About Town

December 20, 2013
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Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: Their Origins & Exploits


RUMSON – Award-winning journalist, author and lecturer Andrée Aelion Brooks will present “Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: Their origins and exploits” at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI).


Andrée Aelion Brooks

Andrée Aelion Brooks


Attendees will be able to enjoy bagels and coffee as Brooks leads a discussion about how and why Jewish pirates lived and worked in the Caribbean during the 16th and 17th centuries. “We are thrilled that Ms. Brooks is returning to our synagogue to speak,” said Yona Shulman, chair of the Adult Education Committee at CBI. “She is a popular lecturer and a great storyteller. Her presentations are always fascinating and filled with interesting insight and humor.”

An expert on Sephardic, Caribbean and Mediter­ranean Jewish communities, Brooks is an associate fellow at Yale University. A journalist for The New York Times for 18 years and guest essayist for The Wall Street Journal, Brooks has received an outstanding achievement award from the National Federation of Press Women as well as the Mark Twain Award from the Connecticut Press Club. She is the author of a number of books; one entitled “The Woman who Defied Kings,” is a biography of the 16th century Jewish banker Doña Gracia Nasi, and another, entitled “Russian Dance,” is a romantic thriller based on the true story of a Bolshevik spy.

The lecture is open to the public but advance registration is required. For congregants, there is no fee and $5 for noncongregants.

Registration is available at the events page at www.cbirumson.org or by contacting synagogue director, Emilie Kovit-Meyer, at 732-842-1800, ext. 203.

CBI has been serving the Jewish community for more than 90 years and serves as a spiritual home for families throughout Monmouth County as well as providing religious education for preschoolers to adults and hosting social and civic functions for the community. For more information about CBI, go to www.cbirumson.org.

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Red Bank Elks Host Holiday Party for The Arc of Monmouth


RED BANK – Nearly 100 children and adults with developmental disabilities attended the Red Bank Elks’ holiday party, an annual tradition featuring clowns, balloons, singing, food and Santa himself.

The guest list included participants of The Arc of Monmouth’s recreation programs as well as Elks’ family members with developmental disabilities.

The Arc of Monmouth presented a “thank you” plaque to Butch Della Pietro, chairman of the Special Needs Children committee, who has organized the event for the past 25 years.

“We are so grateful to Butch and the Elks for their longtime support of individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Cindy Wiegers, The Arc’s director of recreation. “Social interaction is so critical to the well-being of people with disabilities, and the Elks understand that and take pride in this event.”

The Arc of Monmouth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serving more than 1,300 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through education, vocational training, residential services, health care, supported employment, recreation, individual and family supports, self-directed services and advocacy.

Additional information is available by visiting www.arc ofmonmouth.org.



Teacher/naturalist George Nixon will present his program, “Hummingbirds,” at the Monmouth County Audubon Society meeting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at the Church of the Nativity on Ridge Road.

The public is welcome; admission is free.

Every bird lover who watches hummingbirds has marveled at their amazingly aerobatic flight abilities. But just how do hummingbirds fly? These tiny birds have unique flight mechanisms that give them a completely different style of flight than other birds, and understanding that flight can help people better appreciate the wonder that is a flying hummingbird. In his program, Nixon will discuss the physiology of hummingbird flight and explain how they do the amazing aerobatic feats of flight that they do. He will also discuss in detail the ecological relationships that hummingbirds, which are the largest nonpasserine group in the world, share with other species.

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Nixon is a retired teacher and naturalist whose interest in nature began more than 25 years ago. He is a past member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, which documents rare bird occurrences in the state. He is a current member of the Urner Ornithological Club and is the founder of NJOdes, a website for New Jersey’s Odonate (dragonfly/dameselfly) enthusiasts. When not traveling the world to see birds and other wildlife with his wife Val, Nixon can be found closer to home enjoying the birds of New Jersey as well as butterflies and odes.

Further information and directions can be obtained by visiting the club’s website at www.monmouthaudubon.org, or via email at info@monmouthaudubon.org.



The Central Jersey Hawks will be hosting AAU Girls’ grade 5-6 tryouts for any girl interested in joining the team for the 2014 spring season.

The Central Jersey Hawks Girls’ Basketball Program is a premier local AAU organization with a reputation for developing basketball players.

The deadline to sign up for tryouts is Jan.10.

Tryouts will be held Saturdays, Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 with sixth-graders trying out from noon to 1:30 p.m. and fifth-graders from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Holmdel High School main gym, 36 Crawfords Corner Road.

Girls and their parents are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to scheduled tryout time for a parents’ meeting.

The parents of fifth-grade girls interested in trying out must email coach Scott Cannon at Cannonsportnsociaclub@verizon.net and indicate which tryout date their daughter will be attending.

The parents of sixth-grade girls interested in trying out must email coach Tom Fontana at Tfonz31@aol.com and indicate the tryout date their daughter will be attending.

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