Freeholders Honor Rabbi From Montclair

The Record ( — May 8, 2017

The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders held its Jewish Heritage Month Celebration on Wednesday, May 3, in the Hall of Records.

During the event, the freeholders honored Montclair resident Clifford M. Kulwin, rabbi of Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston.

A longtime member of the Montclair Public Library Board of Trustees, including having served as its president, Kulwin graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religions after completing studies at its Cincinnati and Jerusalem campuses. Upon ordination, he served in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he was especially active in interfaith and social action efforts.

After returning to the United States, Kulwin enrolled as a doctoral fellow, specializing in Jewish History at Columbia University, where he published several articles on the history of Jews in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking lands.

Under his leadership, Temple B'nai Abraham has grown in numbers and activity and was recently honored by the NAACP.

Kulwin and his wife, Robin, have been married since 1990, and have two children, Noah and Molly.

The other honorees at the May 3 celebration included Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action, and Clifford Smith, science teacher at Union Avenue Middle School in Irvington.

"Even though May is set aside as Jewish Heritage Month, we know that everyday Jewish-Americans are hard at work making a difference in our communities, and tonight, the Freeholders have the pleasure of honoring several individuals who have done just that," stated Freeholder At-Large Patricia Sebold of Livingston, who gave opening remarks during the program. Sebold is a member of Kulwin's synagogue.

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