Religions and Spirituality

TAPinto Franklin Township Meet the Leaders Series: Dr. Alex Kharazi

Dr. Alex Kharazi
Dr. Alex Kharazi
Dr. Alex Kharazi, Rachel Sarah Blum Levy, LMSW, and Councilwoman Rozalyn Sherman Credits: Malik A. Lyons

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - This month TAPinto Franklin Township will be running a series called "Meet The Leaders”. The objective is to provide our readers an opportunity to hear from Franklin Township’s leaders in government, public safety, education, houses of worship and other areas, regarding Franklin Township’s present and future outlook.  

Each participant was asked to share a little information about their background and personal life. Each “leader” was presented the same core questions that will be published unedited. 

TAPinto Franklin Township’s second leader interviewed was Dr. Alex Kharazi. Kharazi has lived in Franklin Township for over thirty years and is married with three daughters and just recently became a grandfather. 

Sign Up for E-News

Dr. Kharazi expressed he always wants to give back to the community. This has been the biggest motivating factor for him to volunteer and help various organizations and the community.  Dr. Kharazi serves as a director and vice president of Muslim Foundation Inc. (Masjid-e-Ali at 47 Cedar Grove Lane), President of Franklin Township Interfaith Council, President of Razi Health Foundation of NY, Board of Trustee member and secretary of Franklin Township Dr. Martin Luther King Community Foundation, member of Human Relations Commission, and as mayor representative on the Franklin Township Planning Board. He is also a co-founder of New Jersey Interfaith Coalition and serves as a member of a faith-based committee of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity.   

Question: What initiative did you start in 2016, that you are most proud of?

Answer: I co-founded NJ Interfaith Coalition and promoted Stand Up For The Other pledge.

Dr. Kharazi also mentioned he was proud of the following:

  • Being recognized as the Man of the Year by the Franklin Reporter. I am honored especially to be recognized by leaders of the other faiths by their kind words. 
  • I am proud to be chosen as mayor's representative on the Planning Board. 
  • We restarted Franklin Township Interfaith Council and was chosen as its president. 
  • I am pleased to get Council's support to give an honorary name of Interfaith Lane to Cedar Grove Lane in recognition of all the houses of worship for the citizens of this community.
  • I am also proud that we held the Bystander Intervention and De-escalation workshop in the township! 

Question: What will be your main objective for 2017?

Answer: I hope we continue to bring more organizations to join Franklin Township Interfaith Council and NJ Interfaith Coalition. We are hoping to initiate some sort of collaboration with restaurants in town to initiate " Buy a meal for a Neighbor" program. If we accomplish this it will be great. It not only will help businesses it enables many of our less fortunate neighbors to enjoy meals in restaurants in town.  

Question: What do you feel will be Franklin Township’s biggest challenge in 2017? 

Answer: To continue building good relationships between the diverse members of the community.  As the new president takes office there is a concern that this community, and many other communities across the nation, may be polarized and hate and bigotry may become more visible.  I hope members of this community will challenge any form of bigotry. We need to remember that America is our home and it is a beautiful place to live. It is our duty as the citizen of this nation to give back and do our best to promote unity and co-existence among all. Each one of us has good things to offer to this community. Together we can accomplish much more than each of us can do. 

Question: Are you involved with any youth groups for the community that you would like to share?

Answer: Currently I am not involved with any youth group.

Question: What do you do in your spare time?  

Answer: I am engaged as a volunteer in various community organizations. I also tutor math and SAT. I love gardening, reading and spending time with our first granddaughter, Hanna and my family! 

Question: Five words that describe Franklin Township are?

Answer: Diverse, Clean,  Beautiful Parks, Great People, Caring Staff

When asked about his role as President of Franklin Township's Interfaith Council, he said: "we have a very diverse faith group in town (over 60 houses of worship)." Even though many of his friends don't have the same faith as him, Dr. Kharazi still feels they are wonderful people. 

"Franklin Township Interfaith Council was kind of dormant for a while," Kharazi said. "...Pastor George Montanari as well as our township Mayor, Dr. Phil Kramer suggested we should activate it again." Last May during the National Day of prayer the council was formally started and during the election, Dr. Kharazi was chosen as the president. 

Kharazi said he lives by a rather simple philosophy. "My philosophy in life is rather simple. Each day I remind myself of the famous quote by the son-in-law of prophet Mohamed (PBUH), Imam Ali, which is, "remember people are two kinds, they are either your brothers in faith or equal in humanity." Each day I pray to God to give me good health to do a good deed, which includes smiling at someone, helping a needy or simply not causing a trouble for anyone. When I have the opportunity I remind others that America is our Home and this is our community. It is our duty to take care of our home. Some are fortunate and can give back more while others are less fortunate and can give back less. Nevertheless, all of us could /should give something back.  I also believe that human beings have been created in the image of God, therefore we can embrace our deepest moral values and can commit to love each other regardless of the color of our skin, faith, sexual orientation, and national origin." 

Be sure to come back to TAPintoFranklinTownship.net for updates on Dr. Alex Kharazi and other religious and spiritual news! 

