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Avoid Surgery and Reduce Pain with

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Roosevelt, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Roosevelt, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Roosevelt, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Roosevelt, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Roosevelt, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Roosevelt, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Roosevelt, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Roosevelt, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Roosevelt, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Roosevelt, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Roosevelt, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Roosevelt, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Roosevelt, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

Latest News in Roosevelt, NJ

Skate shop to release sneaker that celebrates historic Roosevelt Stadium and Jersey City

Driving down Route 440 and past the Droyers Point lot that was home to the famous Roosevelt Stadium, NJ Skateshop co-founder Steve Lenardo had an a-ha moment for a new signature sneaker to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the shop.Lenardo and co-founder Chris Nieratko knew they wanted to create a shoe for the anniversary that was true to their skating brand and dedicated to the Jersey City history and community they loved.With memories of the iconic sporting events and concerts at the stadium off Route 440, and the realization...

Driving down Route 440 and past the Droyers Point lot that was home to the famous Roosevelt Stadium, NJ Skateshop co-founder Steve Lenardo had an a-ha moment for a new signature sneaker to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the shop.

Lenardo and co-founder Chris Nieratko knew they wanted to create a shoe for the anniversary that was true to their skating brand and dedicated to the Jersey City history and community they loved.

With memories of the iconic sporting events and concerts at the stadium off Route 440, and the realization that the New Balance Numeric 440 skate shoe shared the same number, everything seemed to click into place.

“A best-selling skate shoe is the New Balance 440, and for anyone in Jersey City, when you think 440, you think of that stretch of road. And if you’ve been around Jersey City long enough, you think about Roosevelt Stadium, which sat right there on 440,” explained Nieratko.

The coincidental thread between the stadium and the New Balance 440 model led the skateshop founders to reach out to New Balance Numeric (New Balance’s skateboarding brand) about creating a limited edition 440 sneaker modeled around Roosevelt Stadium and Jersey City.

“NJ Skateshop has a rich history in skateboarding,” explained Tyrone Romero, global marketing manager of New Balance Numeric. “With their 20-year anniversary coming up … it was just an appropriate time to collaborate with a great shop and a staple in our industry.”

NJ Skateshop opened its doors in Sayreville, in 2003, but was forced to close the original shop after Hurricane Sandy. After a 10-year run in Hoboken, there’s currently one shop in New Brunswick and another at 383 Monmouth St. in Jersey City (opened in 2018). They sell everything from skate sneakers, to skating streetwear, to skateboard decks and wheels.

“My partner’s roots and my roots go deep into Jersey City, so we always wanted to be there,” said Nieratko.

NJ Skateshop and New Balance Numeric worked together to craft this special shoe around the historic stadium that housed a handful of professional minor league teams and hosted some legendary concerts.

Built in 1937 and torn down in the early 1980s, Roosevelt Stadium hosted everything from high school football to heavyweight boxing to concerts by the likes of the Grateful Dead and Jersey City’s own Kool and the Gang. It was where Hall of Famers like Monte Irvin and Rickey Henderson honed their game.

The stadium also hosted 15 major league game — Brooklyn Dodgers’ home games — between 1956 and 1957.

“It’s super special to tie in Roosevelt Stadium,” explained Lenardo, who along with founding the shop has worked as a teacher at Jersey City’s School 24 for the past 24 years. “That’s actually where I saw my first concert. My uncle was working the event and took me to see Kool and the Gang.”

Most famous as the home of the Jersey City Giants minor league baseball team, Roosevelt Stadium is the place Jackie Robinson first broke the color barrier in professional baseball with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ Triple-A team, on April 18, 1946.

“You could make an argument that Roosevelt Stadium is the most important stadium in baseball history,” said Nieratko.

To celebrate this story, the limited edition sneaker features the schematics of Roosevelt Stadium on the insoles, a tongue tag depicting the stadium’s iconic scoreboard clock, odes to the colors of the Jersey City Giants uniform, and JERSEY CITY emblazoned across the heels.

New Balance built the shoe with layered suede, jersey-type material on the side panels and piping to match the look of the vintage Jersey City Giant uniforms.

As an extra special touch, NJ Skateshop teamed up with Jersey City pencil company General Pencil to create custom pencils included with the shoes as an ode to the pencils used for scorekeeping at Jersey City Giants baseball games.

“They were kind enough to make 1,000 pencils that read ‘Roosevelt Stadium, April 18th, 1946,’ ” said Nieratko.

For the die-hard Jersey City “sneakerheads,” Nieratko said that New Balance created 114 pairs of an even more limited edition blue version of the collaboration, which commemorates the 14-1 score of that first game, and includes special packaging with photos of the field.

