Religions & Spirituality

Top Stories


Happy Passover from TAPintoScotch Plains-Fanwood

March 27, 2021

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- TAPintoSPF wishes a Happy Passover to our readers who are celebrating the holiday. 

Passover (Pesach) commemorates the Israelites' liberation from slavery in Egypt, as told in the book of Exodus. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us ...

‘Work of The Whole Parish’ Brings 4,000 Families a New Church in Westfield

WESTFIELD, NJ — While they won’t be coming into the new worship space all at once, the 4,000 families of The Parish Community of Saint Helen will be returning to a church that has been rebuilt from the ground up — literally.

A ribbon cutting for the 15,700-square foot space is set for Monday, following a years-long initiative to rebuild and add onto the church building ...

Congregation Beth Israel and Temple Emanu-El Co-host 'The Purim Amazing Race'

SCOTCH PLAINS-WESTFIELD, NJ -- Congregation Beth Israel of Scotch Plains and Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, along with area Jewish camps, conducted The Purim Amazing Race on Sunday, February 21, in advance of the Jewish holiday of Purim. The Purim Amazing Race provided a safe and fun way for families to celebrate the festive holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Purim Amazing Race was ...

Temple Sholom Hosts Drive-Through Purim Carnival in Scotch Plains

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Temple Sholom held its annual Purim Carnival, run by the temple's youth group on Sunday, Feb. 28, but it looked much different from previous carnivals. 

This year, due to social distancing policies given the pandemic, the event was converted to a drive-through carnival featuring multiple stations.

Cars drove to each station where kids could play ...

NJ Easing Restrictions for Religious Gatherings, Live Sports, Entertainment Venues

NEW JERSEY — “Good trends,” as Gov. Phil Murphy put it Monday, will allow New Jersey to expand its COVID-19 gathering limits.

The changes go into effect immediately. Religious services at churches, mosques and other houses of worship will be allowed to run at 50% capacity.

Also in effect, two parents/guardians will be allowed to attend indoor and outdoor college ...

Westfield Mayor Brindle Visits Holy Trinity, Brings Proclamation of Catholic Schools Week

WESTFIELD, NJ -- Students at Holy Trinity School in Westfield greeted a special visitor on Thursday, Feb. 4: Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle, who came bearing a gift: a Proclamation of Catholic Schools Week and honoring Holy Trinity's history dating back to 1916 in the town.

The mayor read the proclamation over the school's intercom and then visited the classrooms. The children in the ...

St. Bartholomew Academy Advisory Board Tuition Assistance Fundraiser off to a Great Start

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Advisory Board of St. Bartholomew Academy recently reached a milestone of $12,000 in a fundraising appeal aimed at ensuring that any family desiring a St. Bartholomew Academy education can afford it.

The Advisory Board fundraising program, named the Tuition Angel Program, raises money each year through events and direct donations. This year’s fundraiser is unique ...

Year in Review: 2020 in Religions and Spirituality

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- As 2020 comes to a close and 2021 begins, TAPintoSPF is taking a look at the biggest stories of 2020. Today, we revisit the top Religion stories of the year.

Cantor Matt Axelrod of CBI in Scotch Plains, Appears in HBO Series 'The Plot Against America'
Archdiocese of Newark Will Close 10 Catholic Schools
St. Bartholomew Academy in Scotch Plains ...

Scenes from the Live Nativity at IHM in Scotch Plains

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) youth group presented a living Nativity on Sunday, Dec. 20, with teens playing the roles of Mary and Joseph, shepherds and the magi.

Alongside the actors were sheep, goats, Dominique the donkey, and an alpaca. 

Immaculate Heart of Mary is located at 1571 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains. is Scotch ...

Living Nativity at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Scotch Plains on Sun, Dec. 20

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) youth group will present a living Nativity on Sunday, Dec. 20, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The performers will do a retelling of the Christmas story, complete with live animals and a manger.

Immaculate Heart of Mary is located at 1571 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains. Visit is Scotch ...


Union Catholic Continues Tradition With May Crowning Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

May 6, 2021

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ --  Union Catholic continued its longstanding tradition with the May Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary during a ceremony in the main foyer of the school on Wednesday morning.

The ceremony, attended by UC's Class of 2021 and several faculty members, was conducted by senior students in leadership positions, and moderated by Mr. John Becht.

After the opening song, ...


TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Mothers and Young Adult Daughters

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ-- A mother/daughter relationship is one of the most important ties each will have in her lifetime.  Many women have difficult relationships with their mothers and daughters, even when they want good relationships.  A mother may wish her daughters happiness, yet --- from the point of view of her daughter, she acts quite opposite.  A mother may describe her ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Student Wins DAR Good Citizen Award

EDISON, NJ-- Taliyah Williams of Rahway, a senior at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison, was among three local high school seniors to receive Good Citizen Awards from The Westfield Chapter of The Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR).

