Tag Archives: SLIC

Publishing Your Genealogy for Amateurs

A popular way to memorialize and share genealogical research is through publishing.  However, the road to publication can be confusing and daunting.  Please join us as Lew Mexler, Caryn Alter, and Stephen Cohen, discuss their experiences regarding publishing genealogical research and stories.  Lew Mexler will focus on his father-in-law’s memoir and his collaboration with academic colleagues while Caryn and Stephen will discuss their genealogy workbook titled What’s in a Name? A Young Person’s Jewish Genealogy Workbook, which serves as a wonderful guide for budding genealogists in terms of writing and publishing your work.

Lew Meixler is currently the Chair of the Jewish Genealogy Club of Mercer County and has given two previous talks on Genealogy at the State Library.

Caryn Alter and Stephen Cohen, both longtime genealogy enthusiasts, are founding members of the Mercer County Jewish Genealogy Society at Beth El Synagogue.  Professionally, Caryn is a registered dietitian and has done freelance writing; Steve has a PhD in chemistry, and is a writer, calligrapher, and occasional choral-music arranger. He is the co-author of America’s Scientific Treasures (2nd ed.), due out this Fall from Oxford University Press.


Fields marked with an * are required

Please indicate the classes you would like to attend by clicking on the appropriate box below.

*You must use Yes to answer the last question*

March 10 author talk: NJ Women in American Politics with Jim DelGiudice

It’s been 100 years since the 19th amendment was ratified and March is Women’s History Month. This is a great time to hear: From Suffrage to the ERA: NJ Women in American Politics with Jim DelGiudice.

Please join us on March 10th from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 Reading Room to hear this lecture, which examines a wide-ranging list of colorful individuals in the social context of their times.  In the beginning of the twentieth century, women were outsiders to the American political scene. Today, they have moved into all aspects of public life. New Jersey pioneers–from Alice Paul to Milicent Fenwick–set the stage for the political success of today’s New Jersey women.

Jim DelGiudice, a lifelong Morris County resident, has used his eyes and voice to document the New Jersey scene for more than half his 56 years. His architectural photography for books published by Rutgers University Press twice won him the state’s Historic Preservation Award, and his plays have been produced by such venues as the Bickford Theatre and Kean University. In the millennium year, Jim was cited by both the state and county legislatures for his lifetime contribution to the arts. He is an adjunct assistant professor at County College of Morris, and also lectures frequently at Drew and Columbia Universities, as well as adult and professional groups around the metropolitan area. Most recently, he served as photo editor for A Lifetime with Shakespeare, published by McFarland & Company.

All are welcome to this free program. RSVP is welcomed. Please RSVP to Cindy at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.  For information on New Jersey State Library classes and other events, please visit www.njstatelib.org events.


WEBINAR – Shining a Light on Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in all Levels of New Jersey Government

Our tax dollars fund the State of New Jersey so it is important to ensure that our money is being spent properly.  Fraud, waste, and abuse cause unnecessary burdens to be placed on not only the taxpayer, but different branches, departments, and agencies.  In 2007, the Office of the State Comptroller was created to battle fraud, waste, and abuse through accountability, audits, and investigations.  It also provides an avenue for citizens and groups to report suspected abuse, fraud, or waste to help the agency carry out it’s duties.  Please join us as Nicole Acchione and Rich O’Brien of the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, Investigations Division, discuss the work of their office and what you can do if you suspect government fraud, waste or abuse.


Click here to register!

Mindfulness to Reduce Stress

We live in a busy world. We are often consumed by schedules and to-do lists that don’t make time for self-connection. Mindfulness practices have been shown to reduce stress, improve physical and mental health and brighten our overall outlook on life. Chelsea Hoagland, a licensed clinical social worker from Capital Health – Behavioral Health Specialists will speak on the powerful effects of incorporating mindfulness into your daily life.


Fields marked with an * are required

Please indicate the classes you would like to attend by clicking on the appropriate box below.