With less than 1,500 pairs of the limited edition shoes made, the sneakers will become available on a first come first serve basis at NJ Skateshop’s Jersey City store at 11 a.m. Saturday. The shoes sell for $100.

“A ton of skaters love (the sneakers) and want to skate in them … but then there is also a Jersey City, Roosevelt Stadium, baseball fan who is buying them as a collectible,” explained Nieratko.

To celebrate the release, NJ Skateshop is hosting an event along with New Balance and Nieratko’s charity, Super Skate Posse, to provide free sneakers, skateboards and skate lessons to 100 local underserved children.

The event will open to the public for music, food trucks and other festivities from noon to 5 p.m. at Enos Jones Park, 237 Brunswick St, Jersey City.

“Jersey City is a very special place that needs to be celebrated,” said Lenardo.

Rahway's Roosevelt Elementary School Holds Successful Vendor Fair

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public SchoolsRoosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public SchoolsRoosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public SchoolsRoosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public SchoolsRoosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public SchoolsRoosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools...

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

Roosevelt School's Vendor Fair.Photo Credit: Rahway Public Schools

By Colleen Kurdyla

PublishedOctober 5, 2023 at 9:00 PM

Last UpdatedOctober 5, 2023 at 9:41 PM

RAHWAY, NJ — This past Saturday, Roosevelt Elementary School’s 6th grade held its 3rd Annual Vendor Fair. The community was invited to visit over 40 vendors and food trucks.

The vendors showcased a diverse range of products from crafters to cake makers, and everything in between—soaps, candles, skin care, jewelry, locksmith, tea, lotions, bags, signs, and crystals. If you were there for a tasty treat, you could have also visited one of the many food trucks.

Among the vendors were two of Roosevelt's very own! Fourth grader Skylar Butler was a vendor at the fair. Skylar’s booth, Peachy Charmz, showcased her handmade bracelets, earrings, and Confetti. What is Confetti, you ask? Confetti is Skylar’s name for a DIY bracelet kit, so customers can make their very own bracelets. The Confetti kit came with beads, string, and charms. There were a variety of styles to choose from, but by the end of the event, Peachy Charmz was almost sold out. Skylar included a free mini-eraser or sticker with each purchase.

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Roosevelt’s security officer, Eric Hendon, also had a booth at the fair. Mr. Hendon is known for his baking skills, and he showed off those skills by selling his delightful 7-Up cake. The delectable cake is a pound cake with 7-Up soda added to make it extra moist and delicious.

While Mr. Hendon sold 7-Up cakes exclusively during the fair, he is also known for his cheesecakes, carrot cakes, and sweet potato pies. He has been creating and sharing his desserts since 1985. Hopefully, one day, you'll get a chance to try one of these sweet treats!

Roosevelt Elementary School's 3rd Annual Vendor Fair was a great success and included something for everyone.

[Don’t miss any TAPinto Rahway news. Go to tapinto.net/enews to sign up for our free e-newsletter, delivered each morning to your inbox.]

The History of Jersey City’s Former Roosevelt Stadium

Even though Hoboken is generally known as the birthplace of baseball, neighboring Jersey City has its own rich history with America’s favorite pastime. Roosevelt Stadium, which was located on the western part of Jersey City overlooking the Newark Bay, was the site of some of Jersey City’s best sports moments. From baseball, to football, to boxing, many athletes had their moment in the sun at Roosevelt Stadium. ...

Even though Hoboken is generally known as the birthplace of baseball, neighboring Jersey City has its own rich history with America’s favorite pastime. Roosevelt Stadium, which was located on the western part of Jersey City overlooking the Newark Bay, was the site of some of Jersey City’s best sports moments. From baseball, to football, to boxing, many athletes had their moment in the sun at Roosevelt Stadium. Read on the learn more about the history of the stadium and some of the sports highlights that took place there.

Roosevelt Stadium was dreamed up by former Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague who, though embroiled in scandal, originally announced his plans to build a 50,000-seat municipal arena on June 5, 1929. He proposed a stadium surrounding a field dedicated to locals who passed away during WWI.

Read More: The Unexpected History of Cricket in New Jersey

In Hague’s original idea, Roosevelt Stadium would cost $500,000 and be completed by 1930. It would be named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and located at what is now called Droyer’s Point, on the south side of Jersey City, right by Greenville and right on the riverfront. But, of course, delays in construction are common, and the arena was finally built in 1937 on the former grounds of the Jersey City Airport, with increased funding of $800,000.

Upon the stadium’s completion, opening events were scheduled for April 22, 1937, tying into the International League’s (a minor baseball league) opening. Mayor Hague even declared it a half-day for residents. Then-New York Giants (the baseball team, not today’s football team) owner Horace Stoneham was slated to be there, as the arena was slated to be the home arena for the Giants’ affiliate, the Jersey City Giants, alongside then-Senator Harry Moore.

