Manhattan Jewish Experience Celebrates Its “Bar Mitzvah” - The Jewish Voice
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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Manhattan Jewish Experience Celebrates Its “Bar Mitzvah”

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Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal (guitar) and Rabbi Mark Wildes (drums), the executive director and founder of the Manhattan Jewish Experience, play with the MJE Band at the organization’s “bar mitzvah.”Over four hundred guests celebrated Manhattan Jewish Experience’s (MJE) “Bar Mitzvah” last month in tribute to the organization’s thirteen years of providing meaningful, inspiring, intellectual, fun programs and events for thousands seeking a deeper connection to their Jewish roots and one another. The event was held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

Honorees at the organization’s annual dinner included Rabbi Dr. Jacob Schacter (Rabbinic Founder Award), Claude Schwab, Valerie and Martin Geminder (Dinner Honorees), Joel Mowbray (Community Service Award), Adriana and Brent Bodner (Couple of the Year), and Jessica Morgan (Student Recognition Award). All were recognized as individuals who have distinguished themselves in their communities and saluted for their great efforts on behalf of the Jewish people.

“Whether it was the lively tunes of the MJE band, “the Mazeltones,” in their powder blue tuxedos, the exquisite food, the classy ‘thirtinis’ or the powerful presentations, the evening was fun, meaningful and impactful,” said Rabbi Mark Wildes, founder and director of MJE. “I am proud to see how far our organization has come in thirteen years, providing a home for thousands of unaffiliated young people to explore Jewish life. If we have accomplished what we have and inspired so many people to become more connected during this time, I can’t wait to see where MJE is in another thirteen years.”
During MJE’s thirteen years, thousands of unaffiliated men and women have participated and grown from the organization’s classes, events, retreats and missions to Israel. MJE continues to inspire Jewish continuity with over 105 couples having met and married and a record of twelve engagements in March alone.

Founded by Rabbi Mark N. Wildes in 1998, MJE is a cutting edge program for young Jewish professionals in their twenties and thirties with little or no background in Judaism who are interested in connecting more to each other, to their community, and to Judaism. MJE is a place where young men and women can explore Jewish life and meet new people. MJE runs a wide range of inclusive, engaging and innovative programs for thousands of young Jewish professionals, including cocktails on the roof, an annual ski trip, classes, beginner prayer services, marching in the Israel Day Parade, Friday night dinners and much, much more. MJE now serves Manhattan at four centers: West side, East side, Gramercy, and the Village.

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