Over 100 people filled the Jewish Center of Teaneck on Sunday, February 25, to witness the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Joshua S. Dorfman, a resident of Riverdale and a senior at SAR High School. An Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Boy Scouts. To achieve this rank, a boy must advance through the program’s many levels and complete at least 21 merit badges that show interest and service in the community. These include citizenship, first aid, cooking, swimming, communication, environmental science, family life and management. To become an Eagle Scout, a scout must also serve in a leadership position and plan, develop and lead a major service project. Dorfman earned 10 additional merit badges including architecture, radio, archery, computers, horsemanship and railroading. Moreover, what most defines the Eagle is his community service project and leadership skills.
When he was 8 years old, Dorfman started as a Cub Scout, the Boy Scout program for younger boys. He then progressed through the ranks of Bear and Webelos, two high ranks in the Cub Scouts. In fifth grade Dorfman became a Boy Scout and began a weekly trip to Teaneck where he joined BSA Troop 226, because there were no Sabbath-observing, kosher Boy Scout troops in Riverdale. This allowed him to keep kosher and avoid traveling on Sabbath and other Jewish holidays.
During Dorfman’s time as a member of BSA Troop 226, he was able to canoe in the Adirondacks, attend two national jamborees at the new high-adventure camp in West Virginia called Summit at Bechtel and hike in the ultimate BSA location: Philmont in the New Mexico mountains—all with kosher food and a Torah! In the troop, Dorfman served in a number of positions, including assistant senior patrol leader. Dorfman, for his Eagle service project, lead over 20 scouts, friends and adults in the construction of a wood footbridge on a walking trail in the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey.
The Court of Honor was attended by Jay G. Wegimont of Congressman Engel’s office. He presented an American flag that was flown over the Capitol, a certificate of recognition and words of encouragement. Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, principal of SAR high school, gave the invocation and a D’var Torah. Rabbi Fridman of the Jewish Center of Teaneck, which is the troop’s chartering organization, also spoke of Dorfman’s achievement.
Nationwide, approximately 4 percent of boys who join scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Any boy with interest and motivation receives support from the many adult leaders of Troop 226 to reach his goals.
Dorfman is proud of his accomplishments and is the only Eagle Scout to graduate from SAR high school in Riverdale. He worked long and hard for his goal and proved that if you really want something, no matter how complicated it is, there is always a way to accomplish it.