The Marcus Family…. New Members Settling Right In….
A welcoming environment, inspiring services, friendly members, meaningful activities, and pizza bagels especially for the kids at Kiddush, attracted The Marcus Family to MJCBY in 2013. Debbie, Alex and their children Zach, Eliana and Judah are fun, friendly and energized.
To learn about more about the Marcus family and why WE ARE MJCBY, turn to page XXX.
Pictured left to right: Judah (8), Debbie, Zach (13), Alex and Eliana (11)
Debbie Marcus, originally from Southern California, met her future husband, Alex, a Millburn, native, at Yale University and they were married in 1997. After spending time in Philadelphia, NYC, Cleveland and Syracuse to finish respective graduate training, they came to New Jersey in 2003 and settled in their current home in 2005. Alex, an orthopedic hand surgeon, practices in Edison and Old Bridge. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, softball and running. He has run six marathons! Debbie, who began her career as a mechanical engineer and later received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, put that on hold to focus on their beautiful children. She is active on various school PTOs, leads a Girl Scout Troop, plays soccer in a Women’s Senior League (always looking for more players, if you are interested) and enjoys tennis and snowboarding. She is also starting to get involved with the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest.
Their oldest child, thirteen year old Zach, is an eighth grader at William Annin Middle School (WAMS) in Basking Ridge. He will attend Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston for high school. Zach has a passion for music, playing piano and percussion in several ensembles including the NJ Youth Symphony and singing for the NJ Youth Chorus. He enjoys skiing, baseball, tennis and soccer and is already a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Eliana, who is 11 years old, is a fifth grader at Liberty Corner Elementary School. She is working on her Bronze Award for Girl Scouts and enjoys dance, gymnastics, tennis and playing the clarinet. Judah, 8 years old, attends Albrook Montessori School. He will also attend a yet to be decided upon Jewish Day school in the Fall. One of his favorite things to do is to play baseball with his big brother pitching and the rest of the family and neighbor’s kids in the outfield. He also plays the piano and enjoys skiing, dance, tennis and basketball.
All the kids spend most of their summer at Camp Ramah, the camping arm of the Conservative Movement. Zach attends the Berkshires site and Eliana and Judah attend in the Poconos. They bond over their Ramah connection while enjoying a friendly rivalry over which location is the best.
Within their busy life, the Marcus Family made it a priority to attend MJCBY events ever since they came through the doors in Fall, 2013. “We enjoy participating in services as a family at MJCBY – the sermons are interesting and thought provoking, the synagogue community is very welcoming, and we have already made new friends.” They credit our wonderful clergy and staff, the variety of activities for all ages, the multi-generational aspect of our shul, and the opportunity for the entire family to participate as reasons for their decision to become members. All three children also enjoy the opportunity to read Torah and help lead services.
In addition to all of these attractions, it was made clear by the children that pizza bagels were a big draw. “We love the food,” they all chimed in. The black and white cookies are Judah’s favorite and Zach credits the synagogue with his love for lox! Debbie and Alex joke, “The Onegs and dinners sealed the deal with the kids!”
The sanctuary also made an impression on the family. Debbie shared that, “the stained glass windows in the chapel let in a golden light that really augments the spirit of services.”
Outside their MJCBY life, the Marcus Family enjoys skiing, outdoor sports, road trips and hanging out together on Shabbat. “Recently, we have been trying to observe Shabbat more fully, and this has added a wonderful spark to our family life.”
When asked what advice they might give to a new family joining, they offer, “ Just show up… There are so many events that you can find whatever interests you. No matter how busy your family, start adding MJCBY as a constant option on your list and come when you can… begin making connections, and you will understand better what a strong community can really be.”