Klezmer Swing Orchestra offers klezmer music for Jewish wedding and Bar Mitzvah


L’orchestre pour mariage juif Amsellem Swing Klezmer Orchestra joue des horot (Mazel Tov, Siman Tov…) pour animer cocktail de mariage, de Bar Mitzvah, cérémonie, Houppa et réceptions.
Les plus belles horas jouées par notre orchestre.

Posted in Jewish Music Comments Off

The First Bat Mitzvah in the United States | Jewish …

On Saturday morning, March 18, 1922, twelve-year old Judith Kaplan, the daughter of Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, stepped forward and stood just below the bimah at her fathers synagogue – the Society for the Advancement of Judaism in New York City. With the Torah scroll covered but in sight, Judith recited the preliminary blessing, read a portion of the Torah in Hebrew and English from her personal Chumash and then intoned the closing blessing.

“That was enough to shock a lot of people,” she later recalled, “including my own grandparents and aunts and uncles.”

The shocking event they had just witnessed, according to historian Paula Hyman, was the first bat mitzvah conducted in the United States. Reflecting on her historic moment, Kaplan observed, “No thunder sounded. No lightning struck.” Rather, Judith Kaplan and her father, founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, set the model for what has now become a widespread American Jewish practice.

As Hyman notes, “The bat mitzvah ritual was introduced into American Judaism as both an ethical and pragmatic response to gender divisions in traditional Judaism.” In Jewish law, a girl reaches majority at age 12, but until the invention of bat mitzvah there was no ritual ceremony to mark this passage. Mordecai Kaplan intended bat mitzvah to give females equal standing with males and stimulate Jewish education for women so they would be better able to transmit Jewish knowledge to their children.

While it started with Reconstructionism, Hyman attributes the further evolution of bat mitzvah to the American Conservative movement. In the mid-19th century, American Reform began moving away from traditional ceremonies such as male bar mitzvah. Instead, Reform congregations introduced group confirmation ceremonies when the boys and girls in their religious schools completed their education, around age 15. Confirmation, then, was more of a graduation ceremony than a bar mitzvah. Traditional Orthodoxy did not allow women to read the Torah. Thus, if girls of 12 or 13 were to have a coming-of-age ceremony equivalent to bar mitzvah for boys, it fell to the Conservative Movement to define what that ceremony should be.

Change came gradually. As late as the 1930s, despite Judith Kaplans pathbreaking example, only a handful of Conservative synagogues had adopted bat mitzvah. By 1948, however, one-third of Conservative congregations conducted them and, by the 1960s, the ceremony became the norm within Conservatism.

The earliest American bat mitzvot were, ritually, not quite the same as bar mitzvot. They were usually held on Friday nights, when the Torah is not read or, if held on Saturday morning like Judith Kaplans, the bat mitzvah girl would read from a printed humash, or book containing the Bible, rather than from the Torah scroll itself.

The first recorded bat mitzvah at a Reform congregation occurred in 1931 but, as with the Conservative movement, the ritual did not catch on right away. By the 1950s, only one third of Reform congregations conducted them. Since the 1960s, as Reform has placed increasing emphasis on traditional rituals, bat mitzvah has grown to near universality in that movements congregations. A number of modern Orthodox congregations have now adopted some form of bat mitzvah as well. Bat mitzvah, an innovation in 1922, is now an American Jewish institution.

The introduction of bat mitzvah, which was originally meant only to mark the passage from Jewish girlhood to Jewish womanhood, raised a series of issues. As Paula Hyman puts it, “How could a girl be called to Torah as a bat mitzvah and then never have such an honor again?” Both Reform and Conservativism grappled with this problem and, by the 1970s, a majority of congregations in both movements called women to the Torah.

If no thunder sounded when 12-year old Judith Kaplan read at the bimah of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, Kaplan herself went on to make a joyful noise of her own. A brilliant child who learned to read English at age 2 and Hebrew at age 3, she studied at what is now the Juilliard School of Music from ages 7 to 18. She received her B.A. (1928) and M.A. (1932) in music education from Columbia University Teachers College. In 1934, Kaplan married Ira Eisenstein, then assistant rabbi in her fathers synagogue.

As Judith Eisenstein, she began a distinguished career as a teacher of musical pedagogy and the history of Jewish music at the Jewish Theological Seminary of Americas Teachers Institute. In 1959, at age 50, Eisenstein entered the School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College, obtained her Ph.D. and remained as a member of the faculty until 1979. By the time of her death in 1996, she had composed a significant body of original liturgical music, created and broadcast a thirteen-hour radio series on the history of Jewish music and authored a number of books, including the first American Jewish songbook for children (1937).

Of course, her monumental “first” remains her own bat mitzvah.

Read more:
The First Bat Mitzvah in the United States | Jewish …

Posted in Bat Mitzvah Comments Off

Bar mitzvah cards, check amounts, and gift cards Bar & Bat …

By Elyse Wanshel

Community Newspaper Group

There are things in life that are truly baffling memorizing the all the digits of Pi, Rubik cubes, how Rachel Ray became so popular. Yet, what seems to send most non-Jewish guests who have been invited to a bar or bat mitzvah deepest into the land of bewilderment is the ever-elusive bar mitzvah card. What should you say in a card? How much should you give if writing a check? Is writing a check okay? Would a kid rather get a gift card? What kind of gift card? And is there really anything worst than getting a gift card for Apple Bees (yes, Rachel Rays cooking)?

We break down some frequently asked questions so non-Jewish guests can relax and concentrate on more important things, like brushing up on their Yiddish (just kidding):

Question: What kind of card do I buy for a bar or bat mitzvah? Do they sell bar mitzvah cards at the drugstore?

Answer: They may. But if not, a general congratulations card is just fine.

Q: What should I write?

A: If you know the child or the family well, write something personal. Keep in mind that this is a birthday and a very special religious accomplishment for the kid that took a lot of time and preparation. Otherwise, a simple Congratulations! or Mazel tov! (the Yiddish word for congratulations) is standard. Heres a great example:

Congratulations on becoming a Bar Mitzvah! May your special day be filled with joy. Mazel Tov! Your friend,

Emily

Q: Should I write a check?

A: Yes! Unless you know specifically what the young boy or girl would like as a present, checks are still the gift of choice in the bnai mitzvah-circuit. Checks in a multiple of $18 are also appropriate. Just put a check in the amount of, say $36 or $54 into a bar mitzvah or general congratulations card. Why multiples of 18? We will let About.com eloquently explain the reasoning behind this:

The word for life in Hebrew is chai. The two Hebrew letters that make up the word chai are chet and yud. In Gematria (the numerical value of Hebrew letters), chai is equivalent to eight and yud is equivalent to ten. So chai, chet, and yud together, equals 18. Giving money in multiples of $18 is symbolic of giving chai or life. Many people give money in multiples of $18 as presents to someone celebrating a birth, a bar or bat mitzvah, or a wedding.

Chai checks, or checks of any amount, are usually deposited by the parents into the kids college fund.

Q: When do I give the hosts the card?

A: Just like at a wedding, bring the gift to the reception. Dont give it to the family at the actual service. Most likely, there will be a gift table at the reception where you can drop it off.

Q: Do I give a different kind of gift if Im invited to a bat mitzvah rather than a bar mitzvah? And whats the difference?

A: Girls have a bat mitzvah while boys have a bar mitzvah, if you are talking about both genders in general, it would be referred to as a bnai mitzvah. Traditional gifts for both are checks and academic-related items. If you are not Jewish, it may be wise to stay away from religious-themed items those are more appropriate for giving by other Jews who are more familiar with their symbolism.

Q: Okay, so its appropriate to give something in multiples of 18, but, honestly, how much should I give?

A: It depends. If the service and reception is held somewhere fancy, or if youre very close with the family, consider giving $100 (or $108). But a standard amount is in the $50 range.

Q: I dont know the kid very well, what should I give?

A: If you dont know the child well, a gift certificate to a local book store (keeping with the education theme). If not, here are some other popular choices:

Itunes

Amazon

AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment Group

Starbucks

Subway

GameStop

Forever 21

Nordstrom

Cheesecake Factory

Kohls

Sephora

2013 Community News Group

See the rest here:
Bar mitzvah cards, check amounts, and gift cards Bar & Bat …

Posted in Bar Mitzvah Comments Off

Gift Ideas for a Bar Mitzvah – About Judaism: Its History …

By Chaviva Gordon-Bennett

Updated February 05, 2016.

Looking for gift ideas for a bat mitzvah?Click here!

When a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13, he officially becomes abar mitzvah, meaning a “son of commandment.” Despite common thought, abar mitzvahisn’t a party or celebration, but rather a transitional time in a Jewish boy’s life in which he goes from being a minor to being a Jewish adult, bound to all of the commandments of a Jewish adult male.

Some of the basic commandments are being counted in a minyan, or quorum of ten men required for prayer, being called up to the Torah for an aliyah(to say the blessings before a Torah reading), and being held responsible for his actions both physically and ethically.

Thebar mitzvahis observed on the Sabbath, or Shabbat, and thebar mitzvahtypically spends months learning and preparing for the day he’ll reach majority by studying and preparing his Torah portion, memorizing the prayers over the Torah, preparing to lead Shabbat services, and prepping for a speech on the Torah portion or tying hismitzvahproject to the Torah portion. Amitzvahproject is a chance for thebar mitzvahto raise money for charity (tzedakah)or work on anotherproject to better understand his ethical role in the Jewish world.

It is common practice in most Jewish communities — religious and otherwise — for there to be a celebratory party or celebration in honor of thebarmitzvah. If you’re celebrating, chances are you’re going to want to get a meaningful bar mitzvah gift. Here are some of our suggestions for gifts that will stay with thebar mitzvahfor years to come.

In the Torah is the commandment oftallit, a clothgarment almost like a shawl with four corners that have fringes.

Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and they shall affix a thread of sky blue [wool] on the fringe of each corner.This shall be fringes for you, and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord to perform them, and you shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes after which you are going astray.So that you shall remember and perform all My commandments and you shall be holy to your God. (Numbers 15:37-40).

Worn during prayer, in Ashkenazi communities, a Jew starts wearing atallitwhen he becomes abar mitzvah. In Sephardi communities, a Jew begins wearing thetallitafter he’s married. In both communities, whenever a Jew is called up to the Torah for analiyahto say the blessings over the Torah, he wears atallit.