*You must use Yes to answer the last question*

Introduction to Finding Grants

Are you new to the field of grant seeking?  Discover what funders are looking for in nonprofits seeking grants and how to find potential funders in this introductory class.  This class will cover the 10 most important things you need to know about finding grants, and you will have an opportunity to do some hands-on funding research using the Foundation Directory Online Professional database.

*Registration is limited to 16 participants.  Please register only if you can attend*


Fields marked with an * are required

Please indicate the classes you would like to attend by clicking on the appropriate box below.

*You must use Yes to answer the last question*

Chair Yoga

Yoga is both physical and mental originating in India dating back to 3300 – 1900 BCE. The physical practice of yoga consists of asanas, which means body postures. In modern yoga, props such as blocks and straps are widely used. In chair yoga, we are simply adding one more prop to help us. You will still get all the benefits of traditional yoga classes including a good stretch and a general sense of well-being.

Samantha Benson is a 200 RYT (registered yoga teacher) having completed her training at Lotus Yoga in Montclair, NJ. She is currently pursuing her 500 hour teacher training certification at Yoga Stream in Princeton with Lara Heiman who has a physical therapy background. Samantha has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and owns a gym (Metabolic Functional Fitness) with her husband John of 15 years. In addition to teaching three classes a week at her and John’s gym, Samantha also teaches at a hot power yoga studio in Ewing called Empower.

*Registration is limited to 14 participants.  Please email adauphinee@njstatelib.org if you wish to attend*

Roots and Branches: The Genealogy of Muslim Community Development in Greater Newark, NJ

In honor of Black History Month, Professor Mikal Naeem Nash will present on African American Muslim history in the Garden State, stretching back to the first quarter of the 20th century.  He will discuss the continuities between pioneering personalities and organizations of the now diverse NJ Muslim community., including establishment of institutions such as temples, mosques, cultural centers and businesses, vis-a-vis their Christian counterparts, who established similar type institutions.   Finally, he will touch on Muslim activism and relevance to the defense of the best of American ideals.

Mikal Naeem Nash for twenty years has been a faculty member in the History Program at Essex County College, where he has taught a wide-range of history courses, including his specialty African American History.  He is the author of two books and several essays on Islam and Blacks.  Prof. Nash has become known for his writings and interest in the subjects of African American and Muslim history in NJ, and most particularly the Greater Newark, NJ, community.


Fields marked with an * are required

Please indicate the classes you would like to attend by clicking on the appropriate box below.

*You must use Yes to answer the last question*

The Aging Eye Program Recap

Thank you to Joan Micucci, Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist from Matossian Eye Associates for a very informative session on our eyes as they age.  She covered different aspects of 3 common eye-related problems: cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.  While none of these issues can be prevented, early detection can help limit severe damage and preserve your eyesight as you age.

Cataracts are the most common cause of reversible vision loss and often manifest in older people.  Cataracts are caused by a clouding of the natural clear lens and oftentimes compared to frosty or fogged windows.  Some symptoms of cataracts include glare (especially at night), decrease in color vision, and adjusting your daily life to deal with blurry or tinted vision.  Generally, cataracts are associated with age, but diabetes, previous eye injury or surgery, or prolonged steroid use cause cause cataracts to form earlier in life.  Cataracts are removed through a simple outpatient surgery that involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens.  While there are different lens types available, it is common for people to need basic reading glasses after the surgery.

Glaucoma is a more serious issue that can cause blindness if left untreated.  It is also the leading cause of blindness in the United States.  Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve in which fluid builds up and causes pressure or “cupping” of the optic disc.  While family history is the primary risk for glaucoma, age, hypertension, sleep apnea, migraines, and prolonged steroid use.  Glaucoma is most commonly treated with eye drops to control the pressure, but cold laser surgery or the implant of a stent during cataract surgery cause also help promote the flow of fluid away from the optic nerve and reduce pressure.  Unfortunately, glaucoma can not be cured and constant management of the pressure is required.

