pont and Cantor Michelle Teplitz on the bima at Marlboro Jewish Center for the high holdays this year. This is a great chance to get to know the visiting clergy and learn some interesting facts about how they prepare for the holdays.
Jun 24, 2022
It has been an amazing inaugural season of the For the Love of Judaism podcast. This week, in our last episode until September, Rabbi Pont shares two recent sermons and reflects on the year that has passed.
Jun 17, 2022
Embracing Interfaith Families
For generations, interfaith families were made to feel like they had no place in American Jewish society. But times have changed. In today's landscape, many Synagogues are rightfully embracing these modern Jewish families as important members of the community whose uniqueness is a strength, not a threat. On this episode Rabbi Pont welcomes Dr. Keren McGinity, consultant and interfaith specialist for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, for an honest conversation about her work as a champion for interfaith families in our communities.
Jun 3, 2022
Welcome to The Rock
Come From Away is called Broadway's 100-minute feel good sensation, and for good reason. Now in its 6th year at the Schoenfeld Theatre, this Tony Award-winning musical tells the true story of the five days following September 11, 2001 in Gander, New Foundland where 7,000 stranded passengers were met with overwhelming human kindness in their time of need. This week, authors Irene Sankoff and David Hein join Rabbi Pont for a conversation about how the show came to be and the impact that this spectacular show has had on them, on the artists who brought it to life, and the millions of people who have seen the show worldwide.
May 27, 2022
A Community Caterer
It is not easy to be a kosher caterer but when it is done right, it is a lot of fun to attend a well catered event! Marlboro Jewish Center is thrilled to have formed a partnership with Ira Zahler and IZ Events as the new in-house caterer at MJC. After 30 years as an off-premises Kosher caterer in New York, Ira is bringing his fantastic food to central New Jersey where the Jewish community will be well-fed for years to come. This week Ira joins Rabbi Pont for a discussion about all things Kosher catering past, present and future. This is not an episode to be missed but just do yourself a favor...don't listen hungry!
May 13, 2022
The Fight for Pluralism In Israel
Israel is the only democratic country in the world where Jews don't have freedom of religion. Think about that. For decades, the conservative and reform movements have been forced to the sidelines in Israel's fight to have a vibrant and diverse Jewish community. On the front lines of this struggle is Dr. Yizhar Hess, a leader of the Masorti Movement and 10th generation Jerusalemite, and this week, he joins Rabbi Pont to discuss what we as diaspora Jews can do to help the battle for the soul of our homeland.
May 6, 2022
Few diseases impact the life of a family like Alzheimers. Millions of people around the world suffer from this debilitating illness and often it is their caregivers, children, spouses and loved ones who suffer in silence. In a special Mother's Day edition, Rabbi Pont speaks to local author and caregiver Cheryl Kempner about her new book, Remember Me: An Alzheimer's Journey Through Art and Poetry. This deeply personal story about Cheryl and her mother's experience with her mom's illness is both touching and inspiring. The perfect love letter to the woman that raised her and that she now cares for each and every day.
Apr 29, 2022
The OGs of MJC B'not Mitzvah
A few weeks ago we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first ever Bat Mitzvah. In honor of that important milestone, Rabbi Pont invited two of the first women to stand on the bima at Marlboro Jewish Center and be called to the Torah.
Apr 21, 2022
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
In honor of Earth Day 2022 Rabbi Pont goes indepth with the Karen Lewis, Director of Institutional Greening at Hazon, an innovative Jewish organization committed to the sustainability of our planet. Listen in for an interesting conversation about what we as individuals and Synagogue communities can do to make sure the world is still an amazing and green place for future generations.
Apr 14, 2022
Happy Passover from RMP
A special Passover edition podcast featuring a theory on the middle Matzah, a sermon about two of the four sons and a special Passover tune featuring Cantor Michelle Teplitz. A perfect way to get ready for your Seders.
Apr 8, 2022
Gender Bias in Jewish Organizations
Gender bias in hiring practices is a major issue across the country and unfortunately, Jewish organizations are not immune. By not confronting our biasies we make it harder to hire the most talented people to help our organizations thrive into the future. Dr. Sara Shapiro Plevan is the foremost expert on the role that gender bias plays in the hiring practices of Jewish communal organizations. In this episode, she shares stories from her work with Rabbi Pont and offers tid bits we can all learn from whether we are in positions of leadership or just members of a local Jewish community.