Thetallitis an extremely special item in a Jew’s life because it follows him frombar mitzvahto his wedding to, in many cases, his death. In some cases, thetallitis passed down from generation to generation, too.

When a boy becomes abar mitzvah, he typically studies long and hard to learn his Torah portion so that the can read it before the congregation. One of the tools to help guide him in his reading of the Torah is theyad, or pointer, making it a great and meaningful gift that he can use throughout his life.

The?adis a beautiful piece of Judaica for any collection, but it plays an important role, too.The Talmud says,

“He who holds aSefer Torahnaked will be buried naked” (Shab. 14a).

From this, the rabbis understood that a Torah scroll should never be be touched by the bare hands, so to easily follow along while reading, or to point a passage out to someone, theyad,which literally means “arm” or “hand”is used.

Probably the most important of gifts that abar mitzvahcan receive, tefillin represent a turning point. A set oftefillinisn’t cheap, but the gift oftefillinwill likely remain with a Jewish child for the rest of his life and will be used almost daily.

Tefillinare two small boxes made of leather that contain verses from the Torah written by an expert sofer(scribe), which Jewish men abovebar mitzvah agewear during morning prayers (except on Shabbat and many holidays). The boxes are attached to long leather straps that are used to attach the boxes to the head and arm.

The mitzvah (commandment)oftefillincomes from Deuteronomy 6:5-9:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your might. These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting at home and when you are out and about, when you lay down and when you rise up.Tie them as a sign upon your hand. They should be for you a symbol upon your forehead.Mark them as a sign upon the doorframe of your home and upon the gates of your city.

Also, there are very specific verses, known as theshema,found within thetefillin.

Find outmore on women and tefillin in Judaismhere.

Tanakh is actually an acronym that stands for Torah, Nevi’im (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). It’s often used interchangeably with Torah, as it represents the whole of the written Torah in Judaism.

Although Jewish children start learning Torah stories very early in life, having a really beautiful and personal Tanakh for Torah study is a great option for abar mitzvah, as the commandments and lessons of the Torah are all the more important and applicable to his everyday life!

Although not a traditionalbar mitzvahgift, one meaningful option is a necklace celebrating thebar mitzvah’s new responsibility. The word, in Hebrew, isachrayut ().

When a Jewish boy becomes abar mitzvah, he becomes bound to all 613 of themitzvotof the Torah and/or the ethical responsibilities of being a Jewish man. Thus, responsibility is an important them of this period of time.

See the original post:
Gift Ideas for a Bar Mitzvah – About Judaism: Its History …

Posted in Bat Mitzvah Comments Off

Bar Mitzvah Westchester – Jewish Ceremonies

My name is Ronald Broden and I want to welcome you to my website. I have been an ordained cantor since 1990. In later years, I went back to school to further my Jewish education to become an ordained rabbi. By any title, I am Reform Jewish clergy who has created a specialty in addressing the needs of the Jewish and interfaith community. Learn more about me and my credentials in the “About Us” section.

You can use the links on the left side for details on many of my services including Jewish, Interfaith, LGBT, Non-Denominational and civil wedding ceremonies (I am a registered officiant in NY, NJ and CT but can perform destination weddings by providing you a copy of my marriage registration), as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah services, baby naming ceremonies, and funeral services. Click Hereto read my article featured in the New York Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide as a New York Bar Mitzvah rabbi, as a New York Bat Mitzvah rabbi as well as beyond. I have many reviews on Wedding Wire of my work as an interfaith wedding rabbi which you canRead Hereand on Mazelmoments as a Bar Mitzvah rabbi and Bat Mitzvah rabbi which you canRead Here. Many have found my site by searching for a New York Bar Mitzvah rabbi or New York Bat Mitzvah rabbi even though I am glad to travel throughout the Metro New York area and beyond. Others by doing a search for an interfaith wedding rabbi, rabbi rental or a rent a rabbi. However, you found me, I hope you will give me a call or contact me via the Contact Us tab to the left.

I am glad to meet with you at a mutually convenient time and location for a no obligation, consultation. After getting to know more about me through this site, please go to the “Contact Us” page and indicate the kind of ceremony you are interested in. I will send you an email of a suggested ceremony for your specific occasion. Everything I do is tailored to your preferences; clergy referral sites simply provide contact information of a rent a rabbi or rabbi rental.

I am centrally located in the Metro New York area. Should I be unavailable to perform your wedding, with your permission, I would be glad to refer an excellent colleague who would be.

Read the rest here:
Bar Mitzvah Westchester – Jewish Ceremonies

Posted in Bar Mitzvah Comments Off

Bar/Bat Mitzvah – The Shul of New York

When yourchild isready to begin the process ofbecoming aBar or Bat Mitzvah,theShul of New York is proud to offer Bar/Bat Mitzvah training to your11- or12-year-oldwho wishes to prepare to celebrate this importantJewish milestone.

During your childs training, Rabbi Matthewwill meet individually with him/her to make this milestone meaningful, deeply moving, personal and to fully prepare them to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Your child will study with the Rabbi in order to work on Hebrew, on his/herTorah portion and on a dvar Torah, an original commentarythat your child will deliver at the ceremony.

Inclose collaboration with you and your child, the ceremony will be tailoredto meetyour familys individual needs and preferences. And, of course, our beloved and esteemed Rabbi Emeritus Burt Siegel is also available to train your child.

For Jewish Education before and duringBar/Bat Mitzvah training,The Shul of New York is a partner synagogue involved in the JewishJourney Project (JJP). Through our partnership with JJP, 3rd-8th graders, and theirfamilies, may participate in hands-on and engaging after-school, weekend and holidayclasses to learn about Torah, Spirituality and Ritual, JewishPeoplehood, Hebrew and Tikkun Olam. JJP is a Jewish education program; it is not included in Bar/Bat Mitzvah training.

Social Action Project

At The Shul of New York, we strongly believe that doing a social action project dedicated to tikkun olam — repairing the world — is an important step in becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

With guidance from Rabbi Matthew, your child will be asked to plan and completeameaningfulproject that is of interest to him/herand to discuss it with the Rabbi and with you so you may be a part of the process. The project can be as simple as following through on a commitment to do something at home over the course of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparationtocreatepeace in the home, or something that is broader,more complex and community-based. This project is a required component of the training.

Schedule and Fees

Bar/Bat Mitzvah trainingincludes 22 individual training sessions of 50 minutes each on the following schedule:

In addition to the training, the Rabbi will help your childdecide onthe topics for his/her dvar Torah, to developa social action project and will monitor progress throughout.

The fee for Bar/Bat Mitzvah training is $4000. Payment may be made in up to 8monthly installments.

When needed, additional supplemental Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparationis also available on an hourly basis. This supplemental preparation may include atutorin addition to our Rabbis.

When considering The Shul of New York for your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah, please remember that participation in The Shul of New York community does not require fixed, annual membership dues.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah on Shabbat

We warmly invite you to consider having your childs Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony at the Shul as part ofa Shabbat Service. It is a very moving experience for your family and friends to join with the congregation for this important celebration. It will beespecially meaningful for your child to become a Bar orBat Mitzvah surrounded not only by family and friends but also as a part of theShul community.

You may choose to have the entire Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony during the Shabbat service orhaveyour child take part in aservice with the Rabbion the Shabbat before or after your childs ceremony, or another Shabbat of your choosing.

Celebrate this important moment in your familys life with Rabbi Matthew and/or Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Burt,The Shul Band and the Shul community. Afterwards, we invite you tocontinue the celebration with a special Oneg Shabbat. The Shuls Oneg Coordinator will be happy to help you with Onegplanning.

The fee for a Shabbat Bar/Bat Mitzvah is $750. This is not a requirement of Bar/Bat Mitzvah training. This fee does not include the Oneg, or gratuities for the Rabbi(s) or the Shul Band, which are, of course, at your discretion.

Getting Started

The first step is is a meeting with Rabbi Matthew.

Please email RabbiMatthew or call 929-265-7485 (voicemail only).

View post:
Bar/Bat Mitzvah – The Shul of New York

Posted in Bat Mitzvah Comments Off

velvet kippot,velvet Kippah,Bar mitzvahs, Bat mitzvahs,Bar …

Price Under $2 Suede Kippot Embossed Kippot Leather Kippot Satin Kippot Deluxe Satin Moir Kippot Raw Silk Kippot Linen Kippot Velvet Kippot Shul Yarmulkes Photo Yarmulke Hand Knit Kippot Benchers Tallit – Prayer Shawl Accessories Individual Kippot Wholesale Login: Follow us on our social media sites for our daily specials Home > Velvet Kippot Mazel Skull Cap features a huge selection of top quality four panel Velvet Kippot to enhance your special event. Please Note: The appearance of listed colors may vary according to users’ browser Black Velvet Kippah Brown Velvet Kippah Burgundy Velvet Kippah Fuchsia Velvet Kippah VT1 VT2 VT3 VT4 Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece Green Velvet Kippah Lavender Velvet Kippah Light Blue Velvet Kippah Navy Velvet Kippah VT5 VT6 VT7 VT8 Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece Purple Velvet Kippah Red Velvet Kippah Royal Velvet Kippah Turquoise Velvet Kippah VT9 VT10 VT11 VT13 Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece Price: $1.75 per Piece White Velvet Kippah VT14 Price: $1.75 per Piece

More here:
velvet kippot,velvet Kippah,Bar mitzvahs, Bat mitzvahs,Bar …

Posted in Bat Mitzvah Comments Off

Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah invitations – Basic Invite

Bar Mitzvah Invitations

With our state-of-the-art, easy to use, website you can create bar mitzvah invitationsthat is unique to you.

So What Can Be Changed On Your Design?

Colors Unlike most websites that offer a few predetermined color schemes Basic Invite lets you pick the colors on each element of you card. By allowing you to change the color of each element you have virtually unlimited color options ensuring that your card is as unique as you are.

Fonts The look and feel of almost any invitation design can be completely changed by updating your font choice. Choose from over 100 different font styles to find the style that fits you. Fonts range from your traditional and old world to sleek and modern.

Text Yes, every custom stationery site lets you change the text but if you do not like the location of the text simply drag and drop the text where you would like it. You are not stuck with what you see is what you get. You can arrange the text however you would like it.

