Ellen's Jewish Identity Timeline

  • Born into a Jewish Family

    Born into a Jewish Family
  • Ellen's Starts Kindergarten at Plainfield Regional Hebrew Day School (Modern Orthodox)

    Found out I loved listening to stories about the bible.
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    Plainfield Regional Hebrew Day School (K-6)

  • 1st Summer at Camp Noam - JCC Camp

    Went to Camp Noam from 1971-1975
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    Camp Noam summers

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    Hebrew Academy of Central NJ - Perth Amboy, NJ (More Strictly Orthodox)

  • 1st Summer at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires

    Went to Ramah Berkshires for 4 years, from Solelim - Gesher, the four oldest eidot.
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    Summers Spent at Camp Ramah Berkshires

  • My Bat Mitzvah

    My Bat Mitzvah
    I lead the service praying from my Orthodox prayerbook at my Reform congregation because I would have been mortified not to have read the complete prayers my friends and I prayed daily in yeshiva. It was a Rosh Chodesh Sunday so my Ortho teachers and friends could drive to my service. I only chanted Haftarah because it was rare for a girl to have a bat mitzvah and chanting from the Torah was not an option open to me from the Orthodox side. (The picture is of my rabbi and cantor )
  • Graduation from Yeshiva into Exile :)

    Graduated from yeshiva, and headed to Rutgers Prep where half the kids were Jewish, but mostly non-observant and very assimilated.
  • 1st Day of Prep School

    This was the day I found out that the boy sitting next to me was like me, a descendant of the Vilna Gaon.
  • First Trip to Israel

  • 1st Aliyah

    Got called up to the Torah in a little minyan by the lake on a Shabbat morning at Camp Ramah. I knew the Torah blessings from sitting through a million Torah reading days at Ramah and at Bnai Mitzvah. HAd never been taught the blessing because I was a girl in an Orthodox day school.
  • Met my friend Lisa B

    Found out one of the new freshman was also an ortho yeshiva grad who had one of my old teachers who had switched to her school. Nice to have a new close friend at school who shared my deep Jewish roots.
  • Accepted Early Decision at Mount Holyoke College

    Accepted Early Decision at Mount Holyoke College
    Fell in love with MHC the moment I laid eyes on the campus. I was told by one of the college guides that there was an active Jewish Student Union. I decided on the spot to apply Early Decision and was thrilled that I got in.
  • Got on the Jewish Student Union board

    Got on the Jewish Student Union board my first semester -
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    Mount Holyoke Undergrad Years - South Hadley, MA

    Having grown up in NJ, I had absolutely no clue a place could have almost nothing Jewish. And found out the guide really didn't know what she was talking about - There was no active Jewish group on campus due to infighting.
  • Elected Co-Chair of the Jewish Student Union

    Was co-chairing with a Junior
  • All new religious leadership at MHC

    We got a New Dean of the College Chapel (Protestant) and new Catholic and Jewish Chaplains. Finally there were people to support a nascent Jewish community on campus.
  • Started Rebuilding the Jewish Student Union with Freshman

    Early on in my sophomore year, I started focusing on re-building the JSU with freshman.
  • 1st UMASS Hillel Shabbat Service

    One of the frieshman from my board and I decided to check out UMASS Hillel - We became regular members for the rest of our years at MHC. We both ahd boyfriends through Hillel as well. The rabbi was AMAZING!
  • Elected Co-Chair of the Jewish Student Union with a bunch of Freshmen

    ME and all new leadership for the MHC JSU.
  • Began Leading Weekly Shabbat services at Mount Holyoke

    My friend Mindy and I would do services at MHC at 5pm , then quickly eat dinner with whoever came to services, and then we'd head off to UMASS Hillel for their shabbat service. We'd sing prayers all the way from MHC to UMASS Amhers.
  • Student Zionist Council of AZYF

    I attended the Winter Convention of the Student Zionist Council of AZYF and vowed that my friend Mindy and I would be invited to go to ISrael with them next winter to review Israel programs in order to promote them on campus. Saw DAVID BROZA for the first time!
  • MHC Student Leadership Award

    1st Person to Win a MHC Leadership Award for Leading the Jewish Student Union, and only a handful of Juniors are chosen for this prestigious award.
  • Re-elected for a 3rd term as Co-chair of JSU

  • Tel Aviv Univ Summer Program

    Got accepted into the TAU summer program, where I took Ulpan Gimel - That was the summer when I finally began to speak Hebrew.
  • MHC Philosophy Department Chair Lee Bowie Required Seniors to Sign Up for Pro Seminar

    MHC Philosophy Department Chair Lee Bowie Required Seniors to Sign Up for Pro Seminar
    This was a tremendously significant event in my life on various levels. Lee felt that it was not just enough to learn philosophy, we should be actively engaged in it as philosophers ourselves. This experience brought the two tree branches together for us. This Pro Seminar is also the reason I have some ability to communicate through writing despite the fact that I now know that hyperlexia and dyslexia both cause me major problems with writing.
  • AZYF Leadership Training Seminar in Israel!!

