Letter from Shomrei President Miriam Haimes – High Holiday Update

IMG_0397To Our Shomrei Community,

As summer nears an end and we start to see signs of fall, I wanted to reach out to you and update you on our plans for High Holidays 5781.

What do the holidays hold in store for us? In July, Rabbi Greenstein and I wrote to tell you that we made the difficult decision to not have in person services and that we would spend the summer creating a memorable holiday experience that would include the entire community rather than just a few that could be accommodated in the social hall or sanctuary.  We promised a series of programs for adults and children of various ages to be experienced not only on the holiday but in the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah and during the Days of Awe.  We also told you that we would be reaching out for your participation.

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Greetings from Miriam Korn Haimes – New President of Shomrei

IMG_0397Hello! I wanted to introduce myself to those who don’t know me and to say hello again to those who do. When Shirley Grill, representing the Nominating Committee, called me in mid-December to ask if I would consider becoming President of Congregation Shomrei Emunah I was in the middle of volunteering at an event. My first reaction was “why me” but that I needed some time to think about it. Afterall, I had just retired from a 40+ year career in finance and banking and I was already busy volunteering and travelling. My husband David had retired a few years earlier from a career in Restaurant Equipment and there are still many items in our synagogue kitchen that he donated when he was working. So here we were, both retired and both amazingly engaged in so many activities that we never made the time for before. So why now?

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Please Take Our High Holiday Survey

Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on June 23rd

Sara Ann Erichson

To the Shomrei community,

In this time of uncertainty and challenges, we at Shomrei have begun to plan for the fall High Holidays with the understanding that many of our usual offerings and practices may not be advisable this year given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As we make our plans, we turn to you, our community, to understand what the High Holidays mean to each one of us. We therefore ask that you fill out a short survey to provide input that will play an important role in our planning.

While we expect that holding traditional services will not be possible this year, we look forward with curiosity and enthusiasm about the opportunities the current situation has created for us. Regardless of the form that our High Holidays might take, how might we collectively experience gathering, renewal, and return during the Days of Awe?

Here is the link to the survey: http://shomrei.org/survey

We ask that you respond by June 30 so that we can incorporate your feedback into our plans.

Thank you!

Sara Ann Erichson

Caring for each other

Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation Friday, April 3rd
Sara Ann ErichsonDear Friends,

As Shabbat is soon upon us, I am reaching out to say “hi” and to let you know that the Shomrei leadership and staff continue to be focused on meeting the emotional and physical needs of our community during this difficult and unprecedented time. I hope this note finds you healthy and staying safe.

Many of you have reached out asking if there is anything you can do for our community. I am writing with two opportunities:

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Shomrei Update re COVID-19

Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation earlier this afternoon (March 12, 2020)
Sara Ann ErichsonDear Friends,
At Shomrei we are constantly monitoring the changing situation with regard to the coronavirus and are taking new steps, as a precautionary matter, with regard to activities here at the synagogue. The purpose of this email is to share with you the latest decisions that we have made.

All events at Shomrei are cancelled this weekend including Shabbat services and JLC (as well as tonight’s Zohar class). These next few days will allow us to continue to track developments and make the best decisions for moving forward. We will communicate again before then.

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Honoring Shomrei Stars!


Each year Shomrei honors one or more members for their commitment and volunteerism in support of our community. I am excited to announce that this year we are honoring a quintet of talented and dedicated individuals (as pictured L-R): Carol Katzman, Allison Task, Margot Laksin, John Lasiter and Adrienne Shulman Lasiter

Here’s what you need to know: 

  • First, SAVE-THE-DATE and come to a Shomrei bash in their honor on Saturday night, February 29th. (Invitation to follow.)

  • Second, HONOR OUR HONOREES by expressing your gratitude in this year’s community directory (Ad Journal).  (More information on how to do so below.)

Now let me share a little about our honorees’ impact on Shomrei…

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Shomrei Joins Montclair Sanctuary Alliance

Board at WorkDear Friends,

I am writing to share that on December 9th, the Shomrei Board of Trustees voted to join the Montclair Sanctuary Alliance. By doing so, we add our name to a growing list of houses of worship in Montclair who have combined their voices in support of undocumented immigrants residing in our midst.

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Building a “Singing Community” at Shomrei

joey weisenberg
Two weeks ago, Shomrei experienced a very special Shabbat – one, that for many of us, felt transformative. Aided by our musical scholar-in-residence, Joey Weinsenberg, we engaged in services – whether it be by humming a nigun (a wordless melody) or chanting a prayer – with a stronger sense of freedom to sing and to express ourselves.  Our collective voices filled the sanctuary as one.
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