Jacob Berkman

Lois Goldrich

In the approximately 14 years she has served in the New Jersey Assembly, Loretta Weinberg has devoted herself to “issues involving our families.”

Now, as she prepares to be sworn in as state senator for the 37th District — serving out the remaining two years of Sen. Byron Baer’s term — the 70-year-old Teaneck resident is preparing to tackle similar issues in a different venue.

The day after the election, Weinberg was readying her home for the visit of family members from California, who flew in to attend her swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.

“What am I doing the ‘morning after’?” she joked. “I’m setting up a crib and doing a laundry.”

Weinberg says that it was not her college education that prepared her for the issues she faced in the legislature but rather her “life experiences.” For example, she said, she spent years taking care of an elderly mother,  “something I share with many other women.”

Weinberg is looking forward to the new experiences, and new people, she will encounter in the state Senate. One of the greatest challenges will be “how we’re going to balance a severely depleted budget with cuts in programs for the frailest members of the community,”she says, citing the need for adequate spending for education, a cleaner environment, quality nursing homes, and access to health care.

“We also need to deal with the public perception of corruption as well as the real corruption that exists” in the state, she adds.

Englewood resident Sen. Byron Baer, who for over 30 years represented the 37th district as state senator, says he has known Weinberg for many years and believes that she will do a good job as his successor.

Over the years, he said, “she has developed many skills and abilities” that will help her in this effort, Baer told the Jewish Standard, adding that while he would have liked to continue his term of office, he was prevented from doing so by failing health. Baer resigned his position on September 8.