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at mlyons@tapinto.net.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our FaceBook Page!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Prologue Girl Scouts Heart of NJ Troop 66339

June 24, 2017

Last year this time we were preparing for an unforgettable 7-day trip to Costa Rica with 18 girls and 11 Moms from GSHNJ Troop 66339. As of Tuesday, June 20, 2017, all 18 seniors have graduated from high school.

They hail from 8 different high schools (FHS, Groton(MA), Hun, North Hunterdon, Piscataway, Pingry, Union Catholic and Wilbraham & Monson(MA)) and will be attending 12 different ...

Have You Seen This Missing New Brunswick Man?

June 24, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — No one has seen Michael Drew since March.

And now, New Brunswick cops want you to help find him.

Drew, a 61-year-old African American, is 5 feet and 9 inches tall and roughly 155 pounds, police said. The department said he’s known to hang out around Commercial Avenue and Sanford Street.

Drew collects scrap metal, according to police. He also frequents the ...

Community Rallies to Help Piscataway Man Critically Injured in House Explosion

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Joseph Keleman’s gofundme campaign is trending because in the past four days, 54 people have raised $4,290 of the $50K goal for the Piscataway resident who was critically injured after his home exploded early Sunday morning, June 11. 

"The force of the blast completely leveled the home which was fully engulfed in flames by the time fire fighters arrived ...

At Rutgers, a History of Conservatism Intertwined with Controversy

Editor’s note: This story is the fourth in a five-part series on the Rutgers Conservative Union. Through that lens, TAPinto New Brunswick intends to provide a comprehensive look at an energetic year of on-campus activism at New Jersey’s flagship university. The third part is available here.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — As the clock ticked closer to 10 p.m., the ...

County and Activists Defend Middlesex Policy Against Attacks from ICE

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Since Middlesex County adopted a policy forbidding, in most cases, its jail and sheriff’s department from aiding immigration authorities, the feds, national right-leaning media and local Republicans have come out against the move.

But the backlash has also re-energized the pro-immigrant activists who pushed the county to adopt the policy in the first place.

Two Dead After Car Goes Off GSP into Rahway River

CLARK, NJ — Two people are dead after one-car crash on the Garden State Parkway Friday morning around 10:45 a.m. The names of the victims have not been released.

“The vehicle went off the road on the right-hand side and was submerged in water. The right two lanes of the parkway are closed for investigation and will be for some time,” Lieutenant Schafer of the ...

A Fiery Year On the Banks: The Rutgers Conservative Union Finds a Voice

Editor’s note: This story is the first in a five-part series on the Rutgers Conservative Union. Through that lens, TAPinto New Brunswick intends to provide a comprehensive look at an energetic year of on-campus activism at New Jersey’s flagship university. The second part is available here.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Dylan Marek went to bed an anonymous Rutgers University ...

Have You Seen This Missing New Brunswick Man?

June 24, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — No one has seen Michael Drew since March.

And now, New Brunswick cops want you to help find him.

Drew, a 61-year-old African American, is 5 feet and 9 inches tall and roughly 155 pounds, police said. The department said he’s known to hang out around Commercial Avenue and Sanford Street.

Drew collects scrap metal, according to police. He also frequents the ...

Community Rallies to Help Piscataway Man Critically Injured in House Explosion

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Joseph Keleman’s gofundme campaign is trending because in the past four days, 54 people have raised $4,290 of the $50K goal for the Piscataway resident who was critically injured after his home exploded early Sunday morning, June 11. 

"The force of the blast completely leveled the home which was fully engulfed in flames by the time fire fighters arrived ...

At Rutgers, a History of Conservatism Intertwined with Controversy

Editor’s note: This story is the fourth in a five-part series on the Rutgers Conservative Union. Through that lens, TAPinto New Brunswick intends to provide a comprehensive look at an energetic year of on-campus activism at New Jersey’s flagship university. The third part is available here.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — As the clock ticked closer to 10 p.m., the ...

Nominations Sought for 2017 Spirit of Somerset Awards

June 11, 2017

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Spirit of Somerset Awards Committee is seeking nominations for their annual Spirit of Somerset Awards, which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the Raritan Valley Country Club in Bridgewater.

The fundraising event benefits the Strengthening Families and Pathways to Parenting Programs at the Somerville-based non-profit agency Somerset Treatment ...

Nominations Sought for 2017 Spirit of Somerset Awards

June 11, 2017

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Spirit of Somerset Awards Committee is seeking nominations for their annual Spirit of Somerset Awards, which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the Raritan Valley Country Club in Bridgewater.

The fundraising event benefits the Strengthening Families and Pathways to Parenting Programs at the Somerville-based non-profit agency Somerset Treatment ...

Have You Seen This Missing New Brunswick Man?

June 24, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — No one has seen Michael Drew since March.

And now, New Brunswick cops want you to help find him.

Drew, a 61-year-old African American, is 5 feet and 9 inches tall and roughly 155 pounds, police said. The department said he’s known to hang out around Commercial Avenue and Sanford Street.

Drew collects scrap metal, according to police. He also frequents the ...