Photos Once you have uploaded your photo you can zoom in and or our to get the perfect look. Also apply different filters to your photos such as black and white as well as sepia to give your photos the look and feel you want to make the perfect card.

Dont settle for just the an average invite when you can create the perfect Bar Mitzvah invitations in the matter of minutes. With dozens of different designs it makes it easy to find the right look for any style and then with Basic Invites easy to use website you can really make it your own.

“The entire order was perfect quick shipping and delivery and the invitation and addressed envelopes were exactly as i ordered them! Great product!”

“The Bar Mitzvah Invitations turned out great! I messed up my order and customer service contact me to straighten it out. I really appreciated that. The product quality is excellent, printing and shipping were fast! One important thing that I liked was the website. It was really easy to work with, and made the process simple. I will definitely order products from Basic Invite again.”

“I was very pleased with the ease of design, choice of colors and font styles, turnaround time for our sample and the quality of the sample. They also included the other paper options with the sample so we could compare them all. We will be placing our order this week!”

“My son’s Bar Mitzvah invitations came out beautiful, just what we were looking for. We looked MANY other places until we found these.”

“I am very happy with the Bar Mitzvah cards I ordered. On-line card customization was easy, the sample came promptly, and the representative followed up quickly to make sure everything looked right. Glad I opted for the Designer Assistance. They put very nice finishing touches by arranging text and spacing on the card. I used on-line chat help a couple of times throughout the process, and they quickly helped me with some issues I had while editing the card.

Continue reading here:
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah invitations – Basic Invite

Posted in Bar Mitzvah Comments Off

About Bar/Bat Mitzvah – My Jewish Learning

Many people are surprised to find out that becoming bar/bat mitzvah happens automatically when a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13 and or a girl 12. The ceremony that today occupies center stage is actually a historical afterthought, with evidence of observance only from sometime between the 14th and 16th centuries. Because the ceremony marks reaching the age of majority, many traditional Jews observe it on the Sabbath immediately following the childs birthday.

For the rabbis, the significance of this life-changing moment lay in the childs new stage of physical, intellectual, and moral development. They saw 12 and 13 as the ages at which girls and boys, respectively, were no longer entirely subject to impulse, but were beginning to develop a conscience. The term bar/bat mitzvahwhich means obligated to perform the Jewish mitzvot (commandments)reflects the childs newfound capabilities and responsibilities.

Although the ceremony that communally affirms the childs coming of age is medieval in origin, there is evidence in rabbinic literature that the father may have recited a blessing when the child reached the age of majority. This blessing, called baruch sheptarani, thanks God for freeing the father from responsibility for the childs behavior, signaling a transition of control and hence responsibility from parent to child

The relatively late development of the bar mitzvah ceremony probably derives from changes in communal customs regarding what ritual activities a child was allowed to perform. According to the Talmud, which was completed around the sixth century CE, boys were permitted to perform many ritual acts, for example, donning tefillin (phylacteries), whenever they had developed the necessary expertise and were able to understand the rituals significance. Later this window of opportunity closed, and children were not allowed to perform these rituals until they had reached the age of majority. At this point, a ceremony celebrating the first performance of these rituals began to make sense.

Did you like this article? MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Many people are surprised to find out that becoming bar/bat mitzvah happens automatically when a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13 and or a girl 12. The ceremony that today occupies center stage is actually a historical afterthought, with evidence of observance only from sometime between the 14th and 16th centuries. Because the ceremony marks reaching the age of majority, many traditional Jews observe it on the Sabbath immediately following the childs birthday.

For the rabbis, the significance of this life-changing moment lay in the childs new stage of physical, intellectual, and moral development. They saw 12 and 13 as the ages at which girls and boys, respectively, were no longer entirely subject to impulse, but were beginning to develop a conscience. The term bar/bat mitzvahwhich means obligated to perform the Jewish mitzvot (commandments)reflects the childs newfound capabilities and responsibilities.

Although the ceremony that communally affirms the childs coming of age is medieval in origin, there is evidence in rabbinic literature that the father may have recited a blessing when the child reached the age of majority. This blessing, called baruch sheptarani, thanks God for freeing the father from responsibility for the childs behavior, signaling a transition of control and hence responsibility from parent to child

The relatively late development of the bar mitzvah ceremony probably derives from changes in communal customs regarding what ritual activities a child was allowed to perform. According to the Talmud, which was completed around the sixth century CE, boys were permitted to perform many ritual acts, for example, donning tefillin (phylacteries), whenever they had developed the necessary expertise and were able to understand the rituals significance. Later this window of opportunity closed, and children were not allowed to perform these rituals until they had reached the age of majority. At this point, a ceremony celebrating the first performance of these rituals began to make sense.

The bat mitzvah ceremony observed in the liberal movements came much later. It grew out of a broader societal focus on womens rights, with the first American bat mitzvah occurring in 1922. The concept of a bat mitzvah ceremony within traditional Judaism is far more recent. Because Jewish law limits a womans religious responsibilities primarily to commandments that are not time-bound (meaning, not required to be performed at a particular time), a womans Jewish activity occurred primarily within the private, familial realm rather than the public, communal one. Because women were not required to perform any overt and visible mitzvot as were men, a ceremony made little sense. Yet in the late 20th century, as observant women have become more Judaically educated, they too are pressing to create meaningful rituals for bat mitzvah.

Because the rabbis specified no ritual requirements for the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony, except for the parental blessing, the roles played by the bar/bat mitzvah at the service and even the timing of the service itself can vary widely. The typical bar/bat mitzvah takes place during the Sabbath morning service, where the child is called up to say the blessings over the Torahhis or her first aliyah. Children may read from the Torah; chant the haftarah, the weekly prophetic portion; lead some or all of the congregational service; and offer a personal interpretation of the weekly Torah portion, called a dvar Torah. The bar/bat mitzvah takes on similar roles when the ceremony occurs on a holiday, on Rosh Chodeshthe first day of the new Hebrew month, on a Monday or Thursday morning, or on a Sabbath afternoon. The Torah is not read on Friday nights and would be read by observant girls only at a womens prayer service.

The year of intensive preparation that precedes the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony itself signals a change in the relationship and balance of power between the parent and child along with the immense changes in the childs own physical and intellectual persona. On a religious level these changes are acknowledged by the baruch sheptarani blessing. On a psychological level, it is the parents who had better acknowledge them or beware! This period is one of intense negotiation, requiring new models of decision making as well as the adoption of new familial roles. When a child misses this rite of passage, he or she certainly is still bar mitzvah, but the chance is seemingly gone for a spiritual coming of age that mirrors the physical, intellectual, and emotional milestones of the new teenager.

And what of converts who want to affirm their attachments to Judaism by devoting extra time to Jewish learning and those who came late to religious observance? In the last 30 years or so, a solution has developeda belated celebration called adult bar/bat mitzvah. Small groups of adults join together in synagogue-based classes for one to two years, studying Jewish history, theology, texts, and prayer, and learning to read Hebrew and to chant Torah and haftarah. The process of study, which creates a strong sense of community among the participants and often carries over into increased synagogue involvement, culminates in an adult bar/bat mitzvah ceremony where adults publicly reclaim their spiritual heritage.

Originally posted here:
About Bar/Bat Mitzvah – My Jewish Learning

Posted in Bat Mitzvah Comments Off

Klezmer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Klezmer Stylistic origins Developed in Southeastern Europe, influenced mostly by Romanian music (predominantly from Moldova, particularly Bessarabia and the Romanian part of Bucovina); Greek, Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian Romani, and Turkish music influences are also present Cultural origins Jewish celebrations, especially weddings, in Eastern Europe Typical instruments Violin, cymbalom, clarinet, accordion, trombone, trumpet, piano, double bass Regional scenes Germany Israel United States Other topics KlezKamp Klezmer-loshn KlezKanada

Klezmer (Yiddish: or (klezmer), pl.: (klezmorim), from Hebrew: instruments of music) is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations. In the United States the genre evolved considerably as Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, who arrived between 1880 and 1924,[1] met and assimilated American jazz. During the initial years after the klezmer revival of the 1970s, this was what most people knew as klezmer, although in the current century musicians have begun paying more attention to the “original” pre-jazz traditions as revivalists including Josh Horowitz, Yale Strom, and Bob Cohen have spent years doing field research in Eastern/Central Europe. Additionally, later immigrants from the Soviet Union such as German Goldenshtayn took their surviving repertoires to the United States and Israel in the 1980s.

Compared with most other European folk music styles, little is known about the history of klezmer music, and much of what is said about it must be seen as conjecture.[2]

The term klezmer comes from a combination of Hebrew words: kli, meaning “tool, or utensil” and zemer, meaning “to make music”; leading to k’li zemer , literally “vessels of song” = “musical instrument”.

Originally, klezmer referred to musical instruments, and was later extended to refer, as a pejorative, to musicians themselves.[3] From the 16th to 18th centuries, it replaced older terms such as leyts (clown).[4] It was not until the late 20th century that the word came to identify a musical genre. Early 20th century recordings and writings most often refer to the style as “Yiddish” music, although it is also sometimes called Freilech music (Yiddish, literally “Happy music”). The first recordings to use the term “klezmer” to refer to the music were The Klezmorim’s East Side Wedding and Streets of Gold in 1977/78, followed by Andy Statman and Zev Feldman’s Jewish Klezmer Music in 1979.

Klezmer is easily identifiable by its characteristic expressive melodies, reminiscent of the human voice, complete with laughing and weeping. This is not a coincidence; the style is meant to imitate khazone and paraliturgical singing. A number of dreydlekh (a Yiddish word for musical ornaments), such as krekhts (“sobs”) are used to produce this style.

Various musical styles influenced traditional klezmer music. Perhaps the strongest and most enduring is Romanian music. Klezmer musicians heard and adapted traditional Romanian music, which is reflected in the dance forms found throughout surviving klezmer music repertoire (e.g., Horas, Doinas, Sirbas, and Bulgars)

The Bible has several descriptions of orchestras and Levites making music, but after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, many Rabbis discouraged musical instruments. However, the importance of merrymaking at weddings was not diminished, and musicians came forth to fill that niche, klezmorim. The first klezmer known by name was Yakobius ben Yakobius, a player of the aulos in Samaria in the 2nd century CE. The earliest written record of the klezmorim is in the 15th century. It should be noted that it is unlikely that they played music recognizable as klezmer today since the style and structure of klezmer as we know it today is thought to have come largely from 19th century Bessarabia, where the bulk of today’s traditional repertoire was written.

