A Hebrew Academy reunion on the Turnpike

A Hebrew Academy reunion on the Turnpike


“Mr. State Trooper, please don’t stop me,” Bruce Springsteen sang, in what should be New Jersey’s state prayer.

We don’t know what prayers if any were on Rabbi Shloime Greenwald’s lips last Wednesday when he was a passenger in a Crown Heights-bound car on the New Jersey Turnpike in Laurel. Regardless, a state trooper stopped the car — it seemed it was driving too fast in the right-hand lane.

Luckily, Rabbi Greenwald, unlike the worried driver in the Springsteen song, had his driver’s license. And when the trooper looked at it, he pulled down his facemask and asked, “Do you recognize me?”

Rabbi Greenwald did, as he told the Lubavitch COLlive website.

“David Kohn? My classmate?” Rabbi Greenwald responded.

Indeed, they had studied together at the Hebrew Academy Orange County in Huntington Beach, California.

“We have been out of touch for 22 years,” Rabbi Greenwald told COLlive.com. “We were very good friends until 8th grade. I used to go to his house for Shabbos and he would come to us. We shared great memories.”

Rabbi Greenwald celebrated the reunion by calling his father, Rabbi Peretz Greenwald, who was their teacher at the Hebrew Academy, and giving Mr. Kohn the phone.

“It’s good to hear from you,” Mr Kohn was heard telling his teacher. “A freilichen Purim!”

The old classmates gave each other their phone numbers.

Truly, a modern-day Jersey miracle.

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