If we can think back over the 70 years of TJC history, we have so much to be proud of. In my time at TJC, I have heard many stories about the early years and the challenges our founders faced as they created a synagogue in Princeton when the Jewish population was much smaller than it is today. Different people wanted a synagogue for different reasons including some who were looking for a social connection, others who wanted outstanding programming and still more who just wanted a place to come together for Shabbat and Holiday worship. As an institution, our relationship with other community institutions has improved over the years and we now serve a critical role in our community. Seventy years is an important milestone for an individual and for an institution and we should use this time to reflect back on all that we accomplished, all that we created together and all of the influence we had on the people who walked into our building in the past 70 years.
Prior to the High Holidays, we had an opportunity as a congregation to celebrate this milestone with an outstanding dinner dance on a Saturday night and a family concert with Rick Recht on Sunday afternoon. This coming Sunday, we are hosting another outstanding program to mark our 70 years. Everyone in the community is invited to join us at 1 PM on Sunday for Celebrating 70 Years of Jewish Influence on American Popular Culture. I want to thank the committee who worked with me to invite an outstanding lineup of speakers to TJC to present on our theme including Eric Goldman, a noted film historian and professor at Yeshiva University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Skirball Academy in New York, as well as Emily Mann, the award winning Playwright and Artistic Director at McCarter Theater here in Princeton. Eric Goldman will be our first speaker of the day and Emily Mann will be the final speaker of the day and in between we have two outstanding workshops that touch on the theme - Matt Rosenthal will present on Jewish Contributions in the Comic Book world and Neil Litt who will speak about the Fall and Rise of Jewish Roles in Movies and Television. (Because of some personal health issues, we had to make some last minute changes to our workshop leaders).
If we think back on the past 70 years of American Popular Culture, there were times that the Jewish people had tremendous influence and there were times when we were prevented from doing so. I am sure if we were asked to name famous Jewish in the world of movies, television, music and theater, we could all come up with many names. This Sunday's program will be a chance to bring so many of these themes together in one place and I am proud that we are hosting this gathering that is open to our entire community.
I want to thank the committee who worked with me to create this special event - Moshe Margolin, Michael Goldin, Jon Katz, Linda Milstein, Heidi Joseph and Sharon Diamondstein. We hope that you will be able to join us for this special program and help us to continue to celebrate our milestone birthday as a congregation. Happy 70th Birthday to all of us. We have so much to be proud of. And as I said at our event in September, from where I sit, the best years for TJC are still to come.
Rabbi Adam Feldman