Apr 1, 2022
Raising an Interfaith Jewish Family
The Jewish people make up just 0.19% of the world's population. It is one of the main reasons why so many Jewish families put pressure on their younger generations to marry within the faith. But what about when that doesn't happen? As time goes on, interfaith marriage is becoming more and more common. And more often than not, these Jewish and Jewish-adjacent couples become the lifeblood of the Jewish community to which they belong. On this episode, Rabbi Pont speaks with two such families, Erica and Adrian Bennett and Jodi and Rudy Kiste. Don't miss this interesting conversation about their experience as interfaith families, complete with a charge from Rabbi Pont to reimagine how we all think about interfaith marriage in our community,
Mar 25, 2022
The Politics in Israel
From the Iran Nuclear Deal to the Abraham Accords and much more, Gil Hoffman has been on the front lines covering all of the most important political issues in Israel. As the Chief Political Correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, he has spent his career understanding the politics of the country and the many complicated issues that its people face both domestically and abroad. This wide-ranging conversation with Rabbi Pont is just a preview of more to come from Gil, who will visit Marlboro Jewish Center on Sunday, April 3rd at 6:00pm to discuss Peace, Politics, Putin and the Pandemic. More information is available on the Marlboro Jewish Center website at www.mjcnj.com.
Mar 18, 2022
Antisemitism has been around for thousands of years and yet, in 2022, is a growing problem. This week, Rabbi Pont is joined by Dan Rozett, Manager of Community Engagement & Israel Engagement at the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey to discuss ways that Federation is supporting efforts to combat antisemitism locally, nationally and internationally.
Mar 11, 2022
Help from Across the Border
The situation in Ukraine is getting worse by the day. And yet, through the darkness, we are also witnessing the best of humankind. In Poland, thousands of people have jumped into action to help the more than 1.3 million refugees who have crossed into their country over the past two weeks. On this episode, Rabbi Pont is joined by Magda Olczak who is on the front lines, doing anything she can to help those in need. Don't miss this compelling interview with Magda, whose inspiring story of humanity and kindness is a lesson for all of us during these challenging times. *What Can You Do to Help?* It can be difficult to know where it is safe to donate and where your donation can have the greatest impact. Here are three organizations that Magda recommended for those who wish to get involved. *Daniel Russell's Donation Page* (as mentioned in the episode) https://chuffed.org/project/help-get-ukrainian-refugees-out-of-ukraine *Polish Humanitarian Action* https://www.pah.org.pl/en/?enable_cook…
Mar 4, 2022
The Journey to Judaism
One of the many milestones that a Rabbi gets to participate in is helping bring people into the Jewish faith through the conversion process. On this episode, you will meet three women who chose Judaism and the men who loved and supported their journey.
Feb 11, 2022
Ahm Yisrael Chai!
For decades, the Jewish National Fund has been creating connections between Jews and the land of Israel. In these challenging times, when Israel is under more pressure to justify is existence than ever before, JNF is changing the conversation and making a massive impact on the next 100 years of Jewish and non-Jewish life in Israel. In this episode, Rabbi Pont is joined by Russell Robinson, CEO of JNF USA, whose infectious passion for Israel will inspire all of us to get involved.
Feb 4, 2022
Understanding Guns and Gun Safety
Few disagree that there is an epidemic of gun violence in this country. Statistics don't lie. Whether it is a rise in school shootings, street violence, or religious-based hate crimes, more people die as a result of gun violence in the United States than in any other country in the world. Still, there is much that the average person has to learn about guns and gun safety. Enter Ira Levin, owner of Legend Firearms in Monroe, New Jersey who joins Rabbi Pont on this week's episode to discuss his perspective on all things firearms. Whether you agree or disagree, it is these conversations that we need to have.
Jan 28, 2022
From the Farm to the Mikveh
Imagine being raised thinking that you wanted to become a Methodist minister only to figure out that in your heart, you are Jewish. While every convert has a story, few are as interesting as that of Rabbi Chaim Edelstein, Rabbi at Temple Beth Ahm in Aberdeen, New Jersey, whose path to the pulpit was just a little bit more winding than most. This is a story you do not want to miss!
Jan 19, 2022
The Crisis in Colleyville
The hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel sent shivers down the spine of Jews throughout the world. In this episode, Rabbi Pont reflects on the eleven-hour ordeal and how both the Torah and Jewish scholars can help us through a moment like this.
Jan 14, 2022
Addiction and Faith
Addiction is an epidemic that faces millions of people across the United States. In this episode, Rabbi Pont speaks with Aviva, a recovering addict whose journey through adoption, abuse, addiction and her Jewish faith is as compelling as it is powerful.
Jan 7, 2022
Next Year in Israel!
Tourism is the bedrock of the Israeli economy but likeso many industries, it has been drastically impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, Rabbi Pont is joined by Geoff Winston, Programs Director for Keshet Educational Tours and a 30-year veteran Israeli tour guide, for a wide-ranging conversation about the the role of tourism in Israel and the ways in which it has changed in the face of unprecedented challenges.
