North Hudson Friendship Society Unites Jewish and Muslim Youth, Helps Homeless

February 19, 2006

Source: The Hudson Reporter

On February 19, 2006 The Hudson Reporter reported, "What began with a discussion last March has transformed into a local program in which people of Jewish faith work with those of the Islamic background for the good of their community. The North Hudson Friendship Council, which started as a way for leaders of different faith organizations in North Hudson to get together, has since sponsored events, such as a fundraising dinner organized by 10 Jewish teenage girls from Bergen County and 10 Islamic girls in Hudson County. That fundraiser resulted in more than $11,000 in proceeds all going to the Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation (PERC) homeless shelter in Union City. David Kronick, the former state assemblyman from North Bergen, is a representative for Temple Beth-El in the township. He was one of the founding fathers of the North Hudson Friendship Council. In the beginning, Kronick got great responses from other spiritual leaders in the North Hudson community, like Yousef Abdallah of the Islamic Educational Center of North Hudson... Others who joined the coalition included Rev. Gary Kugler of the St. John Lutheran Church in Union City, Rev. Douglas Shepler of the Grove Reformed Church in North Bergen, Rabbi Aaron Hirschman of Union City, and Rev. Will Henkel of the First Reformed Church of Secaucus... All of the organizers agreed that the best way to develop a kinship between the different faiths would be to include the youth of the community."