If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:
In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.
Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.
These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.
In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.
One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.
Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:
Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.
When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.
Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.
Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.
Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.
This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.
During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.
Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.
There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.
Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.
That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.
When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.
If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Elberon Park, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.
A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.
The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.
For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.
A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.
Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.
While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.
Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.
The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.
Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.
To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.
There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Elberon Park, NJ, including the following:
You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.
Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.
It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:
At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.
Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Elberon Park, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.
Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.
Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.
When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:
Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.
New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.732-526-2497
New Jersey environmental officials issued water quality alerts at 16 ocean and bay beaches on Tuesday, Aug. 8, where high levels of a bacterial found in feces were detected. On Wednesday, 15 of those beaches were considered safe for swimming once again.The beaches showed high levels of ...
New Jersey environmental officials issued water quality alerts at 16 ocean and bay beaches on Tuesday, Aug. 8, where high levels of a bacterial found in feces were detected. On Wednesday, 15 of those beaches were considered safe for swimming once again.
The beaches showed high levels of enterococci, a microbe commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. High levels of the bacteria can indicate the presence of other, illness-causing pathogens, viruses and protozoa, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Feces' bacteria typically ends up in creeks and rivers through storm runoff, which flushes pet, livestock or wildlife droppings into waterways. Leaky septic and sewer systems are other common causes of high bacteria levels in water.
Young children, elderly adults and people with compromised immune systems are the most at risk of severe illness from swimming in contaminated water, according to the EPA. Swimming in water tainted with sewage or animal waste can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, headache and fever, as well as ear, nose and throat infections, according to the agency.
Atlantic City: Ocean beaches at Michigan Avenue, Arkansas Avenue, Connecticut Avenue, Kentucky Avenue, South Carolina Avenue, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. and New York Avenue.
Deal: Ocean beach at Roosevelt Avenue.
Highlands: Miller Beach and the bay beach at the Highland Recreation Center.
Long Branch: Ocean beaches at the Elberon Bathing Club and the Ocean Beach Club.
Neptune: Ocean beach at Broadway.
Sea Girt: Ocean beach at New York Boulevard.
Point Pleasant: River beach at River Avenue.
Seaside Heights: Bay beach at Hancock Avenue.
Amanda Oglesby is an Ocean County native who covers education and the environment. She has worked for the Press for more than 15 years. Reach her at @OglesbyAPP, firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-557-5701.
@byMikeDavisCommuters, open your wallets.NJ Transit's new train fare schedules go into effect on Thursday, resulting in an average 9 percent increase across all of the agency's stations and rail lines.For customers on the North Jersey Coast Line, the only line that serves Monmouth and Ocean counties, an unlimited monthly pass to New York Penn Station is increasing between $35 and $40."It takes a big chunk out of your pocket, out of your savings. For someone who's raising a family and trying to ...
Commuters, open your wallets.
NJ Transit's new train fare schedules go into effect on Thursday, resulting in an average 9 percent increase across all of the agency's stations and rail lines.
For customers on the North Jersey Coast Line, the only line that serves Monmouth and Ocean counties, an unlimited monthly pass to New York Penn Station is increasing between $35 and $40.
"It takes a big chunk out of your pocket, out of your savings. For someone who's raising a family and trying to live in Monmouth County, it's tough," Marlboro resident Mizi Mehaj said in July, minutes before her daily commute from Matawan to New York. "But there's actually no other way. You could drive yourself, which I wouldn't do because of traffic."
The fare increase was approved as part of NJ Transit's $2.1 billion budget, unanimously passed in July. It's the agency's fifth fare hike since 2000, the first since a 22 percent increase in 2010.
As of Thursday, a New York-bound commuter from the Aberdeen-Matawan station will be paying exactly $100 more for a monthly pass than they were five years ago.
New Jersey commuters pay the highest fares in the nation, which outpace inflation by 25 percent, said Janna Chernetz, a senior New Jersey policy analyst with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
"The transportation funding structure in New Jersey is broken," Chernetz said. "We're nearly halfway to the unveiling of our next state budget and we're not any closer to solving our transportation crisis so riders aren't facing a worse crunch next year."
For many commuters, the fare hike adds insult to injury: With the Hudson River rail tunnels between New Jersey and New York falling apart, trains are regularly delayed for repairs.
On Wednesday morning, trains were delayed more than 30 minutes due to a "smoke condition" in one of the tunnels.
The tunnels will likely need to be closed, one at a time, for repairs within the next 5 to 20 years, Amtrak officials have said. The tunnels' short shelf life have placed a renewed focus on building new rail tunnels, a $20 billion project without a solid funding plan behind it.
