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SAJE Memorial Event: Jews & Justice

October 28, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Judge Philip Straniere discusses “Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court”
with author Rabbi David G. Dalin

1st Dr. Esther Grushkin SAJE
Memorial Award Honoree: Jack Stern

1466 Manor Road
Staten Island, New York 10314
VIP Cocktail Party • 5:30pm
Lecture • 7:00pm
Dessert Reception to follow
October 12, 2018

Reservations, Sponsorship and Journal Opportunities 


Dr. Esther Grushkin was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, she was 12 when she immigrated to the United States in 1958, moving to Brooklyn with her family. She moved to Willowbrook in 1970, and settled in Todt Hill in 1983.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, and received her master’s degree and Ph.D. from New York University.

 Esther taught at Forest Hills High School, Hebrew Academy, Lincoln High School, JCC of Staten Island, Touro College, College of Staten Island, and the United Federation of Teachers in Manhattan and on the Island. She frequently presented her research at the Society of Biblical Literature. Her topics were wide-ranging and included “Esther on Esther,” “The Power of Romantic Love in the Bible,” “Fear in the Hebrew Bible,” “Ancient Myths and Their Influence on Genesis,” “Did the Exodus Really Happen?” and “The Modern History of Israel Through Fiction.”

Esther also served as vice president of the Archaeological Society of Staten Island for more than a decade.

She met Jerome Grushkin near Brooklyn College, while she was a sophomore.. They talked, and danced, and began dating. He was the love of her life, and the couple had been married for 49 years at the time of her passing in October 2015.

Mrs. Grushkin was a member of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, West Brighton, where she served as an executive, member of the board of trustees and was membership chair for 11 years.

Along with her husband, Jerome, she had 3 sons, Orren and his wife Patricia, Ailon and his wife Jennifer, and Daniel. The Grushkins have two lovely granddaughters Alexandra and Charlotte.

Jack Stern has practiced law on Staten Island since 1977 and is admitted to the bars of the states of New York, Florida, and New Jersey, as well as various Federal courts.

He is a graduate of Brooklyn College and graduated Brooklyn Law school at the age of 23. He has practiced law for the past 40 years.  He is a member of the Richmond County, New York State, Florida State and New Jersey State Bar Associations as well as the American Bar Association and National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

He is the immediate past President of The Hillel of The College of Staten Island, having been a member of the Board for the last 12 Years and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the St. George Theater.  Jack has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Eger Lutheran Homes and Services from 2004 to 2016, including Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Eger Foundation.

He has also served as Board Member and President of Congregation Aviv Hadash, Director of the Richmond County Bar Association as well as Director of The New Springville Little League.  Jack has recently been honored by the Richmond County Bar Association by being awarded the prestigious Richard Lasher Award for Meritorious service.

His practice is located at 1189 Forest Avenue in Staten Island with his associates, His daughter Marissa Stern and his son-in-law Garrett Fruchtman, both of whom are members of the Bars of New York and New Jersey,  His wife Randi is a para-legal at the firm as well.  Jack and Randi are married for 43 years.  In addition to their daughter Marissa, Jack and Randi are proud parents of their son, Dr. Adam Stern a Veterinarian  Pathologist at the University of Florida where he resides  with his wife Trish and their two granddaughters Hailey and Alexa.

Hon. Philip S. Straniere is a retired New York State judge. He served twenty-one years in the Civil Court of the City of New York.  For fourteen of those years he was the Supervising Judge of Civil Court Richmond County and an Acting Supreme Court Justice. Over one hundred-fifty of his decisions were published in the official reports making him one of the most published trial court judges.

Currently, he is serving as a Judicial Hearing Officer in Supreme Court, New York County where he notes that, “the cases are similar to those on Staten Island, except the money demanded has at least three zeros more.”

His writing style of using humor and references to common culture has garnered him articles in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and academic papers. Many of his decisions have been included in law review articles.

For over thirty-years, Straniere has taught undergraduate law at St. John’s University in the business school. Currently he is on the faculty of the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada-Reno where he participates in webcasts to train new judges. He has lectured live to judges in New Mexico, Idaho, and Washington State.

Straniere is the author of “Filing and Winning Small Claims for Dummies” and is a regular contributor to the Staten Island Advance’s Memories column.

Presently he is President of the Board of Hillel at the College of Staten Island, Chair of the Jewish Committee on Scouting, on the Board of the Wagner College Chai Society, On Your Mark, Temple Israel and the Curtis High School Alumni Association.

A native of Staten Island, he graduated from Curtis High School, Wagner College (BA & MA), and New York University School of Law.

He is married to Jennifer and the father of Gregory, Amanda and Nicholas and grandfather to Abigail Hart, who can do nothing wrong.

Dr. David Dalin, Senior Research Fellow at Brandeis University, is an ordained rabbi and widely published scholar of American Jewish history. His latest book, Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court, from Brandeis to Kagan, is a nationally-acclaimed book and was selected as a Finalist for the Jewish Book Council’s 2017 National Jewish Book Award.

This book is the first history of the eight men and women who have served or currently serve on the United States Supreme Court. Dr. David Dalin has taught Jewish studies at several universities and has served as a visiting professor at George Washington University and at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Dr. Dalin has also served as the Taube Research Fellow in American History at Stanford University, and as a Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. A well-known lecturer, he has been a featured speaker or a scholar-in-residence at universities, synagogues and Jewish communal institutions throughout the United States and in Europe and Israel.

“I thought I knew a lot about the Supreme Court’s eight Jewish justices, since I have known six of them personally. But I learned so much more from David Dalin’s brilliant and readable account of their very different lives and connections to their Jewish heritage. A must read for anyone interested in Jewish, American or legal history.” 

—Alan Dershowitz,  

Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School

Author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law


October 28, 2018
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Bernikow JCC
1466 Manor Road
Staten Island, 10314


1466 Manor Road


1297 Arthur Kill Road


485 Victory Blvd

Select JCC facilities are available to all organizations, groups and individuals for life cycle events, meetings and celebrations. Call 718.475.5261 for information.

For Membership Inquiries Please Contact:
Membership Services 718.475.5223 

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