Religions and Spirituality

Press Releases

Union County Torah Center Celebrates 20 years

Dr. Andrew Andonov
Isaac (Ike) Heller of blessed memory

The Union County Torah Center will be having a Gala Tribute Dinner on Tuesday, June 13, at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ celebrating their 20th year anniversary. The center will be honoring Mrs. Helaine Heller and her late husband, Isaac (Ike) of blessed memory & Dr. Andrew Andonov for their exceptional support to the center.

Isaac Heller, known as Ike, was born on July 23, 1926, in Ellenville, N.Y., at the foot of the Catskills.

After serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II he bought some Army surplus radio parts, set up shop in the basement of his brother-in-law’s store, and built the Remco Toy Company, a prominent toy manufacturer of the 1950s and ’60s based in Newark and later Harrison.

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After leaving Remco in 1965, he began a second business, I. Heller Construction Co., Inc., builders of industrial warehouses. He served as board chair and CEO of what became Heller Industrial Parks until his death. It is one of the nation’s largest privately held industrial park owners/developers boasting an inventory of over 16 million square feet of space in six states. 

Ike met his wife, Helaine, when she was working at her father’s company, which sold boxes to Remco. They married in 1953. Ike built the business while Helaine managed the daily work of caring for their four daughters, Audrey (Jack) Romberg of Tallahassee, Fla., Laurie Kaufman of Marlboro, Hollie Heller (Ralph Joseph) of Bridgewater, and Hillary (Luke) Granfield of Iowa City, Iowa. Their family grew to include ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The Hellers have generously supported Jewish causes in the US and in Israel, including a donation that enabled the Torah Center to purchase its current property.

Dr. Andrew Andonov was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1971. Soon after he moved to Florida. After graduating from Florida State University, Dr. Andonov earned his Master’s degree in physiology from Florida International University. While in Florida, he managed several successful restaurants and nightclubs.

He then moved to Atlanta, where he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree. He has since established several chiropractic offices and currently practices in Newark NJ. In addition, Dr. Andonov’s multifaceted professional accomplishments include opening a restaurant and producing musical acts and documentaries.

His greatest achievements are that he is a caring and devoted father to his nine-year-old son, Ace, a kind and empathetic friend, an active participant in Jewish life, and a generous and enthusiastic supporter of the Union County Torah Center.

The evening will be featuring “Marc Salem’s Mind Games”. MARC SALEM is one of the most sought after lecturers and entertainers in the world. With sophisticated humor and dramatic impact, he will lead you through the incredible potentials and amazing possibilities of the mind. He can identify people and objects hidden by time and space. He can guide your thoughts and can even feel your emotions. 

A student of the human mind for over 30 years and one of the world’s foremost authorities on non-verbal communication, Marc Salem holds advanced degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University. For nearly two decades he has served on the faculty of several major universities, with a major focus on how the mind creates reality and meaning. 

Using psychological techniques, a sharp eye, a quick wit and decades of training, Salem engages the audience in a series of mesmerizing and mystifying Mind Games. Marc Salem has presented his program on the power of the mind to millions of people in theatres, on television and for private corporate events around the world. The tools of the psychologist, the skills of the advertiser, the audience management of the conjuror, are all elements of his arsenal. 

His show, MIND GAMES, concluded a run on Broadway and he has performed two extended runs off-Broadway – all of which received both critical and popular acclaim. He has recently completed a yearlong world tour performing to sell-out audiences. Salem has been featured on Regis, Montel Williams, Maury, and CNN, among dozens of others. He has had two network specials. He is a regular analyst on Court-TV. Marc was the subject of an amazing Mike Wallace profile on 60 Minutes, available on the CBS news site.

Since its inception in 1997 under the direction of Rabbi Levi & Shternie Block, the Union County Torah Center has touched countless lives through its multifaceted educational, outreach and social service programs.

The essential credo of the Union County Torah Center is to be unconditionally accepting of anyone who walks through its doors – regardless of previous background or affiliation. It blends traditional values with modern day advancements and techniques. From schools to shuls, adult education classes to holiday parties and workshops, university programs to hospital & prison visitation, the Torah center extends a welcoming and loving hand to anyone seeking physical support or spiritual connection and is truly "Open to the Public".

A cause that helps and inspires people in this manner needs and deserves broad-based support. Indeed, this milestone celebration belongs to the entire community. You are warmly invited to share in the joyous festivities on the 13th of June. For more information and to RSVP please go to our website at or call the center at 908-789-5252.


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