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The Partnership as of July, 2016

The Partnership is now a functional department of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.  Our Board of Trustees has become the Federation's Jewish Learning and Life Committee.  Our professional staff remains intact and our work is enhanced with ongoing collaborations with our Federation colleagues.  Here is the Merger Announcement:

On July 1, 2016 The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life (The Partnership) will merge with the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ as a fully-integrated department of Federation. Through this move, the two organizations are sending a unified message that we are one community, working together to foster the Jewish future.

 In 2006, The Partnership was launched as subsidiary agency of Federation with the mission to advance and enhance Jewish educational experiences for the Greater MetroWest community with an initial focus on young people and their families. The Partnership’s program divisions, JTot, JKid, and JTEEN, provide dozens of opportunities to engage the community such as PJ Library, Iris Teen Tzedakah, and One Happy Camper NJ. The mission as well as the professional staffing of The Partnership will remain unchanged.

 The merger between The Partnership and Federation will benefit both organizations in a number of ways. Together, they will have access to a broader constituent base, enabling them to reach a wider audience. The merger will also allow for more synergistic collaboration, enriching both organizations, increasing efficiencies, and maximizing resources, all with the final objective of increasing and deepening Jewish identity-building and Jewish community-building. And equally important, donors can feel good knowing that their dollars will have an even greater impact on families and youth in our community.

 Once the merger takes place, a period of ongoing assessment and planning will help determine how to maximize the combined resources to meet the community’s ongoing and emerging needs to Bring Jewish Learning to Life.  

 “As we enter into this new ‘partnership,’ we look forward to blending the best practices and capabilities from both of our organizations,” says Federation CEO Dov Ben-Shimon. “At the heart of our shared vision is the opportunity to drive innovative new programming that provides our community with vibrant, much needed, and superior experiences that ensure the future of Jewish education and commitment to Jewish values.”

Partnership Executive Director Robert Lichtman says, “We are excited that The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life is returning to the Federation fold. Our two organizations have always collaborated, but now we will be able to provide an even greater coordinated approach to working with and bringing together the young families in our community, and supporting them along their Jewish journeys.”   

The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life from 2006 - 2016

By unanimous vote of the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ on June 21, 2006 (26 Sivan 5766) The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life became the first agency ever created by Federation. The mission of "The Partnership" is to advance and to enhance Jewish educational experiences for the MetroWest community, with an initial focus on young people and their families, from early childhood through the teenage years.

We named ourselves with care.

We thought about being "The Center" for Jewish Learning and Life, but to be successful, the center for Jewish Learning and Life should be everywhere people and families are, not at 901 Route 10 in Whippany.  So we chose "The Partnership" reflecting the relationships we develop with and among many people, congregations, organizations and schools to Bring Jewish Learning to Life.

"Partnership" also describes the relationship between "Jewish Learning" and "Life."  We make meaningful connections between Jewish learning, values, traditions and everyday life.  

We deliberately place "Jewish Learning" before "Life" for two reasons.  1) To acknowledge the sacred work done for nearly 7 decades by The Jewish Education Association, the organization that was replaced by The Partnership, and 2) because we honestly don't believe there is such a thing as "Jewish" life.  To us, everything we do in every aspect of Life is informed by Jewish values, tradition and practice - every part of Life is informed by Jewish Learning. 

Founding Trustees 2006-2007/5767


Gary Aidekman

Merle Kalishman

Robert Lichtman, Exec. Dir

Leonard Goldberg

Mindy Kirschner

Leslie Dannin Rosenthal

Ellen Goldner, President

Max Kleinman

Randee Rubenstein

Rita Gotfried

Shelley Levine

Rabbi Amy Small

Paula Gottesman


Gary Wingens

Ellen Goldner was The Partnership’s founding president. Ellen is a Past President of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ, a former UJA Campaign Chair, Women’s Department President and Jewish community leader with many prominent affiliations. Ellen completed a “sabbatical year” nurturing 3-year-old MetroWest children at Congregation Oheb Shalom in South Orange after her term as UJC president and before accepting her new challenge at The Partnership. 

Robert Lichtman is The Partnership’s founding Executive Director. Bob has held many Jewish professional leadership positions, including those at UJA-Federation of New York, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and JESNA (Jewish Education Service of North America). This position at The Partnership marks Bob’s return to MetroWest since he previously served on the federation’s executive staff from 1985-1993.

The Partnership is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ in recognition of the fact that The Partnership’s mission is a central component of the federation that created it. As an agency of Federation and a beneficiary of its UJA campaign, The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life has its own 501 c3 non-profit stauts and is governed by its own Board of Trustees that meets formally 4 - 5 times per year and as needs or opportunities determine. The Board is relatively small, up to only 15 people to guide its overall mission with wisdom and to sustain it financially. The size of the Board reflects current "best practices" among non-profits and allows it to work nimbly, without the encumbrances of additional layers.


The Partnership will gladly make the following documents available to anyone upon request here or in person at 901 Route 10, Whippany, NJ

Form 1023 and 990; By-Laws; Conflict of Interest Policy.

Our logo

Our logo was designed by Mark Berkeley of UJC MetroWest’s Marketing and Communications Department.  He was asked to develop a contemporary look with vibrant colors that conveys Jewish pride, professional expertise and inclusiveness.  We also suggested that he incorporate a “stylized, relevant and recognizable Hebrew letter, but we don’t have one to recommend.”

Mark presented us with this look and we loved it. partnership_logo_hi_res.png

In the logo, the first two words are capitalized because if “The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life” is too much of a mouthful, we prefer “The Partnership” as our nickname.

We like the blue and green, representing our beloved home – the Earth.

We looked at the green shield and noticed that Mark indeed found a stylized letter that worked for us, the “P” for Partnership.

Now maybe Mark knew this, or maybe he didn’t, but that P looks a lot like the Hebrew letter “Kuf.”  We want to share some reactions from friends who first saw the logo. Basically, they said, “OK, we see the “P” stands for Partnership.  But why a Kuf?”

Then they volunteered their own answers:

One asked, “Does the Kuf stand for Kehillah (community)?”

Another asked,” Does the Kuf stand for Kedusha (holiness)?”

Yet a third exclaimed, “The Kuf must stand for Kesher (connection)!”

The answer is Yes and Yes and Yes!

We’d love to hear what you think the Kuf stands for. Let us know at logo@thepartnershipnj.org, and you may see your interpretation on this web site!

What happened to the JEA?

JEA Logos


In 2004, our Metrowest community undertook a process to re-envision Jewish education and engagement, leading to the creation of The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life. We proudly continue a deep tradition of providing leadership in Jewish education. A community call supporting Jewish education was expressed as far back as 1889 by the Hebrew Education Society of Newark. The Jewish Education Association (JEA) of MetroWest fulfilled this role for 69 years beginning in 1937.

We honor those volunteers who served as JEA Presidents.


Jerome Ben-Asher*

Dr. Jacob L. Chivian*

Theodore M. Eisenberg

Norman Feldman

Herbert Fisher

Joyce Goldstein

Hilda Jaffe

Merle H. Kalishman

Samuel L. Kessler*

Murray J. Laulicht

Sidney E. Leiwant*

Shelley Levine

Milton M. Lieberman*

Cecil J. Lurie*

Abraham Mayer*

M. Barry Nydick

Dr. Joachim Prinz*

Stuart A. Rosenblatt

Philip J. Schotland*

James A. Schwarz

Bernard Sobel

Michael A. Stavitsky*

Irving N. Stein*

Mertin L. Wiener*

Honorable Leo Yanoff*

* of blessed memory

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