Earlier this month, Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged to fund half the project – which would be overseen by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – if the federal government issued a grant for the other half.
NEW NJ TRANSIT FARES
All prices reflect an unlimited monthly pass to New York Penn Station. For station-to-station and one-way fares, visit NJTransit.com.
@byMikeDavisNJ Transit is temporarily restoring late-night train service to Shore destinations south of Long Branch, a summertime-only reverse of an unpopular decision to cancel the service last year.According to updated North Jersey Coast Line schedules, the last train out of New York Penn Station -- which departs at 1 a.m. -- will include "Bay Head shuttle" service t...
NJ Transit is temporarily restoring late-night train service to Shore destinations south of Long Branch, a summertime-only reverse of an unpopular decision to cancel the service last year.
According to updated North Jersey Coast Line schedules, the last train out of New York Penn Station -- which departs at 1 a.m. -- will include "Bay Head shuttle" service to Elberon, Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Bradley Beach, Belmar, Spring Lake, Manasquan, Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head.
But it will only be in operation from June 27 to Sept. 9, the height of the summer tourism season. After that? It's back to normal, stranding Shore residents if they miss an 11:18 p.m. train, more than 90 minutes earlier that leaves barely enough time for concerts and sporting event crowds to make a mad dash to the platform.
If riders miss that train, they have to wait until a 5:32 a.m. train or make other arrangements.
"Our customers are very familiar with schedules changing and, in this context, we have to be very careful about providing service where there's demand," former NJ Transit Executive Director Veronique Hakim said at the time, shortly before leaving NJ Transit for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "Obviously, the schedules for those trains did not have demand for that service."
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: NJ Transit hikes fares by 9 percent
The sudden move upset many Shore riders, especially because it came without any public notice: Federal law only requires public hearings for a "major service change" that cuts 25 percent of a line's stops or discontinues it on specific days.
“They didn’t let us know ahead of time. I know they have to cut some trains, because the overall number of travelers at night is probably no comparison to the daytime, but why in heaven’s name would you cut the last train,” Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce trustee Kenneth Roth said in October. “How do you expect people to ride the train if they can get to New York but they can’t get back?”
"Guess we won't be going to concerts or plays in New York anymore if we can't get home within a reasonable hour," one Asbury Park Press reader wrote on Facebook.
The unannounced schedule changes -- which also included late-night service on the Morris & Essex Line -- prompted action by state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, D-Mercer, who sponsored bills that would require NJ Transit to hold public hearings and provide notice prior to any curtailment of bus or rail services.
The Assembly bill was passed in April by a 70 to 2 vote. The Senate bill cleared the Senate Transportation Committee May 2.
Taka, Asbury Park, NJWednesday, October 22, 2:22 p.m.I sat with my back to a lounge-y area with short, built-in benches, stools, and small cocktail tables. It was the perfect, cozy spot to settle in for cocktails on date night.Jason, who at first seemed a bit too busy to care, then unleashed a recommendation that’s no longer available on the menu and my opinion of him went straight to a 10!“I have to say, I love ...
Taka, Asbury Park, NJ
Wednesday, October 22, 2:22 p.m.
I sat with my back to a lounge-y area with short, built-in benches, stools, and small cocktail tables. It was the perfect, cozy spot to settle in for cocktails on date night.
Jason, who at first seemed a bit too busy to care, then unleashed a recommendation that’s no longer available on the menu and my opinion of him went straight to a 10!
“I have to say, I love the Yamaguchi roll, which is awesome, but the Jun-San is the most popular roll on the menu, by far.”
I love the decor as it’s simple and combines mediums with great touches of color. The space has great light by day or night. The bulbous glass lighting fixtures against the geometric dominance of the dining tables in the area and the grid-like wall that holds large barrels containing Japanese lettering bring a nice energy. The graphic and vibrant Japanese art on the back wall add to the glory of the space. The bar has an electrifying energy, while the dining room is a bit more serene. I really appreciate the range of seating options within the bar area and just love the place settings popping with bright orange linen napkins. It just sparks joy!
Spicy Rosarita, $14 Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh blood orange, and muddled jalapeño A well-blended cocktail that wasn’t totally original was a bit of magic when the muddled jalapeño blended together with the sweet-tart of the blood orange notes. The drink certainly passed for delicious, so I ordered a second.