Klezmorim based much of their secular instrumental music upon the devotional vocal music of the synagogue, in particular cantorial music. Even so, klezmorim along with other entertainers were typically looked down on by Rabbis because of their secular traveling lifestyle. Klezmorim often travelled and played with Romani musicians (“lutari”), because they occupied similar social strata. They had a great influence on each other musically and linguistically (the extensive klezmer argot in Yiddish includes some Romani borrowings).

Klezmorim were respected for their musical abilities and diverse repertoire, but they were by no means restricted to playing klezmer. They sometimes played for Christian churches and local aristocracy, and taught some Italian classical violin virtuosos.[citation needed]

Like other professional musicians, klezmorim were often limited by authorities. In Ukraine they were banned from playing loud instruments, until the 19th century. Hence musicians took up the violin, tsimbl (or cymbalom), and other stringed instruments. The first musician to play klezmer in European concerts, Josef Gusikov, played a type of xylophone which he invented and called a “wood and straw instrument”. It was laid out like a cymbalom, and attracted comments from Felix Mendelssohn (highly favourable) and Liszt (condemnatory). Later, around 1855 under the reign of Alexander II of Russia, Ukraine permitted loud instruments. The clarinet started to replace the violin as the instrument of choice. Also, a shift towards brass and percussion happened when klezmorim were conscripted into military bands.

As Jews left Eastern Europe and the shtetls (see a related article about the artist Chaim Goldberg, who depicted klezmer performers of the shtetl in his paintings), klezmer spread throughout the globe, to the United States as well as to Canada, Mexico, and Argentina. Initially, the klezmer tradition was not maintained much by U.S. Jews. In the 1920s, clarinetists Dave Tarras and Naftule Brandwein caused a brief, influential revival, but Hankus Netsky has noted that “few of the performers of this era actually referred to themselves as klezmorim, and the term is found nowhere in any Jewish instrumental recording of the time.”[5] (The soprano Isa Kremer was a popular exponent of Yiddish song internationally during the first half of the 20th century; notably making several recordings with Columbia Records and appearing often at Carnegie Hall and other major venues in the U.S. from 1922-1950.)[6] As U.S. Jews began to adopt mainstream culture, the popularity of klezmer waned, and Jewish celebrations were increasingly accompanied by non-Jewish music.

While traditional performances may have been on the decline, many Jewish composers who had mainstream success, such as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, continued to be influenced by the klezmeric idioms heard during their youth (as Gustav Mahler had been). Many believe[who?]Gershwin was influenced by the Yiddish of his youth, and that the opening of “Rhapsody in Blue” was a nod to klezmer clarinetting.[7] Some clarinet stylings of swing jazz bandleaders Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw can be interpreted as having been derived from klezmer, as can the “freilach swing” playing of other Jewish artists of the period such as trumpeter Ziggy Elman.

At the same time, non-Jewish composers were also turning to klezmer for a prolific source of fascinating thematic material. Dmitri Shostakovich in particular admired klezmer music for embracing both the ecstasy and the despair of human life, and quoted several melodies in his chamber masterpieces, the Piano Quintet in G minor, op. 57 (1940), the Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, op. 67 (1944), and the String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, op. 110 (1960).

In the mid-to-late 1970s there was a klezmer revival in the United States and Europe, led by Giora Feidman, The Klezmorim, Zev Feldman, Andy Statman, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band. They drew their repertoire from recordings and surviving musicians of U.S. klezmer. In 1985, Henry Sapoznik and Adrienne Cooper founded KlezKamp to teach klezmer and other Yiddish music.

The 1980s saw a second wave of revival, as interest grew in more traditionally inspired performances with string instruments, largely with non-Jews of the United States and Germany. Musicians began to track down older European klezmer, by listening to recordings, finding transcriptions, and making field recordings of the few klezmorim left in Eastern Europe. Key performers in this style are Joel Rubin, Budowitz, Khevrisa, Di Naye Kapelye, Yale Strom, The Chicago Klezmer Ensemble, The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, the violinists Alicia Svigals, Steven Greenman[8] and Cookie Segelstein, flutist Adrianne Greenbaum, and tsimbl player Pete Rushefsky. Other artists like Yale Strom used their first-hand field research and recordings from as early as 1981 in Central and Eastern Europe as a foundation for more of a fusion between traditional repertoire and original compositions, as well as incorporating the Rom (Roma) music element into the Jewish style. Bands like Brave Old World, Hot Pstromi and The Klezmatics also emerged during this period.

In the 1990s, musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area helped further interest in klezmer music by taking it into new territory. Clarinetist Ben Goldberg and drummer Kenny Wollesen, after playing in Bay Area-based The Klezmorim, formed the critically acclaimed New Klezmer Triokicking open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi music and paving the way for John Zorn’s Masada, Naftule’s Dream, Don Byron’s Mickey Katz project and violinist Daniel Hoffman’s band Davka. The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars [2] also formed in 1991 with a mixture of New Orleans funk, jazz, and klezmer styles.

Interest in klezmer has been sustained and supported by well-known avant-garde jazz musicians like John Zorn and Don Byron, who sometimes blend klezmer with jazz. Klezmer melodies have recently been incorporated into songs by third-wave Ska band Streetlight Manifesto. Singer/songwriter Tomas Kalnoky frequently slips in horn licks with Russian and Jewish origins.

Starting in 2008, “The Other Europeans” project, funded by several EU cultural institutions,[9] spent a year doing intensive field research in Moldavia under the leadership of Alan Bern and scholar Zev Feldman. They wanted to explore klezmer and lautari roots, and fuse the music of the two “other European” groups. The resulting band now performs internationally. As with this ensemble, groups like Di Naye Kapelye and Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi have incorporated Rom musicians and elements since their inceptions.

According to Walter Zev Feldman, the klezmer dance repertoire seems to have been relatively uniform across the areas of Jewish settlement in the Russian Empire.[10] Much of the traditional klezmer repertoire was created by professional klezmer musicians in the style of their region or tradition, and much co-territorial music such as non-Jewish folksongs, especially Romanian music (mainly from Moldavia), as well as Ukrainian music and Ottoman music, and the musics of other minorities living in the same areas as Jews in Southeastern Europe such as Crimean Tatars.

Historically, young klezmorim learned tunes from their family and their elders in bands. However, there were several times in history where this transmission broke down, including mass emigration, but especially the Holocaust, which destroyed most of Jewish life and culture in Europe. Few scions of klezmer dynasties remained in Europe, one notable exception being Leopold Kozlowski of Poland.

Undoubtedly, much has been lost of the repertoires played in various locations and social contextsespecially wedding repertoire, since although Jewish weddings could last several days, early recording technology could only capture a few minutes at a time. Also, recordings specific to one area may not have represented klezmer repertoire from other parts of the region. Fortunately, a few older klezmorimsuch as Leon Schwartz, Dave Tarras, and German Goldenshtaynsurvived into the klezmer revival era and could recall some forgotten repertoire. Also, some transcriptions survive from the 19th century. Some ethnomusicological work from Jewish Eastern Europe is still available in print, notably the work of Soviet Jewish field researcher Moshe Beregovski.

In the 21st century, klezmer is typically learned from “fake books” and transcriptions of old recordings, although the music was traditionally transmitted and learned by ear.

Most klezmer pieces are for dancing to, from fast to slow tempo:

Types not designed for dance are:

Most klezmer tunes are in several sections, sometimes with each in a different key. Many songs have alternating sections with major and minor keys. Klezmer music often uses “folk scales,” or scales commonly found in folk music, such as the harmonic minor and phrygian dominant. Instrumental tunes often follow the types of chord progressions found in Middle Eastern and Greek music, whereas vocal Yiddish songs are often much simpler, and follow a style and chord progressions similar to Russian folk songs.

Freylekhs are often in the form ABCB, which is rare in music. Having a third distinct section is a relatively unique aspect of klezmer music.

A common ending for songs is an upwards chromatic run or glissando, followed by a slow staccato 8-5-1. They may also end with a Coda, a new melodic line that is accompanied by a change in the percussion rhythm and an increase in tempo.

Klezmer is generally instrumental, although at weddings klezmorim traditionally accompanied the vocal stylings of the badkhn (wedding entertainer). A typical 19th-century European orchestra included a first violin, a contra-violin (or modified 3-stringed viola also called Groyse Fidl [Yid. Big Fiddle], Sekund, Kontra or Zsid Bratsch [Hun.]),[11] a tsimbl (cimbalom or hammered dulcimer), a bass or cello, and sometimes a flute. The melody is generally assigned to the lead violin, while the other instrumentalists provide harmony, rhythm, and some counterpoint (the latter usually coming from the second violin or viola). The inclusion of Jews in tsarist army bands during the 19th century led to the introduction of typical military band instruments into klezmer. Brass instrumentssuch as the French valved cornet and keyed German trumpet eventually inherited a counter-voice role.[12] Modern klezmer instrumentation is more commonly influenced by the instruments of the 19th century military bands than the earlier orchestras. The orchestration used by Joel Rubin one of the most experienced and knowledgeable contemporary klezmer musicians represents a historically justified link with that of contemporary ethnic music ensembles of Romania and Hungary.[13]

Percussion in early 20th-century klezmer recordings was generally minimalno more than a wood block or snare drum. The snare drum is the more “authentic” of the two. Wood blocks were introduced by modern klezmorim to imitate recordings from the early 20th century that replaced snare drumswhich tended to overwhelm the recording equipment of the timewith quieter instruments. In Eastern Europe, percussion was often provided by a drummer who played a frame drum, or poyk, sometimes called baraban. A poyk is similar to a bass drum and often has a cymbal or piece of metal mounted on top, which is struck by a beater or a small cymbal strapped to the hand. In Bulgaria, Serbia, and Macedonia, sometimes the paykler (drummer) also played in the tapan style, i.e., with a switch in one hand on a thin tight head, and a mallet in the other, on a thicker, looser head.

