By: Al Wicklund , Staff Writer 10/10/2003

The Cranbury Press, Friday, March 5, 2004

Chabad gets a gift from fast friends

Two giving couples donate some 800 books to start library for the Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe.

MONROE — A gift of 25 boxes containing some 800 books will be the foundation of a library for the Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe.
   Rabbi Eliezer Zaklikovsky received the volumes through the good graces of two remarkable couples, Mollie and Jack Honig, formerly of the Parlin, and Rose and Al Tyberg of Monroe.
   The Honigs were seriously injured last March in an accident in which a SUV hit their car, trapping Ms. Honig inside the vehicle. Ms. Honig went through a long period of hospitalization and rehabilitation.
   The Tybergs provided rides and other help for their friends during this period.
   "We're like family," Ms. Tyberg said.
   She said, during the most discouraging time of Ms. Honig's slow recovery, "I called Jack every night and never stopped trying to give him hope."
   Mr. Tyberg said when the Honigs decided to move to an assisted-living facility, the Willows in Holmdel, they were looking for a place for their library and the Tybergs suggested giving the books to Rabbi Zaklikovsky's Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe.
   "I accepted with pleasure," the rabbi said. "It's a marvelous collection, including books of Hebraic studies, philosophy, history, sociology, pictorials and a large number on the Holocaust. Mr. Honig is a Holocaust surviVor."
   He said understanding the world and its relationship to one's religion is based on education. He said having these books in a library setting will provide access to knowledge.
   Mr. Tyberg said Ms. Honig has read most of the books.
   "There are marginal notes throughout many of them. There are also newspaper and magazine clippings related to the books' subject matter placed within the books' pages," he said.
   He said Mr. Honig was a reader of history and was interested in etymology. He would spend hours reading about and studying the development of words and their meanings.
   "Jack and his wife also were walkers. They used to walk two hours a day. Jack believes their waking helped them survive the accident," Mr. Tyberg said.
   Ms. Tyberg said they have been friends of the Honigs' since 1972.
   She said errant mail helped the couples meet.
   "We both subscribed to the same New York Jewish newspaper. One day, their copy was delivered to us. I said to Al, 'Let's take it to these people. Maybe we'll become friends.' When the Honigs came to the door and saw us standing there with their newspaper, they invited us in and that was the beginning of our friendship," she said.
   As it turned out, that meeting also was the start of the Chabad Jewish Center's library.