Dec 17, 2021
Pets in a Pandemic
We all love our furry four-legged creatures. And over these past two years even more of us have started loving them than ever before. In this episode, Rabbi Pont is joined by Dr. Alene Opatut, a veterinerian at Red Bank Animal Hospitals and Nancy Jenkins from 3 Hearts 4 Paws Animal Rescue to discuss what it has been like to be on the front lines of the pet world in the time of COVID-19.
Dec 10, 2021
A Jewish Teen on Christmas
One of the most important roles that a Rabbi plays is that of a teacher. In this episode, Rabbi Pont is joined by a number of his students, juniors and seniors in high school, for an inside look and what it is like for them to be Jews in public school during the Christmas season.
Dec 3, 2021
Sh'ma News: The Bible Players are Sweeping the Nation!
It's Hanukkah and does Rabbi Pont ever have a present for you! Don't miss this interview with Aaron Friedman, co-founder of The Bible Players, a Torah comedy troupe that combines Jewish education and improv comedy to teach Jewish values, ahead of their visit to Marlboro Jewish Center. Hear Rabbi Pont try his hand at improv during a wide-ranging interview that is sure to make you laugh more than a few times. Afterall, Aaron was recently named the funniest Jew in New York!
Nov 24, 2021
As we prepare for a fun weekend of turkey and latkes tune in for a special holiday message from Rabbi Pont.
Nov 12, 2021
Such a Boichik
Earlier this year the New York Times declared that the best bagels in the country are being made in Berkley, California at Boichik Bagels. For native east coasters this was quite the shock but after hearing this interview with Boichick's own (and New Jersey native) Emily Winston, you will almost definitely be heading west for your next bagel!
Nov 5, 2021
Remember the Past, Protect the Future, Act Now
Next Tuesday is the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, one of the darkest days in the history of the Jewish people. In this episode, Rabbi Pont speaks with Dr. Stacy Gallin, founder of The Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Bioethics and the Holocaust, to discuss the role of the medical community in the Holocaust and the ways in which MIMEH is seeking to transform Holocaust education for the next generation of Jews and non-Jews alike.
Oct 29, 2021
War and Peace
Retired Colonel Jeff Cantor has seen it all. From Bosnia and Kosovo to Iraq and Afghanistan, the founder of the New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce has been on the front lines of both war and peace around the world for more than three decades. In this episode, Retired Colonel (and current Marlboro Town Council President) Cantor joins Rabbi Pont for a frank conversation about what it was like on the ground in the Middle East and how he is trying to help his rescue those left behind after the U.S. pullout last summer.
Oct 22, 2021
In this episode Rabbi Pont introduces the audience to Sydney Greenberg and his friend Art through a replay of his 2020 Rosh Hashana sermon. Join RMP, Sydney and Art for this tale of friendship, courage and kindness, complete with lessons all of can take along our path.
Oct 15, 2021
Dealing with Serious Illness
In this episode, Rabbi Pont shares his Yom Kippur sermon in which he shared news of his own battle with serious illness and how his faith, friends, and family are helping him through this difficult time.
Oct 8, 2021
The Mitzvah of Vaccination
When it comes to hot topics, few rival the heat created by a discussion of the COVID-19 vaccine. As this miracle of modern medicine keeps hundreds of millions of people around the world safe from the devistation of serious illness, there are also millions of people who are hesitant to receive their shots. In this episode, Rabbi Pont will be joined by Dr. Marnie Rosenthal, an infectious disease specialist and front line hero of the past 18 months. Together they will to discuss the role of vaccines in our society and the unequivocal Jewish perspective on the necessity of being vaccinated.
Oct 1, 2021
I Forgive You
Forgiveness is hard no matter which side of the equation you find yourself on. And yet we know that in order to keep our most important relationships strong we must be willing to both ask for forgiveness and accept it when asked. Join Rabbi Pont and acclaimed psychologist, Dr. Judy Kramer, for a meaningful discussion on forgiveness and relationships complete with some strategies for approaching those hard conversations.
Sep 24, 2021
Why We Fast
When you think of Yom Kippur the first thing that comes to mind is that dreaded fast. That's right...24 hours with no food and no water. But what Talmudic scholars never would have seen coming is that fasting would become the latest health craze and something people do on a regular basis and on purpose. In this episode, Rabbi Pont talks to physiatrist Dr. Jessica Miller about the benefits of fasting as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Sep 17, 2021
Hunger in Our Community
On the day before Yom Kippur, Rabbi Pont had the opportunity to interview Jim Kroeze and Linda Kellner, Co-Interim Executive Directors of Fullfil NJ of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, about hunger and food scarcity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sep 6, 2021
The Maiden Voyage
Introducing For the Love of Judaism with Rabbi Michael Pont, a new weekly podcast about love, inspiration and Torah. Get a taste of what's to come with this short story about why you might want to lower your expectations on these upcoming High Holy Days.