Macular degeneration occurs when the macular tissue deteriorates.  While people who suffer from macular degeneration lose their center vision, their peripheral vision often remains intact.  This is caused by yellow deposits called drusen that form in the macular tissue.  Risk factors include age, race (especially Caucasian women), family history, smoking, obesity, and heart disease.  While 90% of macular degeneration cases are consider dry and develop slowly, a more rapid and severe form called wet occurs due to leaking blood vessels.  Wet degeneration is most commonly treated with injections, while dry degeneration is primarily treated by Omega-3 nutritional supplements, such as fish oil.

As with many medical conditions, early detection is key so please visit your eye-care provider regularly.  For more information, please visit Matossian Eye Associates at https://www.matossianeye.com/ or contact them at info@matossianeye.com.  For a copy of the presentation, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/The-Aging-Eye.pdf.  For a copy of the handout, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/The-Aging-Eye-Handout.pdf.

Nutrition for Weight Management Made Simple Program Recap

Weight loss is a resolution we all too often give up on.  It takes time, effort, and discipline, but it very manageable once you figure out your specific goals and set yourself up for success.  John Wojciechowski, a certified strength and conditioning coach as well as founder of Metabolic Functional Fitness, shared some helpful and simple tips to help along your weight loss journey as well as maintain a healthy weight.

Energy balance is an important component for understanding what is body weight and how it functions.  Everything we do and consume affects our energy balance and ultimately our weight.  Weight is primarily determined by the quantity rather than the quality of the energy (food) we consume.

When we consume food, we are consuming calories, which is the body’s energy source.  Our body weight is a direct reflection of the balance between calories burned and calories consumed.  The more excess calories we intake, the more fat we develop, regardless of where those calories come from.  To loose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit through a combination of eating less and moving more.  Therefore, it is important to measure, track, and adjust the quantity of food you eat to ensure proper weight loss and maintenance.

The food we eat has a significant impact on how our body functions and whether we gain or loose weight.  Macronutrients are responsible for providing the fuel we need to survive, which include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.  Vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, while important to our overall health, do no provide any caloric energy the body needs to survive.

Proteins contain 4 calories per gram and important to build and repair tissues.  Also, proteins are made up amino acids, of which there are 9 essentials ones our bodies need to survive.  Whether you get your essential amino acids from a singular complete protein source or a variety of incomplete protein sources, the goal should be to consume all the essential amino acids for a healthy body.  It is recommended that you intake between 0.4 – 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

Fats, while often considered the enemy of a health diet, are very important to your body as they help with hormone production and provide your body with energy.  Fats contain 9 calories per gram and fit into 2 basic types – Saturated and Unsaturated.  It is recommended to avoid trans-fats found in processed packaged foods as they do not have the same benefits from naturally occurring fats.  It is recommended that fats make up between 20 – 50% of your total daily calories.

Carbohydrates’ main purpose is provide your body with energy by releasing glucose once they are digested.  Carbs contain 4 calories per gram and are classified into 3 types – Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, and Polysaccharides.  While carbs are not required for survival, they provide a good source of energy and it is recommended that cards make up between 45 – 65% of your daily calories.

So now that you understand more about the basics of calories and how they relate to different types of foods, what should be your calorie requirements?  There is no simple answer as your daily caloric requirement is a moving target that changes with time and different conditions.  For example, your metabolism is flexible and adaptable, so as you age or your body is exposed to prolonged calorie restriction, your metabolism will slow down and therefore affect the amount of calories you burn.

There are many different equations out there that provide an estimate of calculating your calorie requirements.  Generally speaking, use the following equations to determine how many calories you should intake based on your weigh goals:

  • Weight loss = BW (body weight) X 10 – 12
  • Maintenance = BW X 14 – 16
  • Weight Gain = BW X 18 – 20

John also shared his 3 tips for fat loss:

  1. Create a calorie deficit – start with a caloric intake of BW X 12
  2. Aim for a macronutrient ratio of 40/30/30 – Carbs, Protein, Fat
  3. Start resistance training 3 times per week for 45 min – 1 hour

Some other considerations to consider include:

  • Plan for 3 – 6 evenly spaced meals per day and prep your meals in advance
  • You can eat almost anything you want as long as you are measuring, tracking, and adjusting your calories
  • You cannot diet forever, so plan out some breaks
  • Weight loss is not linear so you must be patient

If you have further questions about managing your weight, please contact John at jwcscs@hotmail.com. For a copy of the presentation, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Nutrition-for-Weigh-Management.pdf.