Some klezmer revival bands look to loud-instrument klezmer, jazz, and Dixieland for inspiration. Their bands are similar to a typical jazz band, with some differences. They use a clarinet, saxophone, or trumpet for the melody, and make great use of the trombone for slides and other flourishes. When a cymbalom sound is called for, a piano may be played. There is usually a brass instrument ensemble, and sometimes a tuba substitutes for bass. Performers in this style include The Klezmorim, The Klezmatics, The Klezmer Conservatory Band, and The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. Other bands look back to different eras or regions in an effort to recreate specific styles of klezmer for example, Budowitz, the Chicago Klezmer Band, Veretski Pass, Di Naye Kapelye, and the Hungarian band Muzsikas with its album Maramoros: the Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania.

Klezmer instrument choices were traditionally based, by necessity, on an instrument’s portability. Music being required for several parts of the wedding ceremony, taking place in different rooms or courtyards, the band had to relocate quickly from space to space. Further, klezmorim were usually itinerant musicians, who moved from town to town for work. Therefore, instruments held in the hands (clarinet, violin, trumpet, flute) or supported by a neck or shoulder strap (accordion, cimbalom, drum) were favored over those that rested on the ground (cello, bass violin), or needed several people to move (piano).

In America, this trend has continued into the present day, with hand-held or strap-held instruments like guitars, saxophones, and even harmonicas integrated into klezmer ensembles. For example, the typical American klezmer wedding band uses a portable electronic synthesizer, not a piano.

The compositions of Israeli-born composer Ofer Ben-Amots incorporate aspects of klezmer music, most notably his 2006 composition Klezmer Concerto. The piece is for klezmer clarinet (written for Jewish clarinetist David Krakauer),[14] string orchestra, harp and percussion.[15]

In its historic form, klezmer was live music designed to facilitate dancing. Hence, musicians adjusted the tempo as dancers tired or better dancers joined in. Tunes could drag to a near-halt during a particularly sad part, picking up slowly, and eventually bursting into happy song again. (This is also a feature of many Rom and Russian folk songs.)

Like other musicians of their time, and many modern Jazz performers, early klezmorim did not rigidly follow the beat. Often they slightly led or trailed it, giving a lilting sound.

Klezmer is usually played in shteygerim, prayer modes of the synagogue. They are closely related to Greek, Turkish, and other “co-territorial” modes of Southeastern and Central Europe. The following are the names of these modes; the names are taken from the names of familiar prayers that use that mode (imagine an American composer referring to a piece as “a Grand Old Flag” instead of as “a march”).

Ahavo Rabboh means “Abounding Love” in Hebrew, and refers to a prayer from the daily morning prayer service (shacharis). It is built on the 5th degree of the harmonic minor scale, with a descending tetrachord to the tonic being the most characteristic final cadence. It is also called the “Freygish”, a Yiddish term derived from the German “Phrygisch”, or Phrygian mode (specifically, the Phrygian dominant scale). It is considered the mode of supplication.[16] Conversely, it can be thought of as a natural minor scale with lowered 2nd, and augmented 3rd degrees. It is similar to the Arabic Hijaz maqam. Much of klezmer music uses the Ahavah Rabboh scale (such as Nigun Rikud, Tish Nigun and numerous freylekhs), although Mi Sheberach is prevalent as well.

Mi Shebeirach means “He who blessed” in Hebrew, from the Mi Shebeirach prayer, recited after the honor of being called to the Torah reading. It is also called the Ukrainian, Altered Ukrainian, Doina, or Altered Dorian. It is similar to the natural minor scale, but has raised fourth and sixth scale degrees, and is used often for the doina or dance pieces, like the Odessa Bulgar. When used in combination with the Ahavoh Rabboh scale in the same piece (as in Mayn Shtetl Yas), the Mi Shebeirach section is usually a whole tone below the Ahavoh Rabboh scale (for example, D Ahavoh Rabboh changes to C Mi Shebeirach or vice versa).

Adoyn-y Moloch means “my Lord reigns” in Hebrew. It is common in traditional synagogue services (they are the beginning words of many of the Psalms). It is similar to the Western Mixolydian mode and can be thought of as a major scale with a lowered 7th, which is sometimes raised at cadences, but is generally avoided altogether.

Mogen Ovoys means “our forebears’ shield” in Hebrew. It is an older mode from the synagogue, derived from the Friday night prayers. It is similar to the Western melodic minor scale.

Yishtabach means “it shall become superb” in Hebrew (from the daily morning services). It has a frequent lowering of the 2nd and 5th. It is related to Mogein Ovoys, above.

Read more here:
Klezmer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted in Jewish Music Comments Off

Paterson, New Jersey – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paterson, New Jersey City City of Paterson Nickname(s): The Silk City[1] Map of Paterson in Passaic County. Inset: Passaic County’s location in New Jersey. Census Bureau map of Paterson, New Jersey Coordinates: 405453N 740946W / 40.914746N 74.162826W / 40.914746; -74.162826Coordinates: 405453N 740946W / 40.914746N 74.162826W / 40.914746; -74.162826[2][3] Country United States State New Jersey County Passaic Established November 22, 1791 Incorporated April 11, 1831 (as township) Reincorporated April 14, 1851 (as city) Named for William Paterson Government[6] Type Faulkner Act Mayor-Council Body City Council Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres (term ends June 30, 2018)[4] Clerk Jane Williams-Warren[5] Area[2] Total 8.704sqmi (22.544km2) Land 8.428sqmi (21.829km2) Water 0.276sqmi (0.715km2) 3.17% Area rank 223rd of 566 in state 7th of 16 in county[2] Elevation[7] 112ft (34m) Population (2010 Census)[8][9][10] Total 146,199 Estimate(2014)[11] 146,753 Rank 3rd of 565 in state 1st of 16 in county[12] Density 17,346.3/sqmi (6,697.4/km2) Densityrank 9th of 566 in state 2nd of 16 in county[12] Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5) Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4) ZIP codes 07501-07505, 07508-07514, 07522, 07524, 07533, 07538, 07543, 07544[13] Area code(s) 201 and 973[14] FIPS code 3403157000[2][15][16] GNIS feature ID 0885343[2][17] Website http://www.patersonnj.gov

Paterson is the largest city in and the county seat of Passaic County, New Jersey, United States,[18][19] in the New York metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 146,199,[8][9][10] rendering it New Jersey’s third-most-populous city.[20] Paterson continues to carry the second-highest density of any U.S. city with over 100,000 people, behind only New York City.[21]

Paterson is known as the “Silk City” for its dominant role in silk production during the latter half of the 19th century.[1] The city has since evolved into a major destination for Hispanic emigrants as well as for immigrants from the Arab and Muslim world. It has the second-largest Muslim population in the United States.[22]

The area of Paterson was inhabited by the Algonquian-speaking Native American Acquackanonk tribe of the Lenape, referred to as the Delaware Indians. The land was known as the Lenapehoking. The Dutch claimed the land as New Netherlands, then the British as the Province of New Jersey.[23]

In 1791 Alexander Hamilton (1755/57-1804), first United States Secretary of the Treasury, helped found the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.), which helped encourage the harnessing of energy from the Great Falls of the Passaic River to secure economic independence from British manufacturers. Paterson, which was founded by the society, became the cradle of the industrial revolution in America.[24] Paterson was named for William Paterson, statesman, signer of the Constitution and Governor of New Jersey who signed the 1792 charter that established the Town of Paterson.[25][26]

Architect, engineer and city planner Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant (1754-1825), who had earlier developed the initial plans for Washington, D.C., was the first planner for the S.U.M. project.[27] His plan proposed to harness the power of the Great Falls through a channel in the rock and an aqueduct. However, the society’s directors felt he was taking too long and was over budget, and he was replaced by Peter Colt, who used a less complicated reservoir system to get the water flowing to factories in 1794. Eventually Colt’s system developed some problems and a scheme resembling L’Enfant’s original plan was used after 1846.[28]

Paterson was originally formed as a township from portions of Acquackanonk Township on April 11, 1831, while the area was still part of Essex County. Paterson became part of newly created Passaic County on February 7, 1837. It was incorporated as a city on April 14, 1851, based on the results of a referendum held that day. The city was reincorporated on March 14, 1861.[29]

The industries developed in Paterson were powered by the 77-foot-high Great Falls and a system of water raceways that harnessed the power of the falls, providing power for the mills in the area until 1914 and fostering the growth of the city around the mills.[30] The district originally included dozens of mill buildings and other manufacturing structures associated with the textile industry and, later, the firearms, silk and railroad locomotive manufacturing industries. In the latter half of the 19th century silk production became the dominant industry and formed the basis of Paterson’s most prosperous period, earning it the nickname “Silk City.”[31] In 1835 Samuel Colt began producing firearms in Paterson, although within a few years he moved his business to Hartford, Connecticut. Later in the 19th century Paterson was the site of early experiments with submarines by Irish-American inventor John Philip Holland. Two of Holland’s early models one found at the bottom of the Passaic River are on display in the Paterson Museum, housed in the former Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works near the Passaic Falls.[32]

The city was a mecca for immigrant laborers who worked in its factories, particularly Italian weavers from the Naples region. Paterson was the site of historic labor unrest that focused on anti-child labor legislation, and the six-month-long Paterson silk strike of 1913 that demanded the eight-hour day and better working conditions. It was defeated by the employers, with workers forced to return under pre-strike conditions. Factory workers labored long hours for low wages under dangerous conditions and lived in crowded tenement buildings around the mills. The factories then moved to the South, where there were no labor unions, and still later moved overseas.

In 1919 Paterson was one of eight locations bombed by self-identified anarchists.[33]

In 1932 Paterson opened Hinchliffe Stadium, a 10,000-seat stadium named in honor of John V. Hinchliffe, the city’s mayor at the time. Hinchliffe originally served as the site for high school and professional athletic events. From 1933-37 and 193945, Hinchliffe was the home of the New York Black Yankees and from 1935-36 the home of the New York Cubans of the Negro National League.[34] The historic ballpark was also a venue for many professional football games, track and field events, boxing matches and auto and motorcycle racing.

The comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello performed at Hinchliffe prior to boxing matches (Abbott was from the southern New Jersey city of Asbury Park, but Costello was a Paterson native). Hinchliffe is one of only three Negro League stadiums left standing in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1963 the Paterson Public Schools acquired the stadium and used it for public school events until 1997, but it is currently in a state of disrepair while the schools have been taken over by the state.[35]

During World War II Paterson played an important part in the aircraft engine industry. By the end of WWII, however, there was a decline in urban areas and Paterson was no exception, and since the late 1960s the city has suffered high unemployment rates and white flight.[36]

Once a premier shopping and leisure destination of northern New Jersey, competition from malls in upscale neighboring towns like Wayne and Paramus have forced the big chain stores out of Paterson’s downtown.[citation needed] The biggest industries are now small businesses, with the decline of the city’s industrial base. However, the city still, as always, attracts many immigrants, who have revived the city’s economy, especially through small businesses.[37]

The downtown area was struck by massive fires several times, most recently on January 17, 1991. In this fire a near full city block (bordered on the north and south by Main Street and Washington Street and on the east and west by Ellison Street and College Boulevard, a stretch of Van Houten Street that is dominated by Passaic County Community College) was engulfed in flames due to an electrical fire in the basement of a bar at 161 Main Street and spread to other buildings.[38] Firefighter John A. Nicosia, 28, of Engine 4 went missing in the fire, having gotten lost in the basement. His body was located two days later.[39] A plaque honoring his memory was later placed on a wall near the area. The area was so badly damaged that most of the burned buildings were demolished, with an outdoor mall standing in their place. The most notable of the destroyed buildings was the Meyer Brothers department store, which closed in 1987 and since had been parceled out.

Paterson includes numerous locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including museums, civic buildings such as City Hall, Hinchliffe Stadium, Public School Number Two and the Danforth Memorial Library, churches (Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, ) individual residences and districts of the city, such as the Paterson Downtown Commercial Historic District, the Great Falls/Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures Historic District and the Eastside Park Historic District.

Hijackers in the September 11 attacks, Hani Hanjour, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Abdulaziz Alomari, Khalid Almihdhar, and probably Ahmed Alghamdi, rented and lived in an apartment from March to September 2001.[40]

In August 2011, Paterson was severely affected in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, particularly by flooding of the Passaic River, where waters rose to levels unseen for 100 years, leading to the displacement of thousands and the closure of bridges over the river.[41] Touring the area with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared, “This is as bad as Ive seen, and Ive been in eight states that have been impacted by Irene.” The president the same day declared New Jersey a disaster area,[42] and announced that he would visit the city.[43][44][45]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 8.704 square miles (22.544km2), including 8.428 square miles (21.829km2) of land and 0.276 square miles (0.715km2) of water (3.17%).[2][3]

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Riverside and Totowa.[46]

The city borders Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Prospect Park, Totowa and Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson) in Passaic County; and both Elmwood Park (formerly East Paterson) and Fair Lawn in Bergen County.[47]

The Great Falls Historic District is the most famous neighborhood in Paterson, because of the landmark Great Falls of the Passaic River. The city has attempted to revitalize the area in recent years, including the installation of period lamp posts and the conversion of old industrial buildings into apartments and retail venues. Many artists live in this section of Paterson. A major redevelopment project is planned for this district in the coming years. The Paterson Museum of industrial history at Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works is situated in the Historic District.[48]

Downtown Paterson is the main commercial district of the city and was once a shopping destination for many who lived in northern New Jersey. After a devastating fire in 1902, the city rebuilt the downtown with massive Beaux-Arts-style buildings, many of which remain to this day. These buildings are usually four to seven stories tall. Downtown Paterson is home to Paterson City Hall and the Passaic County Courthouse Annex, two of the city’s architectural landmarks. City Hall was designed by the New York firm Carrere and Hastings in 1894, and was modeled after the Htel de Ville (city hall) in Lyon, France, capital of the silk industry in Europe.[49]

The former Orpheum Theatre located on Van Houten Street has been converted to a mosque by the Islamic Foundation of New Jersey. The massive structure, now known as Masjid Jalalabad, can accommodate 1,500 worshipers.[50]

As with many other old downtown districts in the United States, Downtown Paterson suffered as shoppers and retailers moved to the suburban shopping malls of the region. Many historic buildings are in disrepair or are abandoned after years of neglect. In addition, Downtown Paterson is an Urban Enterprise Zone. The city has, in recent years, begun initiatives in hopes of reviving the downtown area with the centerpiece being the Center City Mall, which was constructed on a large parking lot spanning Ward Street from Main to Church streets and features retail, entertainment, and commercial space. Downtown Paterson is located in the city’s 1st Ward.

Eastside Park Historic District consists of about 1,000 homes in a variety of architectural styles, including Tudors, Georgian colonials, Victorians, Italianate villas and Dutch colonials. It is located east of downtown. Once the home of the city’s industrial and political leaders, the neighborhood experienced a significant downturn as industry fled Paterson. In recent years, gentrification has begun to occur in the neighborhood and some of the area’s historic houses have been restored. The Eastside Park Historic District is a state and nationally registered historic place. The jewel of the neighborhood is Eastside Park and the mansions that surround it. This section of Paterson once had a large Jewish population that reached 40,000 at its peak, and there is still a synagogue left.[51] Eastside Park and what is commonly known as the Upper Eastside are located in Paterson’s 3rd Ward.

East River Section is a section that is referred to by locals roughly bordering Riverside at 5th Avenue and extending south to Broadway, sandwiched in by Madison Avenue to McClean Boulevard (Route 20), although the neighborhood’s layout unofficially extends to the “Paterson-Newark/Hudson Route” of River Road in the Paterson-Memorial Park section of Fair Lawn (whose house addresses are in alignment with the now defunct Jewish synagogue on the corner of 33rd Street and Broadway), which connects Paterson to Newark/Hudson, and at one time was a Main Route through River Drive (which starts in Elmwood Park and rides north to south along the East Bank of the Passaic River in Paterson’s original county). Built when Paterson was still Bergen County, River Drive changes to River Road in the greater Eastside Sections of Upper Eastside-Manor Section, East River, and Riverside Sections, and turns into Wagaraw Road north of 1st Avenue / Maple Avenue in the old Bunker Hill extension of Columbia Heights in Fair Lawn (as indication of not only entering the Industrial Section, but also entering the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains in Hawthorne). River Drive then turns into East Main Street to indicate that you have entered the Northside Section. The East River neighborhood which was and still has maintained its “blue collar” working-class identity, was at one time known for its large Jewish community, as well as Neapolitan/Italian population and more recently other Mediterranean and Adriatic Europeans, Caribbean and South Americans, and other modern immigrant groups from all over the world, as well as African-Americans.

Manor Section is a residential neighborhood in Paterson. It is located east of East 33rd Street, north of Broadway, and south-west of Route 20 and the Passaic River. The Manor section of Paterson is located in the city’s 3rd Ward. The layout and culture of the Manor Section also extends into the neighboring Lyncrest and Rivercrest sections of Fair Lawn, with all the addresses aligning themselves to the now defunct Jewish Temple, located at the corner of 33rd and Broadway.

South Paterson, also known as Little Istanbul or Little Ramallah, is a diverse neighborhood with a growing number of immigrants from the Middle East, with significant Arab and Turkish communities. The neighborhood is located in the 6th Ward, east of Main Street and west of West Railway Avenue. A majority of the city’s Arabs live in this section of Paterson. Many of the retail shops and restaurants cater to this community. The neighborhood is characterized by Halal meat markets which offer goat and lamb; and shop signs are in Arabic. South Paterson’s Arab community is mostly made up of Jordanians, Palestinians,[52]Syrians,[53][54] and Lebanese people.[55]

Lakeview is situated in the southern part of the city, and is a middle class neighborhood. Interstate 80 runs north of this district. Lakeview is home to the Paterson Farmers Market, where many people from across North Jersey come to buy fresh produce. The neighborhood is roughly 65% Hispanic, although this neighborhood also has a sizable European, Middle-Eastern, African-American, and Asian populations, including a significant Filipino presence. Lakeview also shares some of the same characteristics as neighboring Clifton as they both share a neighborhood bearing the same name. The Lakeview section of Paterson is located in the city’s 6th Ward.

Hillcrest is a large mostly residential, middle class enclave, to the west of the downtown area. Its borders’ limits are Preakness Avenue to the east, Cumberland Avenue to the west, and Totowa Avenue along with West Side Park and the Passaic River to the south. Hillcrest is one of Paterson’s most desirable neighborhoods. The Hillcrest section of Paterson is located in the city’s 2nd Ward.

People’s Park is a neighborhood located north of 23rd Avenue and south of Market Street. Twenty-First Avenue or “La Ventiuno” as it’s known by most of Paterson’s Spanish-speaking community, is located in the People’s Park section of Paterson. It is an active and vibrant retail strip featuring a variety of shops and services catering to a diverse clientele. Twenty First Avenue used to have a large Italian population. Although there is still a significant Italian presence left in the neighborhood, it also has a large first-generation Hispanic population, particularly Colombian.

Wrigley Park is a neighborhood that has suffered from years of poverty, crime, and neglect. It is mostly African-American. Poverty, crime, open-air drug markets, prostitution, vacant lots, and boarded-up windows are all common in this area. However, there are new houses being built, and crime has dropped in recent years. This neighborhood is located north of Broadway.

Sandy Hill is a neighborhood in the Eastside located roughly west of Madison Avenue, north of 21st Avenue, south of Park Avenue, and east of Straight Street. Due to Paterson’s significant population turn-over, this neighborhood is now home to a large and growing Hispanic community, mostly first-generation Dominicans. The Sandy Hill section of Paterson is located in the city’s 5th Ward. Roberto Clemente Park, which was originally known as Sandy Hill Park, is located in this neighborhood.

Part of the 5th Ward is called Near Eastside by residents to differentiate it from the Eastside Park Historic District to its immediate east.

Northside, located north of Downtown, suffers from many of the social problems currently facing the Wrigley Park neighborhood, but to a lesser extent. This neighborhood borders the boroughs of Haledon and Prospect Park and is known for its hills and having sweeping views of the New York City skyline. The Northside section of Paterson is located in the city’s 1st Ward.