Tuna Tataki, $12 Thin-sliced, seared, peppered tuna served with a ponzu sauce
Crazy fresh. So simple. The tuna was velvety in texture and the flavor the perfect depth. I liked the peppercorn crust which added a perfect crunch of flavor. The ponzu mystifies me a bit. Perhaps my palate isn’t that sophisticated after all. I found the ponzu a little flat even though generously garnished with scallions. Truth be told, the tuna needed nothing–it was delicious naked!
Sashimi & Roll, $29 Eight pieces of sliced raw fish (today it included salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and snapper) plus one specialty roll (I had the Yamaguchi, which is no longer on the menu so you have to special-request it!) Salmon, tuna, shiso leaf topped with yellow tail habanero masago and honey wasabi mayo
My eyes try to take in the sheer beauty of the sashimi platter. Bursting with intense color, each unique fish its own texture and tint. The specialty roll adding its own circus of visual pleasure. I marvel as I look over each texture; the suppleness of the fish; the precision of the identical slices; the bright green mound of wasabi; the clever use of cucumber as a stand for the sashimi. Its as if the plate was a great artist’s creation infusing shape, color and texture to present the perfect masterpiece.
How do you describe the freshest pieces of fish you’ve ever eaten? EVER. Here’s my best attempt at describing the flavors of each.
After doing a little research, it turns out the reason salmon tastes a little different from other fish is that its cold water environment creates the fatty richness we associate with salmon of any kind. This raw, fresh-catch version was a delight. So tasty, melt-in-your-mouth kind of good!
The tuna, again ultra fresh. Seemingly a different cut from the tataki as it was robust yet not at all fish; ever-so-subtly tasting of the sea but almost nutty; it was divine. The sweetness of yellowtail never bores me and today the yellowtail was exceptional. The last, a snapper was sweeter than the rest and cut much thinner, allowing the fish texture to come through; it was a little more toothy than the others, which were more “steaky” in the way they felt in the mouth.
The roll was spectacular. The bright red masago always entertains with its pop of fishy flavor and wonderful texture while you enjoy the amalgam of other fish in this tasty, crunchy, flavorful roll. The lightly minty flavor of the shiso leaf provided a nice touch against the rest and the tiny bit of heat still felt even with everything else that was going on. Sometimes it’s hard to take it all in and this roll was no exception.
However, if you really do pay attention the flavors, all of them come through.
Jun-Sun, $14 Tuna, avocado, salmon, yellowtail, scallion and tempura crunch with spicy mayo and caramelized soy sauce
Another delightful choice of roll; it’s no wonder it’s the fan-fave on the menu. The chunks of fish with avocado inside and the layers outside are always a welcome roll approach. The crunch was a nice juxtaposition against the smooth avocado inside. I really appreciated the mix of spicy mayo and caramelized soy. More, please!
What’s on Tap
Approximately five beers on tap; taps down at the time of my visit. Limited offerings. Please call as selections change.
Champagne and Sparkling Zonin Prosecco, Italy $10 Laurent Perrier Champagne, France $17
Rosé Underwood, Oregon, $11 Whispering Angel, France, $16
Pinot Grigio Cavaliere D’Oro, Italy, $9 Esperto, Italy, $10 Barone Fini, Italy $11
Sauvignon Blanc Makara, New Zealand, $10 Nobilo, New Zealand, $11 Domaine de la Perriére Sancerre, France, $15
Other Whites 50 Degree Riesling, Germany, $11 Day Wines, California, $13
Pinot Noir Parker Station, California, $11 J. Lohr, California, $11 Josh Cellars, California, $12 Francois Labet, France, $14 Paolo Saracco, Italy, $14
Cabernet Sauvignon Bieler “Born to Run,” California, $10 BV Coastal Estates, California, $11 Feudi Principi di Butera, Italy, $12 Daou, California, $14
Other Reds Ferrari Carano Merlot, California, $13 Af by Achavel-Ferrer Malbec, Argentina, $12 Viña Zorzal, Spain, $14
Taka is in its 19th year. Behind the concept and business: Takahiro Hirai, whose passionate vision was born from his years as a sushi chef working for Kessler’s Catering in Elberon. In fact, the owners helped Hirai make the move to his own spot and helped fund his first Taka location. The restaurant is open for lunch, featuring daily specials from 12 to 3 p.m., and dinner. They’re also available for large groups, private affairs, and parties.
Monday through Thursday, and Sundays: 12:00 to 10:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays: 12:00 to 11:00 p.m.
Check the website for the latest intel.
Taka 660 Cookman Avenue Asbury Park, NJ 07712 732-775-1020
A Lady Walks into a Bar™ is owned and trademarked by Gabrielle Garofalo.
