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

Robert Bielsky Speaks About Widespread Jewish Resistance


Bruce and I attended the Yom HaShoah Commemoration of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest and Kean University Holocaust Research Center on April 11th, featuring Robert Bielsky as Speaker.

Director of the Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest, Barbara Wind, said Jews did not go to slaughter quietly during the Holocaust. Between 1941 and 1943, underground resistance movements developed in approximately 100 ghettos in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe (about one-fourth of all ghettos), especially in Poland, Lithuania, Belorussia, and the Ukraine. Their main goals were to organize uprisings, break out of the ghettos, and join partisan units in the fight against the Nazis. There was widespread resistance by fighting and killing Nazis, Jews risking their lives to save other Jews, escaping from killing fields, ghettos and slave labor camps, keeping the Jewish religion alive and fighting with the Partisans in the forest. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising lasted more than a month before the Germans overcame the Ghetto. That is longer than France or Belgium held up against the Germans before surrendering. Continue reading

Operation Anthropoid

Operation Anthropoid Memorial, Prague

Operation Anthropoid Memorial, Prague

My new commute is to Prague. Some people commute to Manhattan; my commute is overseas. My business trips are usually two weeks, although there are times I am living in a city for a month. The great thing for me, living in an international city, is that I have the opportunity to develop friendships with local colleagues and learn about the culture and the history from their perspective. Continue reading

The Other King and Queen of Purim!

Copy of IMG_9774

Purim is a family enterprise in the Breslin Household.  For the last 3 years Nancy Breslin has been the organizer behind the Purim Carnival and for the last 2 years Charlie has taken on the daunting task of organizing the Shalach Manot JLC fundraiser.

The carnival is a mammoth undertaking. There is a myriad of logistics to stress over — organizing games, arranging rentals of bouncy houses and photo trucks, ordering hundreds of prizes, schlepping 40 boxes of pizza and a car full of other goodies from Costco, just to name a few. Also there’s enlisting the help of and organizing scores of other volunteers.

And Nancy juggled all the balls without dropping any!

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Florida Shooting Moment of Silence at Shomrei


This Last Sunday, Feb 25, about 25 Shomrei congregants observed a 6 minute moment of silence in memory of the murdered victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida.  The observance was at 2:19pm, the time the shooting began and the 6 minutes of silence reflected the duration of the shooting.

17 candles were lit in memory of the 17 victims and a small banner was placed nearby which read “Do not stand by when you neighbor’s blood is shed.”  (Lev. 19:16)

Rabbi David Greenstein read psalm 20, and reminded those gathered that psalms and prayers are not enough.
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Visit To Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

Bruce Baff

I had actually been thinking about visiting Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland for at least 3-4 days, especially when learning it was only twenty minutes, give or take, from the condo we are renting here in Coconut Creek. Fact is, Natalie and I were following each day’s developments quite closely ever since the fateful Wednesday, February 14. Continue reading




We owe a lot of people our thanks!  It’s literally been a flurry of activity at Shomrei since the pipe burst and the flood ensued.  Once the initial crisis is over, the hard work begins — the restoration. So many volunteers and staff have stepped-up to meet this crisis on our behalf, it’s a good time to recognize some of them and express our gratitude! Continue reading

Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group — A Renewed Call for Engagement

Refugees welcome

In March of 2017, a group of 30 Shomrei congregants met to explore ways we could be of assistance to refugees in the local area.  Our concerns at the time included how to find those families with needs and what our capacity was to provide help.

In the last 10 months, we have, in fact, provided vital assistance to five families, which include a total of 21 people. Our interactions with the families have taken a variety of forms, including:

  • Providing families with much-needed winter clothes, household furniture, and kitchen supplies (We have a current list of needs online)
  • Helping one family get library cards
  • Helping one family discover neighborhood recreational facilities
  • Finding a neighborhood preschool program for one child
  • Sharing a sumptuous lunch in one family’s apartment
  • Inviting the families to Shomrei’s Sukkot Syria Supper Club dinner and Hanukkah party
  • Inviting one family to a member’s house for a Thanksgiving dinner
  • Sending cards to one family marking the birth of a child; sending cards to the same family with condolences on the death of a parent in Syria

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