Totowa section is a large neighborhood located west of the Passaic River, south-west of West Broadway and north-east of Preakness Avenue. As the name implies, it borders the town of Totowa. It is mostly Hispanic but with an increasing South Asian community, mainly Bangladeshi. Many Bengali grocery stores and clothing stores are locating on Union Avenue and the surrounding streets. Masjid Al-Ferdous is located on Union Avenue, which accommodates the daily Bangladeshi pedestrian population.

A large Italian presence remains in this neighborhood. Many Peruvian and other Latin American restaurants and businesses are located on Union Avenue. Colonial Village and Brooks Sloate Terraces are located in this neighborhood. The Totowa Section is located in parts of the 1st and 2nd Wards of Paterson.

Stoney Road is Paterson’s most south-west neighborhood, bordering Woodland Park to the south and Totowa across the Passaic River to the west. This neighborhood is home to Pennington Park, Hayden Heights, Lou Costello Pool, the Levine reservoir, Murray Avenue, Mc Bride Avenue, and Garret Heights. A strong Italian presence remains in this neighborhood. The Stoney Road section of Paterson is located in the city’s 2nd Ward.

Riverside is a larger neighborhood in Paterson and, as its name suggests, is bound by the Passaic River to the north and east, separating the city from Hawthorne and Fair Lawn. Riverside is a working-class neighborhood. The neighborhood is mostly residential with some industrial uses. Madison Avenue cuts through the heart of this district. Route 20 runs through the eastern border of Riverside, providing an easy commute to Route 80 East and New York City. This section is ethnically diverse with a growing Hispanic community concentrating mostly north and along River Street. Many Albanians are making their home in the East 18th Street and River Street areas. River View Terrace is located in this neighborhood. Riverside is located in parts of the 3rd and 4th Wards of Paterson.

Bunker Hill is a mostly industrial area west of River Street and east of the Passaic River.

Westside Park located off Totowa Avenue and best known as the site of the Holland submarine, Fenian Ram, which was built in 1879-1881[56] for the Fenian Brotherhood, it became the target of graffiti artists because the fence surrounding it was too low and too close to the submarine itself. The sub is now located in Paterson Museum.[57]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Kppen Climate Classification system, Paterson has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated “Cfa” on climate maps.[58]

According to Mayor Jose Torres, Paterson had 52 distinct ethnic groups in 2014.[72] Paterson’s rapidly growing Bangladeshi American,[73]Turkish American, Arab American,[74]Palestinian American,[52]Albanian American, Dominican American, and Peruvian American communities are among the largest and most prominent in the United States, the latter owing partially to the presence of the Consulate of Peru.[75] Paterson’s Muslim population has been estimated at 25,000 to 30,000.[1] Paterson has become a prime destination for one of the fastest-growing communities of Dominican Americans, who have become the city’s largest ethnic group.[76] The Puerto Rican American population has established a highly significant presence as well.[77]

Demographic surveys and census data finds Paterson has the highest percentage of disabled persons of any city with more than 100,000 residents, with about 30% of males and 29% of females not classified as poor in Paterson listed as having a disability.[78]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 146,199 people, 44,329 households, and 32,715 families residing in the city. The population density was 17,346.3 per square mile (6,697.4/km2). There were 47,946 housing units at an average density of 5,688.7 per square mile (2,196.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 34.68% (50,706) White, 31.68% (46,314) Black or African American, 1.06% (1,547) Native American, 3.34% (4,878) Asian, 0.04% (60) Pacific Islander, 23.94% (34,999) from other races, and 5.26% (7,695) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 57.63% (84,254) of the population.[8]

There were 44,329 households, of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 29.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.24 and the average family size was 3.71.[8]

In the city, 27.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.1 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.[8]

Same-sex couples headed 290 households in 2010, a decline from the 349 counted in 2000.[79]

The Census Bureau’s 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $34,086 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,705) and the median family income was $39.003 (+/- $2,408). Males had a median income of $30,811 (+/- $825) versus $28,459 (+/- $1,570) for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,543 (+/- $467). About 24.1% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.0% of those under age 18 and 25.4% of those age 65 or over.[80]

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] there were 149,222 people, 44,710 households, and 33,353 families residing in the city, for a population density of 17,675.4 per square mile (6,826.4/km2).[70][71] Among cities with a population higher than 100,000, Paterson was the second most densely populated large city in the United States, only after New York City.[81]

There were 47,169 housing units at an average density of 5,587.2 per square mile (2,157.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 32.90% African American, 13.20% White, 0.60% Native American, 1.90% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 27.60% from other races and 6.17% from two or more races. Latino of any race were 50.1% of the population.[70][71] The majority of Latinos are Puerto Rican 14%, Dominican 10%, Peruvian 5% and Colombian 3%.[82]

There were 44,710 households out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 26.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.71.[70][71]

In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.[70][71]

The median income for a household in the city was $30,127, and the median income for a family was $32,983. Males had a median income of $27,911 versus $21,733 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,257. About 19.2% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 19.4% of those age 65 or over.[70][71]

Since its early beginnings, Paterson has been a melting pot. Irish, Germans, Dutch, and Jews settled in the City in the 19th century. Italian and Eastern European immigrants soon followed. As early as 1890, Syrian and Lebanese immigrants also arrived in Paterson.

In addition to many African Americans of Southern heritage, more recent immigrants have come from the Caribbean and Africa. Paterson’s black population increased during the Great Migration of the 20th century, but there have been Patersonians of African descent since before the Civil War. However, Paterson’s black population declined between the years 2000 and 2010,[83] consistent with the overall return migration of African Americans from Northern New Jersey back to the Southern United States.[84] A house once existing at Bridge Street and Broadway was a station on the Underground Railroad. It was operated from 1855 to 1864 by abolitionists William Van Rensalier, a black engineer, and Josiah Huntoon, a white industrialist.[85] There is a memorial located at the site.[86][87]

Many second- and third-generation Puerto Ricans have been calling Paterson home since the 1950s, including an estimated 10,000 who would participate in the 2014 mayoral election, which was won by Jose “Joey” Torres, a Puerto Rican American who was one of three Hispanic candidates vying for the seat.[77] Today’s Hispanic immigrants to Paterson are primarily Dominican, Peruvian, Colombian, Mexican, and Central American, with a resurgence of Puerto Rican migration as well. In 2014, more than 600 businesspeople attended the annual Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey Convention in Paterson.[88]

Western Market Street, sometimes called Little Lima by tourists, is home to many Peruvian and other Latin-American businesses. In contrast, if one travels east on Market Street, a heavy concentration of Dominican-owned restaurants, beauty salons, barber shops and other businesses can be seen. The Great Falls Historic District, Cianci Street, Union Avenue and 21st Avenue have several Italian businesses. To the north of the Great Falls is a fast-growing Bangladeshi population. Park Avenue and Market Street between Straight Street and Madison Avenue are heavily Dominican and Puerto Rican. Main Street, just south of downtown, is heavily Mexican with a declining Puerto-Rican community. Broadway also called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way is predominantly black, as is the Fourth Ward and parts of Eastside and Northside. Costa Ricans and other Central American immigrant communities are growing in the Riverside and Peoples Park neighborhoods. Main Street between the Clifton border and Madison Avenue is heavily Turkish and Arab. 21st Avenue in the People’s Park section is characterized by Colombian and other Latin American restaurants and shops.

Every summer, Patersonians conduct an African-American Day Parade, a Dominican Day Parade, a Puerto Rican Day Parade, a Peruvian Day Parade, and a Turkish-American Day Parade, though budget cuts in 2011 have meant that parade organizers have been asked to contribute to cover the costs of police and other municipal services.[89]

Paterson is considered by many as the capital of the Peruvian Diaspora in the U.S.[90] Paterson’s rapidly growing Peruvian community celebrates what is known as Seor de los Milagros (“Our Lord of Miracles” in English) on October 18 through 28th each year and also participates in the annual Passaic County Peruvian Day Parade, which passes through Market Street and Main Street in the Little Lima neighborhood of Downtown Paterson every July.[91] In the 2000 Census, 4.72% of residents listed themselves as being of Peruvian American ancestry, the third-highest percentage of the population of any municipality in New Jersey and the United States, behind East Newark with 10.1% and Harrison with 7.01%.[92] The community includes both Quechua and Spanish speakers.[93]

Paterson is home to the third-largest Dominican-American Community in the United States, after New York City and Lawrence, Massachusetts. In the 2000 Census, 10.27% of residents listed themselves as being of Dominican American ancestry, the eighth highest percentage of the population of any municipality in the United States and the third highest percentage in New Jersey, behind Perth Amboy’s 18.81% and Union City’s 11.46%.[94]

Paterson is home to the largest Turkish-American immigrant community in the United States (Little Istanbul) and the second largest Arab-American community after Dearborn, Michigan.[74] Paterson has been nicknamed Little Ramallah and contains a neighborhood with the same name in South Paterson, with an Arab American population estimated as high as 20,000 in 2015,[95][96] serving as the center of Paterson’s growing Syrian American[53][54] and Palestinian American populations.[52] The Paterson-based Arab American Civic Association runs an Arabic language program in the Paterson Public Schools that serves 125 students at School 9 on Saturdays.[97] Paterson is also home to the largest Circassian immigrant community in the United States.[98]

The Greater Paterson area which includes the cities of Clifton and Wayne and the boroughs of Haledon, Prospect Park, North Haledon, Totowa, Woodland Park, and Little Falls, is home to the nation’s largest North Caucasian population, mostly Circassians, Karachays, and small Chechen and Dagestani communities. Reflective of these communities, Paterson and Prospect Park public schools observe Muslim holidays.[99]

Paterson has incorporated a rapidly growing Bangladeshi American community, which is estimated to number 15,000,[100] the largest in the United States outside New York City.[101] Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman was ultimately certified as the winner of the 2012 city council race in the Second Ward, making him North Jersey’s first Bangladeshi-American elected official.[102]

A branch of the Sonali Exchange Company Inc. has opened on Union Avenue in the Totowa Section; the Sonali Exchange Company is a subsidiary of Sonali Bank, the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh.

Portions of Paterson are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.[103]

Paterson has a significant parks and recreation system, including larger areas such as Eastside, Westside and Pennington Parks, as well as neighborhood parks such as Wrigley, Robert Clemente, and People’s.[104] The Great Falls of the Passaic are part of the state park system.