When Congregation Brothers of Israel (CBI) in Long Branch, New Jersey, decided to expand to meet their congregational needs, they didn’t follow the usual route of adding a new wing or floor to their current building. They added a satellite synagogue about a mile-and-a-half away, at a location closer to the ocean.This isn’t the first move for CBI. Founded in the late 19th century, the building had two locations in the downtown area of Long Branch before moving to the Park Avenue location in the Elberon section in the 1970s....
When Congregation Brothers of Israel (CBI) in Long Branch, New Jersey, decided to expand to meet their congregational needs, they didn’t follow the usual route of adding a new wing or floor to their current building. They added a satellite synagogue about a mile-and-a-half away, at a location closer to the ocean.
This isn’t the first move for CBI. Founded in the late 19th century, the building had two locations in the downtown area of Long Branch before moving to the Park Avenue location in the Elberon section in the 1970s. “Many shuls move as their population moves; we did the same,” said Gerald Ostrov, synagogue president. The Park Avenue location was in the suburban area where the congregational families were moving to at the time. As those families became empty-nesters or snowbirds spending time in Florida, they moved closer to the shore and found the walk to Park Avenue difficult. Considering the many families from North Jersey who came for the summer months, the shul’s leaders decided to create a satellite location on Ocean Avenue.
The satellite location grew from one apartment to two, and finally three. Yet even with three apartments, the space was too tight to fit everyone. The congregation’s rabbi, Nasanayl Braun, said that they “felt like sardines.” There were around 150 members who prayed weekly in their Ocean Avenue apartments and almost 300 members on high holidays. The growing community with its need for a bigger space inspired the idea of a new building that will serve members of the congregational community who live far from Park Avenue.
The newly constructed, beautiful building has more space, designated rooms for children, and a larger kiddush space than the former satellite location. The interior design and furniture—from the tables and chairs to the Aron Kodesh—came from Kibbutz Lavi in Israel.
The new location at 38 Sternberger Avenue will have a “soft” opening before Pesach, with a gala grand opening on Memorial Day weekend with a VIP guest speaker, an a capella singing group, gala kiddush for Friday night dinner, and Shabbat lunch. They are also planning a family carnival on Sunday of the grand opening weekend.
As with any major construction project, surprises are always part of the process. There were some COVID delays, such as the window frames being stuck in a port for two months. Despite the delay, the building is on track for the scheduled grand opening date.
Rabbi Braun notes: “Parshiot Terumah and Tetzaveh highlight the importance and spiritual benefit of davening in a beautiful structure. It is my sincerest hope that our new building will allow the community to continue to grow both in numbers of mispallelim and the quality of our tefillot. It is an exciting time at the shore; the community has been overwhelming in its support and generosity; and I feel honored and privileged to be a part of this wonderful synagogue community.”
The satellite shul will benefit from their “summer rabbi” who spends summers with his family in Long Branch while residing in Bergenfield the rest of the year. Rabbi David Sher has served in this role since 2008. “Our newest building is a testament to the vitality of our community and how much the shul means to our members. We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in recent years, with people coming from all over North Jersey and New York to have a place by the shore. The enthusiasm and passion that our members have shown to this project demonstrates that they do not view their time in Long Branch simply as a ‘temporary place where they vacation,’ but rather as a central piece of their Jewish and communal affiliation.”
Ostrov remarked that the members of the multifaceted congregational community want to be engaged and share the levels of togetherness with both locations. Weekly prayer services are only held at the Park Avenue location.
Program Director Roz Ben David notes the cohesion of the community. “There is a great deal of communication in chat groups. Committees, such as chesed and Israel action and awareness committee, have active participants from both locations. We’ve been running both locations for the last 20 years and we hope to continue doing that into the future.”
Ostrov added: “Few synagogues have 120-plus years of history like we do. I and the board have a daunting responsibility to continue this proud legacy for the next 120 years. The response of the community has been awe-inspiring. We will now have a beautiful new building serving the growing Ocean Avenue segment of our congregation supplementing the Park Avenue facility.
We are in a real growth mode, and it is wonderful.”
Congregation Brothers of Israel is proud to be a Modern Orthodox Zionist shul located on the Jersey Shore. It has a small-town vibe with big-city Jewish amenities. Multiple kosher restaurants plus the beach makes CBI an ideal place to raise a family, retire to, or spend the summer. Find more information at: https://cbilb.shulcloud.com/
By Deborah Melman
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