Caring Gifts: Parashat Naso

Parashat Naso
Numbers 4:21 – 7:89

It is always a pleasure for me to study a Torah portion with a young person and their family as they prepare to celebrate becoming Bat Mitzvah or Bar Mitzvah. It is especially gratifying when I can discern a certain “light bulb” go off, when a student grows in understanding. This Shabbat we look forward to celebrating this milestone with Delia Kravits and her family. In the course preparing the dvar Torah that she will present, Delia came up with abundant teachings that emerged from our studies. Unfortunately, there will not be time at the service to share all of them. So we have made the choice to share one of Delia’s teachings through this forum. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe May 24, 2018



The family of the late Carol Starr, a longtime member of Shomrei, has made a generous donation to our MESH Cafe which will help us to sustain our program.  Henceforth, we will be known as the Carol Starr MESH Cafe.

Report from Captain Sara Kravits:

Shomrei’s Carol Starr MESH Cafe welcomed 23 appreciative guests on a cool spring evening. Carolyn Lack and Barbara Lesser prepared a delicious meal of carrot and pea soup with crunchy onion crisps on top, multigrain French bread with butter, baked salmon with strawberry sauce, bulgur with sauteed multicolored peppers, and roasted broccoli and carrots, with cheesecake and grapes for dessert (we gladly repurposed some Shavuot leftovers for the vegetables and dessert). Continue reading

Turning Strangers into Friends

IMG_2133The biggest reason my family joined Shomrei back in 2015 is because of the community here. So as the crisis in Syria grew,  my husband and I kept asking each other: Should we do something? Adopt a Syrian orphan? Donate some clothes? It seemed obvious that I should email the rabbi. Was Shomrei “doing” anything? Continue reading

Kugels Rule


The weeks of anticipation were almost over. Shavuot was just a couple days away. Shomrei’s preparations for the community Tikkun were in high gear especially in the kitchen where the refrigerator shelves were overflowing with butter and eggs, vegetables and fruit.

The quiches had been baked; the cheesecakes were here, too. The blintzes were being prepped.

But what about the kugel? It’s not Shavuot without kugel. And why kugel and other dairy dishes? Continue reading


Omaha3On Saturday, April 28, I marked my father’s 24th yahrzeit. Ordinarily I’d light a candle, place it on the kitchen island before going to services. Then each time I’d walk through the kitchen I’d see the flickering flame and I would envision and recall my father’s smile, his kindness, his intelligence, and his open-mindedness.

I’d say kaddish surrounded by others saying this same these same ancient and familiar words of praise and acknowledgement.

But I was not in Montclair, New Jersey; I was in Lille, France. There was no kitchen island but a counter crowded with the needs of a busy family.

But still in my daughter’s home we lit that candle just as I would have in my own home and told stories about my father to the great-grandchildren whom he never met. Continue reading

Sacred Spaces: Parashat B’midbar/ Shavuot


Parashat B’midbar/ Shavuot
Numbers 1:1 – 4:20

Perhaps it is because the verse opens our reading and gives our Torah reading (as well as the entire book we begin this Shabbat) its name, B’midbar, that we do not notice how unique and strange the wording of this sentence is: “And the Eternal spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai (-b’midbar Sinai), in the Tent of Meeting, on the first of the second month, in the second year since their leaving from Egypt, saying.” (Num. 1:1) Continue reading

Mesh Cafe May 17, 2018


From Captain Fern Heinig:

The MESH Cafe had a light night given the major thunder storms last night. We had only 13 guests.

A huge thank you to Alana, Margalit, Amalia – our Shomrei teen volunteers and Susan Rosenblatt for being soux chefs and servers. MESH staff Adrienne rounded out the MESH crew. Continue reading

empty time: Parashat B’har/B’huqqotai


Parashat B’har/B’huqqotai
Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34

Our double Torah portions bring the book of Leviticus to a close. Yet, a major theme of these readings is a practice that does not center around the sanctuary rituals that occupy most of the book. Instead the Torah turns to imagining the settled life of the people in the Promised Land. The holiness that we are to pursue in our lives, and which is concentrated in the sanctuary itself, is extended into our experience of the land. We are commanded to give the land a year of Sabbath every seven years. During that year we are not to work the land at all. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe May 8, 2018

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From Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

This Tuesday evening, we welcomed 20 guests to Shomrei’s MESH Cafe.  Due to serendipitous events and some creative planning, the entire meal was put together with repurposed food, yet delicious, nutritious and enjoyed by our guests.  Engineered by Executive Chef Lynne Kurzweil there was $0 additional expense for this meal.

Continue reading

Carol Katzman: Do You Know?

katzman_carolHi, I’m Carol Katzman, President of the Shomrei Emunah Cemetery Association and Shomrei Emunah’s delegate to the Jewish Memorial Chapel for many years. So I was wondering


Do You Know There is a Non-Profit Jewish Funeral Home? – Yes. The Jewish Memorial Chapel is located on Allwood Road in Clifton about 15 minutes from Shomrei Emunah.

Do You Know Congregation Shomrei Emuanh is A Delegate Organization? Yes, we have been a delegate organization since 1994. When the Nutley Temple joined Shromei Emunah, it brought its membership with them.

Do You Know Non-Profit Means Funeral Costs are Less? Yes. Being Non-Profit the Jewish Memorial Chapel covers it costs. Funerals are anywhere from approximately one-third to one-half less than at a for-profit funeral home. The licensed professional staff conducts funerals with dignity and in strict compliance with Halacha (Jewish Law).

Do You Know What the Jewish Memorial Chapel Does With Surplus Funds? After all expenses, the Jewish Memorial Chapel will dispense any excess funds. Shomrei Emunah just received a $3,600 check from the Chapel. It is being used toward unrecoverable expenses associated with the main water pipe break. Continue reading