But, alas, rain washed out the opening, and the opening was pushed back a day, and Hague threw out the first pitch. He was joined by Senator Moore and Mr. Stoneham, who were there for the ballpark’s dedication.

As time went on, the arena became more commonly used for Jersey City’s William L. Dickinson, James J. Ferris, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Snyder high schools, alongside the city’s major parochial schools, Hudson Catholic, and St. Peter’s Prep, all of which hosted football games at Roosevelt Stadium. For many years, the stadium hosted an annual Thanksgiving Day football game between rivals St. Peter’s Prep and Dickinson High School.

Mayor Hague continued the tradition of granting a half-day to citizens on the baseball season’s opening day. On April 18, 1946, the season kicked off with the Jersey City Giants playing the Montreal Royals. Over 50,000 tickets were sold for the 25,000 seat stadium, so it was standing-room-only when a player for Montreal stepped up to bat and into the history books: Jackie Robinson. This appearance in this minor league game took place a full year before Robinson’s first major league appearance on April 15, 1947, as part of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

It was still the home arena for baseball’s Jersey City Giants from 1937 to 1950, and then a slew of more baseball teams, starting with the Jersey City Jerseys in 1960-1961. It then developed into the home of the Jersey City Indians of the Double-A Eastern League in 1977, who then transformed into the Jersey City A’s in 1978.

See More: A Historical Walking Tour of Jersey City Heights

Sports, of course, became a big part of Jersey City’s history with the baseball field, hosting heavyweight champion Max Baer, featured in the film Cinderella Man, and Sugar Ray Robinson in their respective fights in 1940 and 1950.

The Jersey City Giants left the city in 1961, taking a significant amount of the stadium’s income generation with it. The city filled the gap with another minor league team, which left in 1978, more concerts and special events, but eventually, it became too costly to maintain. The facility fell into disrepair and while some wanted to preserve it as a historical site, in November 1982 the city’s Planning Board voted in favor of demolition.

The tearing down of the stadium was finally completed in 1985, and a gated community, known today as Droyer’s Point, was built in its place.

Ben Shahn, the Rockefellers and a town called Roosevelt, New Jersey

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. wanted to create a city within a city: a “mecca for lovers of art.” Rockefeller Center is a series of buildings situated over 22 acres in mid-Manhattan. Its centerpiece, rising 850 feet into the New York skyline, is 30 Rockefeller Center, also known as 30 Rock. Constructed in the early 1930s, it is an Art Deco showcase both with...

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. wanted to create a city within a city: a “mecca for lovers of art.”

Rockefeller Center is a series of buildings situated over 22 acres in mid-Manhattan. Its centerpiece, rising 850 feet into the New York skyline, is 30 Rockefeller Center, also known as 30 Rock. Constructed in the early 1930s, it is an Art Deco showcase both within and without. Outside, an Art Deco bronze statue of Atlas holds up the heavens while a large golden statue of Prometheus overlooks its world-famous ice-skating rink. However, its most famous artwork can no longer be seen, having been destroyed.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. wanted to create a city within a city: a “mecca for lovers of art.” To that end, he commissioned scores of sculptors, painters and textile workers. He believed in the idea of human progress, which he supported through his philanthropy and how he saw the symbolic value of Rockefeller Center. At the time it stood taller than most of the New York City skyline; nothing stood between it and the Empire State Building, built around the same time.

“New Frontiers’’ was the theme of the Center’s artwork. Rockefeller’s wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, a co-founder of the Museum of Modern Art, a patron of the Mexican artist Diego Rivera, suggested that Rivera be approached to do a mural for the lobby. He was asked to produce “Man at the Crossroads Looking with Hope and High Vision to the Choosing of a New and Better Future.” For the work, Rivera put together a six-person team that included the Social Realist painter Ben Shahn, who had impressed Rivera because of his paintings of Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants who were executed on trumped-up charges due to ethnic and political bigotry. Rivera was hired with the knowledge of his leftist political views. After they fled Stalin, Trotsky and his wife Natalia would stay in Mexico City with Rivera and his wife, the artist Frida Kahlo.

Rivera’s original sketch placed a soldier, a worker and a peasant clasping hands at the center, representing unity within the human spirit facing an unknown but hopeful future. What he ended up painting evolved far beyond the original sketch, to become a highly complex mural with social, scientific, ethical, economic and political images, including those representing communism. The latter became too much for the Rockefellers after Rivera added Lenin, and they asked him to remove Lenin. In a letter written by Shahn, Rivera responded: “Rather than mutilate the conception [of the mural], I shall prefer the physical destruction of the conception in its entirety, but preserving, at least, its integrity.”

The drama carried on for months, including public demonstrations, but months later the mural was destroyed.

