Director of Programming, Director of Tichon
Neil Wise joined The Jewish Center in the fall of 2007 after serving as the Program Director at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, Pa. A product of the conservative movement, Neil comes from a strong background in USY (United Synagogue Youth). In his youth, he was very involved in USY, traveled to Poland and Israel with USY, and has been a staff member for USY summer programs. Neil’s Jewish educational background came from Abrams Hebrew Academy and Gratz Hebrew High School. He attended Temple University and earned a BA in communications.
At The Jewish Center, Neil is known for his creative Youth, Family, Holiday and congregational programming, especially his Purim extravaganzas. He is also the director of The Jewish Center Tichon (Hebrew High School). Neil’s programming has put The Jewish Center on the national map.
In April 2012, for Yom HaShoah, it was Neil’s brainchild to organize a historic reunion, reuniting The Jewish Center Holocaust Torah from Susice, Czechoslovakia with the other Torahs from the town of Susice. Working with the Westminster Memorial Scrolls Trust in London, Neil was able to locate the present locations of these sacred Holocaust Torahs. With the assistance of American Airlines the Torahs flew in from all over the United States and were reunited together for the first time in 65 years. The program was attended by hundreds and received press around the country.
For Chanukah 2012, Neil organized “Chanukah for the Record” a historic Hanukkah lighting that attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the most menorahs lit at one time, in one place. On December 12 at the Princeton Airport, the record when up in flames. The Jewish Center led more than 900 people in lighting 834 menorahs simultaneously, earning The Jewish Center a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
When asked by the New Jersey News about the success of his synagogue programming, he was quoted saying “The key to success is to keep reinventing and thinking out of the box. No one likes a stale bagel, why would someone want a stale synagogue?"
Send an email to Neil Wise or call him at 609-921-0100, ext 209.