Each school selected one Good Citizen from their senior class based on Dependability (truthfulness, loyalty, punctuality), Service (cooperation, ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Scholars Deliver Capstone Presentations

EDISON, NJ-- Twelve seniors in the Class of 2021 at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison shared their research and findings on a variety of pertinent topics in last week’s Capstone presentations in the Center for Global Learning. This project, a requirement to graduate with the Global Scholars Program diploma, involves many components including a written paper, action research ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Participate in Read-a-thon

EDISON, NJ-- Lower School students at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison capped a three-week read-a-thon in April with some impressive numbers. The students logged 20,438 minutes of total reading. Fourth-grader Josh Culver of Colonia led all students with 1,368 minutes, which is nearly one full day! Total donations reached $4,130 and the proceeds will go toward a fund to diversify Lower ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Enjoy Middle School Spirit Week

EDISON,NJ-- Middle School students at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison are celebrating their own divisional Spirit Week from May 3-7. Students are having a blast embracing daily themes to begin the home stretch of this unprecedented school year in style.

The week kicked off with Match a Friend Monday on which students joined up to four friends with matching outfits. Teachers joined the ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Release Butterflies in Garden

EDISON, NJ-- The Junior Kindergarten class at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison concluded its lifecycle unit by releasing their Painted Lady butterflies in the Lower School garden on April 28. Early Childhood students learned about the lifecycles of ladybugs, chickens, frogs and the butterfly. 

“We received our butterflies as caterpillars and watched them form chrysalis as they ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Student Wins Golf Course Design Contest

EDISON, NJ-- Claire Lu of Edison, a freshman at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison, captured the essence of her signature sport to win the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) Great Junior Golf Design Challenge of 2021. She designed a par-5 hole and named it hOle. Claire’s design was selected as the best of more than 85 designs sent in, and she is recognized as the top ...

Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athlete of the Week: Baseball's Ryan Jones

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- It would be nearly impossible for Raiders outfielder Ryan Jones to be any hotter at the plate than he is right now. In three games during the past week, he amassed 10 hits for a .435 batting average, with 6 RBI and 9 runs in 3 games this week. For his production, speed, and stellar defense, he is this week's Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athlete of the ...

Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athletes of the Week: Scotch Plains Fanwood's Girls Track Team

SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ -- With every passing week, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls track athletes seem to reach new milestones, and the past several days have been no exception. With another head-turning performance at the 31st Blue Devil Classic at Kehler Stadium in Westfield, the SPF track stars are this week’s Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athletes of the Week.

Corinne ...

Sayreville's Brandon Bielak, Saint Joseph HS Grad, Pitches Against the Yankees

SAYREVILLE, NJ -- Brandon Bielak, a Sayreville native who played his high school baseball at St. Joseph High School (Metuchen), took the mound for the Houston Astros against the Yankees Tuesday evening in a hostile Yankee Stadium, where fans released their anger over Houston's sign-stealing scandal became public following the 2019 ALCS.

Bielak had the thrill of ...

New Jersey Date Night: Stroll Through These Gorgeous Gardens

May 13, 2021

New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

There’s always something growing in New Jersey, be it excitement for warmer weather or the flowers in everyone’s yard. Celebrating springtime in the Garden State requires a garden date. We have so many options at our fingertips — possibilities guaranteed to inspire romance and ...

Find Your Green Thumb: NJ Experts Offer Tips for Starting a Kitchen Garden

NEW JERSEY — They don’t call this The Garden State for nothing.

Want to bring out your inner green thumb this season? There’s no better time than now to get started on a kitchen garden.

“There is no mastery of gardening, you just get better at guessing,” said Bloomfield’s L. Be. Sholar, who offers gardening tips on her blog, Farm-Based ...

More Breweries Join NJ’s ‘Shot and a Beer’ Program to Encourage COVID Vaccinations

NEW JERSEY — Need another reason to get your COVID-19 vaccine? Now you can get free beer at more than 30 New Jersey breweries just for getting your shot during the month of May.

The number of breweries participating in New Jersey's “Shot and a Beer” program, which began this month in partnership with the Brewer's Guild of New Jersey, the Governor's ...

NJ has America’s Best Pizza, Food & Wine Says. But You Already Knew That

NEW JERSEY — Food & Wine magazine made waves this week when it declared New Jersey the No. 1 pizza state in America and proclaimed that New York is No. 3. In the No. 2 spot? Connecticut.

You can read the article, in which the author recommends “The Best Pizza in Every State,” here.

MORE: Pizza in High Demand During Pandemic, NJ Restaurant Owners Say

New Yorkers ...

