Six Day War Project

sixdaywar project

June 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War (June 5-10, 1967) between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries. The war was a pivotal event in the history of the Middle East and of the Jewish people.

The Jerusalem Post, JerusalemU, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Israel Action Network, and the Center for Israel Education have partnered to bring this piece of history to life. Using archival footage and newspaper headlines, they’ve created a free video series to take you back in time to that fateful summer.

Experience the dramatic events of 1967 and how they transformed the State of Israel. Sign up at to receive 10 two-to-three minute short videos that will teach you exactly what happened 50 years ago today.

Mesh Cafe May 23, 2017

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From Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

On a balmy spring night, the MESH Cafe at Shomrei welcomed 17 grateful guests. Carolyn Lack and Barbara Lesser cooked up a delicious vegetarian meal which was met with applause as the menu was announced. First course was egg salad on spring mix garnished with olives and served with toasted, buttered baguette. Next was a beautiful multi vegetable salad including marinated green beans and tomatoes with an Italian dressing. Main course was Orli’s Vegetarian Chili with tortilla chips and sour cream. The meal concluded with homemade giant chocolate chip cookies and brownies made by our STOM students and served a la mode. Several ingredients to the meal were repurposed from kiddish, including hard boiled eggs and salad ingredients. Continue reading

A Year of Reflection

Fern Annual meeting

It has been one year since I was elected President. I took on this role with some trepidation; it is a major responsibility to ensure a community’s sustainability and I take this responsibility very seriously. This is especially weighty as synagogues are closing or merging everyday.

Many synagogues, Shomrei included, maintained their financial security from “angels” – families who gave substantial donations, beyond their dues or pledge commitment, to help the synagogue meet its already budgeted financial obligations. This is a financial model which is in the past and for Shomrei, many years in the past. As a result, Shomrei now needs to base its budget on the financial commitments made by its membership, a budget which meets the operational needs of our congregation but does not over extend. Continue reading

Bookclub: “Stolen Beauty” by Laurie Lico Albanese

Shomrei Book Club

stolen beautyThe Shomrei Book Club will meet on Monday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m. to talk about “Stolen Beauty” by Laurie Lico Albanese , who appeared  at Shomrei for @nourish in April.

This fictional  story of the famous painting by Gustav Klimt “Woman in Gold” is told by two women living in different time periods:  Adele Bloch-Bauer, the subject of the work, who lived in VIenna  in the early 1900s; and her niece Maria Altmann, who lived under Nazi rule in Vienna in the late 1930s. Please join us and bring a friend!

We welcome anyone with an interest in books to join us for the meeting.

Continue reading

Read Books….Live Longer

open book

I was reading one of my alumni magazines recently when I came across a short article about a study at Yale University. According to this study, reading books may help you live longer.

What a perfect tie-in for the coming week which includes Shavuot (evening of May 30 to June 1), the holiday which celebrates the giving of the quintessential Jewish book, the Torah. The Torah has certainly helped the Jewish people live long. To paraphrase an oft quoted statement about Shabbat, Jewish books-starting with the Torah- have kept the Jewish people. Continue reading

In God’s Image: Yoga Drash for Shabbat May 20, 2017


Thoughts to begin and guide our yoga practice:

I just returned from my first trip to Japan, a country not without its problems, to be sure, but at least on the surface, a place epitomized by its extraordinary civility. With every bow I received (constant), and every bow I returned (one learns quickly), the contrast between the respect shown to the “other” in Japan and the seeming lack of it all too often demonstrated in our country grew starker. Continue reading

Proclaim Liberty: Parashat Parashat B’har/B’huqqotai

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

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia takes its name from an inscription incised upon it. The inscription is a quote from a verse in our Torah reading. The verse appears after the Torah describes a series of seven-year cycles during which society is meant to renew itself by affirming universal equality of opportunity. Each of these seven-year cycles is culminated by the seventh, “Sabbatical” year. After seven such cycles, the fiftieth year, the Jubilee, pushes the Torah’s vision of freedom and equality even further. This Jubilee year brings about the liberation of all slaves. It is the year of liberty. Significantly, the Torah begins the famous Liberty Bell verse with this phrase, left off the Bell: “And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year.” This means that establishing universal freedom is not simply just; it is holy. Perhaps this part of the verse was left out because it sounded too religious. So, perhaps we, as supporters of a religious community, can allow ourselves to remember that elided part of the verse along with the rest of it. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe May 16, 2017

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From Captain Linda Ariel:

On a warm spring evening, the MESH Cafe at Shomrei welcomed twenty-four guests to a delicious dinner. John Lasiter, with the able support of sous chef, Adrienne Lasiter, created a meal with a palate of flavors that delighted the hungry group. The menu included hummus with pita chips, a colorful vegetable salad, bread and butter, sockeye salmon topped with a mustard glaze, roasted scallions, and home baked chocolate peanut butter pinwheels with ice cream. Continue reading