Poetry event at Rumson synagogue will honor late educator


The late Jack Needle will be honored during a Jewish poetry event to be held at 11 a.m. on March 15 at Congregation B’nai Israel, 171 Ridge Road, Rumson.

On Feb. 11, Emilie Kovit-Meyer, the executive director of the synagogue, said Needle, 88, died during the summer of 2019.

“We have all been reeling from this terrible, tragic situation,” Kovit-Meyer said.

Tinton Falls Police Capt. David Scrivanic said Needle was injured in a motor vehicle collision at the intersection of Hance and Sycamore avenues in the borough on July 19 and died of his injuries two weeks later.

Kovit-Meyer said the event, “Jewish Poetry: from David to Dylan – A Tribute to Jack Needle,” will see Needle’s friends, family members and loved ones read poetry from famous Jewish poets or perform songs in tribute to Needle. The program is open to the public.

Kovit-Meyer said Needle had been planning the poetry event for the fall of 2019, but died before it was held.

“We were supposed to have this event in the fall. (Needle) had been planning this idea for awhile,” she said. “We thought (holding the event) would be a good way to honor him and to hold the program he was originally planning in tribute to him.”

Needle, who joined the synagogue in 1958, filled many roles in the congregation. Most recently, he chaired the Cultural Programming Committee.

Needle taught history at Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver, for 16 years. He was an educator at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, for 34 years and he was a co-founder of the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education, Lincroft.

According to the organization’s website, Chhange is a non-profit organization that “is committed to educate, inspire and empower individuals to stand up to injustice and become active, involved citizens.”

The free program on March 15 is sponsored by the synagogue’s Cultural Programming Committee. For more information or to RSVP, call 732-842-1800. An RSVP is required to attend the event.