    Managed to get Mindy and I onto the AZYF Leadership Training Seminar in Israel which followed their Winter Convention. AMAZING trip!
  • UMASS Hillel Senior Service Award

    I was the first Mount Holyoke Student to ever receive the UMASS Amherst Hillel Senior Service Award.
  • Acting Jewish Chaplain at Mount Holyoke College

    the protestant Dean of the College Chapel asked me to come back to MHC after I graduated to be the interim Jewish Chaplain to replace our former chaplain whose mother was dying of cancer. I became the first full time Jewish Chaplain in the 150+ year history of the college
  • Helped conduct interviews for MHC's first rabbi

  • Helped conduct interviews for MHC's 1st Chairs of Jewish Studies

  • Helped plan for the 1st ever Kosher Hallal Kitchen

    This kitchen won the prestigious Haber Award and was thought to be the first Kosher Hallal Kitchen anywhere.
  • Kefiada Kadima Counselor through Jewish Agency

    Taught English in Israel to our Project Renewal Community - Lived where no one spoke English - Hebrew was AWESOME by the end of the summer.
  • Founding Co-Chair of the Shalom Singles

    Founding Co-Chair of the Shalom Singles at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple New Brunswick. Built up the organization for two years, always at a profit, and handed it off to new leadership. Helped a half dozen or so of my friends get married.
  • Chaperone 10th Grade Confrimation Class to Eastern Europe

    Was asked to chaperone our 10 graders who go to Eastern Europe every year for their Confirmation Class trip.
  • Youth Group Advisor at Temple Sholom, Plainfield, NJ

    Took over the Temple Youth Group which was dying out, and revitalized it by adding events for Middle Schoolers who would eventually grow into the High School Youth Group. Did Youth Group for 2 or 3 years?
  • Teacher at Temple Sholom

    Was asked to finish out the year as the Pre-K teacher since the other teacher had an ill family member. I've been teaching ever since.
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    Teacher at Temple Sholom

  • Desktop Published the Horowitz Family Haggadah

    Desktop Published the Horowitz Family Haggadah
    On New Year's Eve 1999, which was a few weeks after my father died, my friend Brian's dad, Sid, was celebrating his 65th birthday. I decided I needed to make his ragtag, charoset strewn 3 ring binder bound Haggadah into a true family heirloom. 3 months and 80+ pages later, I presented him with a beautiful version of his precious and amazing haggadah.
  • Chanted from the Torah for the 1st time

    Chanted from the Torah for the first time.
  • Haggadah I Wrote for my Godchild

    Haggadah I Wrote for my Godchild
    My godchild was two and had never been to a seder since her mom was Jewish and her dad was Christian. They were coming to my mom's for seder, and three days before the holiday I decided to write her a haggadah. My rabbi's wife waned a copy and they have used it at their seder for 11 years. I should really publish it.
  • Chaperone 10th Grade Confirmation Class to Eastern Europe - 2nd time

    Chaperone 10th Grade Confirmation Class to Eastern Europe - 2nd time
  • 40th Birthday Celebration at My Synagogue

    Got called up for 3 aliyot:
    1) All teachers for Teacher Appreciation
    2) All May Birthdays
    3) My 40th birthday - My rabbi made a beautiful speech about me and he had told half the free world it was going to be my 40th, so the place was packed and everybody was wishing me a Happy Birthday. :)
  • Temple Sholom Annual Award Recipient

    I was shocked to find out that I had been awarded the highest level of leadership award by my synagogue. Unfortunately I had surgery that day and couldn't receive itin person.
  • Torah Scribe Apprentice

    Torah Scribe Apprentice
    Began work for Neil Yerman, a liberal Torah scribe in Mt. Vernon, NY
  • 1st Torah Repair done all by myself!

    1st Torah Repair done all by myself!
  • First time putting ink to parchment!

    First time putting ink to parchment!
  • Signed a Contract to Have a Torah Written for My Mother

    Signed a Contract to Have a Torah Written for My Mother
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    Writing Mommy's Torah

  • Started MJEd

  • Launch for Writing a New Torah in Memory of My Mother

    Launch for Writing a New Torah in Memory of My Mother
    Financed the writing of a brand new Torah in memory of my mother for Chabad in Fanwood, NJ.
  • Filled in a Letter as We Completed Mommy's Torah

    Filled in a Letter as We Completed Mommy's Torah
    The day we finished mommy's Torah and marched it into Chabad in Fanwood, NJ, I got the shock of my life when I was asked to fill in my own letter as we completed the Torah. You can see me writing while the Orthodox scribe looks on.