A FEW years later, Shahn received a commission to create a mural for the community center of Jersey Homesteads, New Jersey. Later renamed Roosevelt, Jersey Homesteads lies just east of Trenton and was established by the Resettlement Administration (RA) as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal (Executive Order 7027). The charge of the RA was to resettle “destitute or low-income families from rural and urban areas” to new communities established on cooperative and collective models.

Jersey Homesteads was conceived as an industrial and agricultural cooperative for unemployed Jewish garment workers from crowded conditions in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Notes from its early town meetings were written in Yiddish! Houses were built in the simple Bauhaus style on half-acre plots of land surrounded by shared open space. Conservative voices did not approve of the socialist leanings of the RA projects, with one newspaper headline reading “First Communist Town in America Nears Completion.”

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Such a nonconformist approach fit very well with Shahn’s attitude toward art. In a lecture at Harvard, he explained “a want of satisfaction with things as they are” propelled artists to “become critics of society, and… partisans in its burning causes,” as witnessed by the “passionate testament of their sympathies as it is written across the canvases and walls of the world.”

Shahn’s mural in Jersey Homelands measures 45 feet (13.7 meters) in length and 12 feet (3.7 meters) in height. It is a fresco, a technique he learned from Rivera, that tells the Jewish immigrant story to the United States. Like Rivera’s mural in Rockefeller Center, it is divided into sections, in this case three sections.

The left panel includes Sacco and Vanzetti lying in their open coffins with a Nazi soldier standing behind the coffins holding a sign (in German): “Germans! Defend Yourselves! Don’t shop from Jews!” Below we find Shahn’s mother, Gittel, and Albert Einstein arriving at Ellis Island.

The middle panel focuses on the issue of worker’s rights. There we see workers in various sweatshops, as well as a union leader painted in the likeness of John Lewis, president of the CIO; and a picket sign with a quote of Lewis visible: “One of the great principles for which labor and America must stand in the future is the right of every man and woman to have a job, to earn their living if they are willing to work.” David Dubinsky, the head of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union is also portrayed.

The far-right panel focuses on a number of individuals important to the New Deal and the Labor movement, surrounding a blueprint of the municipality.

Shahn moved to Jersey Homelands in 1939 with his second wife, photojournalist Bernarda Bryson, whom he met when she came to New York City to do a piece on Rivera’s mural. For decades, Shahn used his artistic skills as social commentary. In that light, his work can be seen like that of the prophets of the Bible whose primary task was to hold a mirror up to society, as a tool to motivate all of us to repair and improve our world.

Shahn’s mural is located in the Roosevelt Public School. Once travel returns to normal post-COVID, prospective visitors can call the school at 609-448-2798 to arrange an appointment to see the mural.

The writer is rabbi emeritus of the Israel Congregation, Manchester Center, Vermont, and a faculty member of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Bennington College.

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Roosevelt Public School Tops 10 Endangered Historic Sites List

ROOSEVELT, NJ - The group Preservation New Jersey has released its annual list of the top 10 endangered historic sites in the Garden State. This year, the list includes buildings in Hoboken, New Brunswick, Fort Lee, Greenwich, Willingboro, South Orange and ...

ROOSEVELT, NJ - The group Preservation New Jersey has released its annual list of the top 10 endangered historic sites in the Garden State. This year, the list includes buildings in Hoboken, New Brunswick, Fort Lee, Greenwich, Willingboro, South Orange and Cranford. Structures in three Monmouth County towns also made the list: Roosevelt, Rumson and Manalapan.

The group believes the listed sites will be demolished or could fall apart without careful planning.

Among them is the historic Roosevelt Public School. According to the group, a community called Jersey Homesteads (now known as Roosevelt) was established in 1933 by a New Deal initiative to provide relief for industrial workers and struggling farmers. Renowned architects Louis I. Kahn and Alfred Kastner designed the community and the school, and painter Ben Shahn completed a large mural in the school lobby depicting themes of Jewish immigration, the garment industry and labor movement, and the establishment of Jersey Homesteads as a model planned community for workers.

"It seems likely that insufficient funding for the district, due to the changing State school aid formula, will cause the school to close in the coming years," the group says.

The list is generated by nominations from the public. Selections for the list are then based on the following criteria:

The list, now in its 25th year, aims to attract attention to the threatened buildings. Several challenges the historic properties face include neglect, deferred maintenance, low preservation funding and threats posed by redevelopment and new construction.

You can watch the full announcement below:

Related: Fundraising Effort Seeks To Preserve Historic Howell House

Other Monmouth County sites deemed to be at-risk include the Lauriston Estate in Rumson and the Derick Sutfin House at Monmouth Battlefield State Park.

You can view the full list with descriptions here.

With reporting by Caren Lissner.

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