Understanding Credit Program Recap

Credit plays a critical role in many of our lives, allowing us to afford cards, homes, and even college education.  It is used as a gauge of financial responsibility that can influence where you live and even where you work.  By understanding the basics of credit, you can more easily master this financial necessity and get yourself out a debt or plan for a better financial future.

Credit is borrowed money that you can use to purchase goods and services when you need them.  You get credit from a credit grantor, whom you agree to pay back the amount you spent, plus any applicable finance charges, at an agreed-upon time.

There are 4 types of credit:

  1. Charge cards/accounts
  2. Revolving credit – credit cards, equity loans
  3. Installment credit – mortgage, student loan, car loan
  4. Service contracts – cable, utilities

Credit in and of itself is neither good or bad; it is how you utilize it that can have positive or negative impacts on your financial well-being.  Credit can be a convenient way of purchasing items, especially expensive items, without the need for cash.  However, credit is a loan and you will be paying more for that purchase in the long run.  Also, because of the convenience, it is easy to overspend with the appropriate means to pay back the loan effectively.

All of your credit information is compiled into a credit report by 3 different credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.  Your credit report is made up of:

  • identifying information (name, address, social security number)
  • Job history (where and how long)
  • Creditors; payment history (name of creditor and how long credit has been open)
  • Legal actions (liens, collections, foreclosures, bankruptcy)
  • Inquiries you initiated (where personally or by a creditor with your permission)

You are entitled to a free credit report every year from each of the 3 reporting agencies so it is best practice to request your report from a different agency every 4 months to ensure your credit report is accurate.  If there is an error with your report, you can dispute the error in writing to the credit agency.  The agency is required to investigate your dispute within 30 or automatically remove the disputed item from your credit report.

Credit reports and credit scores are often mistakenly assumed to be the same thing, but they are very different and focus on different aspects of your credit situation.  The most common credit score is the FICO score which is used by Experian.  Each credit reporting agency has its own scores and ways of calculating them.  As a general rule of thumb, you credit score is made up of:

  • Payment history – 35%
  • Accounts owned – 30%
  • Length of credit history – 15%
  • New credit – 10%
  • Credit mix – 10%

Your credit score is often utilized by creditors to determine interested rates while your credit report can be used to determine pre-qualified or pre-approval amounts.  Lenders, landlords, insurance companies, and even employers can all look at your credit score.  Generally, a credit score of 700 or higher is considered good.  There is a new movement to include other information for consideration in your credit score, especially for those with little or no credit history, including payment history for service contracts as well as length of address history.

There are many different ways to establish credit:

  • Open a checking or savings account with a credit union
  • Put utilities/rent/mortgage in your name
  • Get a local department store or gas card
  • Have a co-signer for a small personal loan
  • Apply for a secured credit card

While your credit report and score are major components that creditors consider, they also look at the 3 C’s of Credit:

  1. Character – From your credit history, a lender may decide you possess the honesty and reliability to repay a debt
  2. Capital – A lender will want to know if you have valuable assets such as real estate, personal property, investments, or savings with which to repay debt if income is unavailable
  3. Capacity – Refers to your ability to repay the debt.  The lender will look to see if you have been working regularly in an occupation that is likely to provide enough income to support your credit use

So how to you maintain good credit?

  • Create a spending plan and live within it
  • Pay your bills on time, all of the time
  • Have some credit, but not too much
  • Have a mixture of credit types
  • Keep credit card balances low
  • Use caution when closing accounts
  • Be aware of your debt-to-income ratios
  • Contact lenders if you fall behind on payments

For more information about managing your credit or to discuss your personal credit situation, please reach out to the Credit Union of New Jersey for a consultation.  For a copy of the presentation, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Understanding-Credit-Compressed.pdf.  For a copy of the handouts, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Understanding-Credit-Handouts.pdf.