News Transcript News Briefs, April 3

The friendship of two songwriters, one a Jewish American and the other a Muslim Palestinian, has developed into an effort to bring greater understanding, unity and perhaps peace to the historically divided people of their homelands. This pursuit of harmony, on the musical and political stages, prompted them to form the Pursuit of Harmony.

The interfaith duo, Michael Hunter Ochs and Alaa Alshaham, will bring their musical talent to Temple Rodeph Torah, Marlboro, as Scholars in Residence from April 12-14.

The Rock Shabbat service Friday night starts at 8 p.m., a Lunch and Learn session convenes at noon following the 10 a.m. Saturday morning service, and a Rock Shabbat concert starts at 5 p.m. Sunday, according to a press release.

The Scholars in Residence weekend is open to all. Reservations are required for the Lunch and Learn. The Rock Shabbat concert is a fundraiser to help bring musical talent to the temple and the community at large throughout the year. Registration for both programs is posted at


The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, 310 Mount’s Corner Drive, Freehold Township, will present “What’s Your Story?” – a live community storytelling event at 2 p.m. April 7. Admission is $8 for museum members and $10 for non-members. At this event, coordinated by Robyn Shumer, a storytelling coach and storyteller in her own right, some of Shumer’s protégés will share stories of life-changing events. Each presenter has been coached in developing an intriguing and meaningful tale, according to a press release. For more information or to make a paid reservation (non-refundable), call 732-252-6990 or visit


Monmouth County has entered into a shared service agreement with Brookdale Community College in the area of technological services (IT).

The Brookdale Community College Office of Information Technology (Brookdale OIT) and Monmouth County Information Technology Services (Monmouth County ITS) have been working together to evaluate IT challenges. The two departments discovered a potential shared service model that represents value and a reduction in duplicity, according to a press release.

“This initiative is another great example of the importance of shared services,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “By joining these networks together, we will save taxpayer money and increase efficiency of services, which is exactly what shared services are intended to do.”

Brookdale OIT, in Lincroft, plans to partner with Monmouth County ITS, in Freehold, to connect both local area data networks. The partnership will create an 8-mile network connection between the college and the county and demonstrates the practice of leveraging both data and voice networks, according to the press release.

The initiative will allow the two agencies to expand data networks, increase their technical capacity and deliver competent services with less financial investment, according to the press release.