Guest Rabbi Ari Perten at Shomrei

Rabbi Perten - MC (2)

Rabbi Ari Perten will be Shomrei’s Guest Rabbi on the following dates:

Fri Jan 18th – Sat 19th
Fri Feb 8th – Sat 9th
Fri Mar 8th – Sat 9th
Fri Mar 22nd – Sat 23rd
Fri Apr 5th – Sat 6th
Fri May 17th – Sat 18th
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Tu B’Shevat is Coming

There may be a wind chill below freezing and perhaps some snow in the forecast, but inside our homes and synagogues it’s spring like as we celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the Trees.

In Israel the month of Shevat marks the beginning of the growing season when the trees bud and flower. It’s a perfect time for planting.

So there is a lot of pretending in far colder New Jersey, but isn’t it nice to imagine?

While Tu B’Shevat also had a very serious side to it as one of the financial landmarks of the year, it’s often treated as a holiday just for kids in modern America and has also taken on the identity of an ecological holiday as  Jewish Earth Day.
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MESH Report 1/15/2019



From Captain Sarah Kravits:

On a sub-freezing night, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei provided many kinds of warmth — a hot meal, a warm place to eat it, and friendly people providing it. Chef Melissa Elbaum unfortunately was sick and could not cook, so Chef Lynne Kurzweil and sous-chef Aileen Grossberg came in to save the day, ingeniously repurposing food in the refrigerator and freezer. They created a delicious meal of a hearty tomato and roasted eggplant vegetable soup, a green salad with marinated tomatoes, a “flight” of quiches (broccoli and cheddar, mushroom and spinach, and salmon and goat cheese), a tuna chickpea salad on a lettuce leaf boat, toasted bagels with cream cheese and butter, and roasted root vegetables that were the last of the CSA generously provided by Judy Wildman and Zelda Greenstein (in the photos you can see the “before” and “after” of the roasting). Dessert was fruit salad and homemade chocolate/chocolate chip cookies.

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Rhapsody for a Pot


I’ve rhapsodized about my Breville Smart Oven, expensive but well-worth the price especially since my full-sized oven is broken, but the Breville’s place in my culinary heart may have been taken over by the Instant Pot. This appliance, available under several brands, is essentially an electric pressure cooker with added features so that it’s great for making a meal in one pot.

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Fri, May 10, 2019 – Cantor Galeet Dardashti: Heartfelt and Hypnotic Jewish Liturgical Music

Galeet Dardashti Lucidpress 2019-01-16 13-58-30

Renowned Cantor, Galeet Dardashti comes to Shomrei for a Firday night Kabbalat Shabbat service, Shabbat dinner and Presentation, Fri, May 10, 2019.

Her dynamic Sephardi/Mizrahi Kabbalat Shabbat service always has participants singing and clapping. Each new melody introduced is taught in nigun form (wordless melodies) first. This service involves prayers with beautiful melodies from a range of Middle Eastern/North African Jewish communities.

At dinner, Dr. Dardashti will offer an interactive presentation on Jewish Middle Eastern and North African (Mizrahi) piyut traditions (piyut: Jewish liturgical poem). Come hear, study, and learn to sing several of these beautiful poetic songs, and gain an understanding of their shifting cultural significance throughout Jewish history and in Israeli pop and rock music today. Continue reading

Mar 1 & 2, 2019 – Joey Weisenberg, Musical Scholar-in-Residence, Cultivating the Power of the Communal Voice

Joey Weiseberg, Mar 2019 Lucidpress 2019-01-15 10-39-37

Joey Weisenberg will be Congregation Shomrei Emunah’s “Musical Scholar-in-Residence” Friday March 1 – Sat March 2, 2019.  Mr. Weisenberg is the Creative Director of Mechon Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, which seeks to empower Jewish community-building through music. He works to educate and train communities around the world to unlock their musical and spiritual potential, and to make music a lasting and joy­-filled force in shul and in Jewish life. He runs workshops and trainings across the country and is a multi-instrumental musician, singer, and composer. His nigunim, published in 6 CDs and a Songbook, have become popular worldwide.

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Jan 25 & 26, 2019 – Scholar in Residence: Dr. Gary Rendsburg The Dead Sea Scrolls: Still Enthralling 70 Years Later


Fri, Jan 25, 2019
6:30pm Kabbalat Shabbat Service
7:30pm Dinner (free), Dr. Rendsburg will Speak

Sat, Jan 26, 2019
8:30am-1pm, Torah Study, d’Var Torah at Services, Speak at Kiddush (Q&A)
4:00pm, Teaching at Minch/Maariv/Havdalah

Congregation Shomrei Emunah
67 Park St. Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 746-5031
(map & directions)

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MESH Report 1/8/2019


From Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

We welcomed a full house of 24 guests this past Tuesday evening. We also packed up 6 takeaway meals for guests we could not accommodate inside. Our chef was Ben Lefkowitz, who came back for the second week in row during his college break, this time as executive chef. Ben prepared a great meal including Hearty Vegetable Soup with Challah and spread, Roast Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Rice Pilaf with Mixed Vegetables. Ben baked Brownies for dessert which were served along side Cantaloupe and Blueberries. Sous Chef was Lynne Kurzweil with a last minute assist by Lanny Kurzweil. Servers were Ben, Lynne and Lanny. Cleanup crew was Ben and Lynne. (You get the picture…it was a skeleton crew.) As always, Bonny, Adrienne and security guard, Joe, were on hand to make sure everything ran smoothly.

Next week we have a great group of volunteers. However, the schedule for the last two weeks in January is completely blank. Please signup to help. We need you.
Thank you in advance.

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Yiddish is Alive and Well

yiddish3Yiddish rules!  The year 2018 saw some great highlights in the modern history of Yiddish.

Debra Caplan published her excellent study:  Yiddish Empire: the Vilna Troupe, Jewish Theater, and the Art of Itinerancy.

Yiddish theater itself made a huge comeback with the staging of Fiddler on the Roof in an almost universally acclaimed totally Yiddish version. With outstanding actors and a very human approach to the iconic figure of Tevye, this Fiddler could become the classic version.  Just as you didn’t need to be Jewish to love Levy’s Rye, theater goers needed no knowledge of Yiddish to appreciate this Fiddler. Supertitles helped, but the acting carried the show with which so many people are already familiar. (See: Tradition or Traditsye, Aug 1, 2018) Continue reading