Community Conversations: AFib, Heart Health and Stroke Prevention

People with atrial fibrillation (AFib) are five times more likely to have a stroke than the average person. In this Community Conversation, Atlantic Medical Group cardiologists Timothy Mahoney, MD, and Michael Katz, MD, answer your questions on managing AFib and reducing your risk of stroke. See all of Atlantic Health System's Community Conversations ...

Do or Do Not? Parenting the Star Wars Way

Two very important events occurred in 1977. One, I was born.  Two, Star Wars came out. I’ll let you contemplate which was more important, but I am willing to concede that my birth may not be number one.

Thirty-five years later when I found out that my wife was pregnant, one of the first things to enter my mind was...what order to show my child the Star Wars movies? I ...

Atlantic Health System Celebrates 25 Years of Building Healthier Communities

25 years after establishing one of the first integrated health care systems in New Jersey, Atlantic Health System has become a nationally recognized leader in the delivery of high-quality, innovative health care.

Founded in 1996 through the merger of Morristown Memorial Hospital, Overlook Hospital, Mountainside Hospital, and soon after, the General Hospital Center at Passaic, Atlantic Health ...

Community Conversations: Vaccine Updates and Variant Testing

Approximately 4 million people in New Jersey have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine! On the next Community Conversation, Brian Gragnolati, President and CEO, and Steven Sheris, MD, SVP, Physician Enterprise, Atlantic Health System, discuss New Jersey’s new eligibility guidelines and Atlantic Health System’s vaccine program along with the ability to rapidly screen ...

A Springtime Reminder

Finally, it’s Spring!  Thank God the winter is over!  Bring on … well, whatever outdoor activities we can safely practice these days!

But first…let’s talk a little about two important medical topics that are related to April and one another.  Of course, I am talking about oral cancer and immunizations.

That’s what you were going to guess, ...

Community Conversations: Summer Safety and Fun for Kids

Preparing children for a healthy summer of activity starts now! On this Community Conversation, pediatrician Sarah Nielsen, MD, has some must-see information on childhood health and safety, whether they are at home or at camp, including the latest news about COVID-19 and children.

Learn more ...

Lawsuit: Prisoner Was Denied Medicine, Beaten by Staff at Union County Jail

May 13, 2021

UNION COUNTY, NJ — A man incarcerated at the Union County Jail is suing the county with claims that the staff there denied him medication for a severely painful condition and then beat him mercilessly.

While in court papers the county denies the allegations, Michael David Ivancich claims in the federal lawsuit he was forced to go without necessary prescription ...

Missing NJ Baby Found After Amber Alert Issued, State Police Say

May 10, 2021

Updated at 3:51 p.m.

NEW JERSEY — Following an Amber alert issued Monday, authorities have found an infant reported missing, state police said.

"Chinna Payne, a 2-week-old baby girl, of East Orange, N.J. has been safely located," state police said in a Facebook post.

Police had said the child last seen in East Orange with a 27-year-old man.

Weighting 7 ...

Fanwood-Scotch Plains Y Hosts Nursing Students Focused on Community Health

FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA has partnered with Seton Hall University’s College of Nursing to host 19 senior undergraduate students majoring in nursing. Throughout the month of April, the students have been working on the clinical portion of their community health class and have been interning at the Y.

The nursing students have been working – at a ...

Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA and PTA Team up for Virtual 'United For A Cause 5K'

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA and the Scotch Plains-Fanwood PTA Council are partnering up to host the United For A Cause 5K and 1-mile Fun Run, held virtually this year.  

The virtual run will take place between May 5 and 12, 2021. Proceeds benefit the Y’s LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program for cancer survivors and fund a Scotch Plains-Fanwood High ...

Scotch Plains Mayor’s Wellness Series Set to Begin

May 7, 2021

Dear Editor:

It’s that time of the year again when we eagerly get back into shape, after a long winter and plenty of pandemic time in the house.  

I am pleased to kick off the Mayor’s Wellness Series, which is set to begin in Alan Augustine Park (next to town hall) on Saturday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m. For those who are new to the series, it is free, it is fun, and it is a ...

Union Catholic Offering Several Summer Camps and Programs

May 14, 2021

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Union Catholic will be hosting several Summer Camps and Workshops this summer.

Here's a look at what's being offered, and how to get additional details, and registration information. 

The summer programs being offered are a Speech & Debate Program, Theatre Master Classes, Art Journaling Program, Young Entrepreneurship Program, Financial Literacy ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, May 16, 12:00 AM

Virtual, Westfield

Greta's Run

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Mon, May 17

Scotch Plains

Southside Recycling Pickup



Mon, May 17, 7:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library (Virtual Branch), Scotch Plains

First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Religions And Spirituality