The Paterson Museum, located in the Great Falls Historic District, was founded in 1925 and is owned and operated by the city of Paterson. Its mission is to preserve and display the industrial history of the city. Since 1982, the museum has been housed in the Thomas Rogers Building on Market Street, the former erecting shop of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works, a major 19th-century manufacturer of railroad steam locomotives.[105]

Belle Vista, locally known as Lambert Castle, was built in 1892 as the home of Catholina Lambert, the self-made owner of a prominent silk mill in Paterson. After Lambert’s death in 1923, his family sold the building to the city, which in turn sold it to the County of Passaic a few years later. The county used the building for administrative offices, and in 1936, provided one room to the fledgling Passaic County Historical Society to serve as its historical museum. As time went by the museum grew, room by room, until the entire first floor became the historical museum.

In the late 1990s, the Castle underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration and all four floors of the building were developed into a museum and library. Today, Passaic County remains the owner of the building and supports the facilities’ operation; however, the Passaic County Historical Society is solely responsible for the operation and management of Lambert Castle Museum with its historical period rooms, long-term and changing exhibition galleries, educational programs for elementary and middle-school students, and research library/archive.[106]

Above Lambert Castle stands a 75-foot (23m) observation tower, located at the peak of Garret Mountain, which while technically standing in Woodland Park, was constructed when the property was considered part of Paterson. The tower is part of the Garret Mountain Reservation and renovations were completed in 2009 to restore the tower to the original condition as built in 1896 by Lambert, who used the tower to impress guests with its view of the New York City skyline.[107]

Attempts are being made to fund the restoration of the Paterson Armory as a recreation and cultural center.[108]

The City of Paterson operates within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under a Plan-D Mayor-Council form of government, which was adopted in 1974 in a change from a 1907 statute-based form.[6][109]

Under the Mayor-Council plan, the Mayor is the chief executive and is responsible for administering the City’s activities. The Mayor is elected at-large for a four-year term by the citizens and is responsible for them. The mayor enforces the charter and the ordinances and laws passed by the City Council. The Mayor appoints all department heads including the business administrator, with the advice and consent of the Council and may remove any department heads after giving them notice and an opportunity to be heard. With the assistance of the business administrator, the Mayor is responsible for preparation of the municipal budget. The Mayor submits the budget to the Council along with a detailed analysis of expenditures and revenues. The Council may reduce any item or items in the budget by a majority vote, but can only increase an item by a two-thirds vote.

The City Council consists of nine seats. Of these, six are elected through use of the ward system, where candidates run to represent a certain area of the city. The other three seats are elected using the at-large system, where each candidate is voted upon by the entire voting population of the city. Municipal elections are held in even numbered years, are non-partisan, and take place in early May. The six members of the City Council representing their wards are elected in the same years as Presidential elections, while the mayoral election and the at-large Council elections are held in the same years as the mid-term Congressional elections.

As of 2015[update], the Mayor of Paterson is Jose “Joey” Torres, whose term ends on June 30, 2018. Torres is in his third term as Mayor of Paterson, having first been elected by defeating incumbent Martin G. Barnes in 2002 and then winning re-election in 2006 against Lawrence Spagnola. He would lose his bid for a third consecutive term to City Council President Jeffery Jones in 2010, but Torres defeated Jones in a rematch four years later.

The currently sitting City Council Members are Council President Julio Tavarez (Fifth Ward; 2016), Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman (Second Ward; 2016), Ruby Cotton (Fourth Ward; 2016), Maritza Davila (at-large; 2018), Alex Mendez (at-large; 2018), Anthony Davis (First Ward; 2016), William McKoy (Third Ward; 2016), Ken Morris, Jr. (at-large; 2018) and Andre Sayegh (Sixth Ward; 2016).[110][111][112][113]

Paterson is located in the 9th Congressional District[114] and is part of New Jersey’s 35th state legislative district.[9][115][116] Prior to the 2010 Census, Paterson had been part of the 8th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[117]

New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson).[118] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021)[119] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).[120][121]

For the 20162017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 35th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nellie Pou (D, North Haledon) and in the General Assembly by Shavonda E. Sumter (D, Paterson) and Benjie E. Wimberly (D, Paterson).[122] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[123] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[124]

Passaic County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large to staggered three-year terms office on a partisan basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At a reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects a Director and Deputy Director from among its members to serve for a one-year term.[125] As of 2015[update], Passaic County’s Freeholders are Freeholder Director Hector C. Lora (D, term ends December 31, 2015; Passaic),[126] Freeholder Deputy Director Bruce James (D, 2017; Clifton),[127] John W. Bartlett (D, 2015; Wayne),[128] Theodore O. Best, Jr. (D, 2017; Paterson),[129] Ronda Cotroneo (D, 2015; Ringwood),[130] Terry Duffy (D, 2016; West Milford),[131] and Pat Lepore (D, 2016; Woodland Park).[132][133][134] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Kristin M. Corrado (R, 2019),[135]Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik (2016)[136] and Surrogate Bernice Toledo (2016).[137][138][139]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 68,324 registered voters in Paterson, of which 27,926 (40.9% vs. 31.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 3,100 (4.5% vs. 18.7%) were registered as Republicans and 37,285 (54.6% vs. 50.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 13 voters registered to other parties.[140] Among the city’s 2010 Census population, 46.7% (vs. 53.2% in Passaic County) were registered to vote, including 64.8% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.8% countywide).[140][141]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 93.6% of the vote (41,662 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 6.1% (2,696 votes), and other candidates with 0.3% (152 votes), among the 45,050 ballots cast by the city’s 78,194 registered voters (540 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 57.6%.[142][143] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 38,085 votes (86.7% vs. 58.8% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 4,098 votes (9.3% vs. 37.7%) and other candidates with 150 votes (0.3% vs. 0.8%), among the 43,946 ballots cast by the city’s 70,925 registered voters, for a turnout of 62.0% (vs. 70.4% in Passaic County).[144] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 28,896 votes (79.2% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 5,959 votes (16.3% vs. 42.7%) and other candidates with 151 votes (0.4% vs. 0.7%), among the 36,470 ballots cast by the city’s 64,151 registered voters, for a turnout of 56.9% (vs. 69.3% in the whole county).[145]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 78.5% of the vote (15,726 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 20.6% (4,123 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (179 votes), among the 20,787 ballots cast by the city’s 80,140 registered voters (759 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 25.9%.[146][147] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 17,334 ballots cast (85.7% vs. 50.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2,213 votes (10.9% vs. 43.2%), Independent Chris Daggett with 264 votes (1.3% vs. 3.8%) and other candidates with 129 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 20,233 ballots cast by the city’s 66,603 registered voters, yielding a 30.4% turnout (vs. 42.7% in the county).[148]

The City of Paterson is served by a professional police department.[149] The Paterson Fire Department, headed by Chief Michael Postorino, operates out of seven fire stations with a total of 400 employees, and is also responsible for the city’s emergency medical services division and ambulance units.[150]

In addition to local services, Paterson is home to the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office Courts Division in the Passaic County Courthouse and Correctional Division in the Passaic County Jail. The jail, originally constructed in 1957, can accommodate 1,242 inmate beds.[151]

In April 2011, Paterson laid off 125 police officers, nearly 25% of the total force in the city, due to severe budget constraints caused by a $70 million deficit.[152] At the same time, the Guardian Angels, a New York City-based volunteer citizen safety patrol organization, began operating in Paterson at the invitation of the Mayor.[153]

St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center is a large institution providing comprehensive emergency services as well as non-emergency medical care to Paterson and the surrounding community.[154]

As of May 2010[update], the city had a total of 195.28 miles (314.27km) of roadways, of which 157.62 miles (253.66km) were maintained by the municipality, 29.21 miles (47.01km) by Passaic County and 8.45 miles (13.60km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[155]

By road, Paterson is served directly by Interstate 80, as well as State Routes 4, 19, and 20, U.S. Route 46, and the Garden State Parkway. State Routes 3, 17, 21, and 208 are also nearby and serve as feeder roads to the community.

Paterson also served as the terminus for numerous major secondary roads in northern New Jersey. Paterson Plank Road linked the city to Jersey City and eventually the Hudson River waterfront in Hoboken, while the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike connected the city with Sussex County along what is now parts of State Route 23.

The city is served by the New Jersey Transit Main Line commuter rail service, with the station located in Downtown Paterson. Plans are being developed for Paterson to receive new commuter rail service on the existing NYS&W line, which is currently single-tracked. The Passaic-Bergen Rail Line is planned to have five stops in Paterson.[156]

Bus service to locations in Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties is provided by New Jersey Transit, making the city a regional transit hub. The Broadway Bus Terminal, also downtown, is the terminus for many NJ Transit bus lines.[157]

Service to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan is offered on the 161 and the 190, by the 171 to the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in Washington Heights, Manhattan, on the 72 to Newark, with local service provided on the 74, 702, 703, 704, 707, 712, 722, 742 (Saturday only), 744, 746, 748, 770, 970 and 971 routes.[158][159] Many buses stop at or near City Hall, going to various points in the area, including New York and the neighboring communities.

Service to the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in Manhattan and shopping centers in Bergen County is also provided along Route 4 by independent jitney bus carriers (guaguas or dollar vans).[160]

The Paterson Public Schools serve students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide,[161] which are now referred to as “SDA Districts” based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.[162][163]

As of the 2011-12 school year, the district’s 48 schools had an enrollment of 24,365 students and 1,845.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a studentteacher ratio of 13.21:1.[164] District enrollment in Paterson surged at the start of the 2015-16 school year, creating a public school enrollment of 700 students higher than expected and putting the school district in a situation of needing to hire teachers rapidly not long after the district had laid off 300 positions.[165]

In 2011, all of Paterson’s high schools were changed to theme schools, as part of a goal to give students a better choice in areas they wanted to pursue.[166] Among the 594 students who took the SAT in 2013, the mean combined score was 1120 and there were 19 students (3.2% of those taking the exam) who achieved the combined score of 1550 that the College Board considers an indicator of college readiness, a decline from the 26 students (4.3%) who achieved the standard the previous year.[167]

Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology is a charter school serving students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade.[168] Other charter schools include Community Charter School of Paterson (K-8), John P. Holland Charter School (K-8) and Paterson Arts and Science Charter School (K-7).[169]

See the original post:
Paterson, New Jersey – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted in Bar Mitzvah Comments Off