This Blogfinger post (below) about diversity in Ocean Grove was first published in 2011 and now again. Today is the first day of Hanukkah, so it is fitting to bring up-to-date the Jewish story in the Grove. The Ocean Grove fellowship, the Chavurah, has grown since our last update. There is a lively Jewish presence among the diverse groups in town.
A Hanukkah get-together was held a few days ago in typical OG style with a group of people, mostly from town, squeezed into a typical Grovarian cottage. Participants sat on stairs, chairs, the floor or just stood. Food is important in Jewish tradition, so they socialized and had lunch.
‘Tis the season to eat the obligatory potato pancakes ( latkes fried in oil, to commemorate the miracle of the oil that is the centerpiece of Hanukkah history) served with apple sauce. The luncheon was dairy (no meat) but was quite delicious with bagels and lox, vegetarian chili, deviled eggs, salads, sweets. and coffee. At home, most families light the menorah with 8 candles—one each night (last night was the first). Gifts are usually exchanged, and individual families have their own variations on the theme, including music.
TOM LEHRER with a Hanukkah ditty from the left coast. (Tom likes his Hanukah to be warm—-no white Hanukkah for him)
THE CANADIAN BRASS. “Maoz Tsur” a Hanukkah song dating back to the 13th century. Hanukkah tells a story that dates to 167 BCE, but the holiday itself wasn’t established until about 300 years later, based on oral histories.
By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger (reprinted and updated from the 2011 Blogfinger article )
October, 2013. Unlike most towns, Ocean Grove has been self conscious about diversity ever since it was founded. It all stems from the unusual design of how the town was organized at its inception, and then what happened subsequently, and especially over 100 years later, when the governance of Ocean Grove ran afoul of the Constitution.
In 1870, the Camp Meeting Association received a charter from the New Jersey Legislature which allowed a religious organization, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, to govern the town, backed up by lawful ordinances, many of which were based on religious rules (“blue laws”), and enforced by their own police department and court. This helped keep the town decidedly not diverse.
But it wasn’t long after the founding…
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