Shomrei Emunah was bursting with happiness and fun as we welcomed Hanukkah a little early this year. The Hanukkah Band, performing for the 9th year in a row, outdid itself. So many musicians ages 7-75+ and such good music! Not only are we multi-generational, but we had two families of musicians that were multi-generational. French horn player (and
shofar blower extraorinaire) Elana was joined by her son, Natan on violin. Merrill’s son, Dan, came from NYC to play tenor sax with his mother at the piano.
One of the greatest gifts I was given when I came to the Shomrei community over three years ago was the opportunity to lead our family service, Hinei Mah Tov. Befitting the name of the service, we always open with the song “Hinei Mah Tov,” a song that is known by many melodies but lyrically highlights the importance of being together with our brothers and sisters; the version that we open with says, “How good it is, how sweet it is, to be with my sisters and brothers/ How good it is, how sweet it is in peace with one another.”
My favorite Jewish holiday is Sukkot. Or is it Passover? After
celebrating Purim tonight with our Shomrei community, my new favorite
holiday has to be Purim. The spirit, the crowd, the young people, the
not-so-young people, Lily leading us with such “ruach” and teaching us
new melodies, Lily directing the JLC acting troupe with her original
shpiel, Debra Caplan accompanying these incredibly talented singers and
actors at the piano, the overflowing bags of Mishloach Manot, and of
course, the 9th Annual Purim Simcha Band all contributed to a most
joyous Purim. Continue reading →
We may have been small in number but we were big in sound and joy. Just ask the audience who sang, danced and clapped to the rhythm of all the melodies.
Special thanks to Conductor Mark Weinstein, and band members: Elliot Lasiter, Jerilyn Margulies, Mike Tizhgarten, Howie Erichson, Andy Silikovitz, and Merrill Silver. Joining the band for the first time were Collin Brooks and Nathan Pendola. We look forward to watching Collin (electric guitar) and Nathan (drums) grow up with the band. We welcome and thank Dan Silver who came from NYC to make music with us.
Seven years ago we needed a name for our newly formed band. “The Shomrei Emunah Multi-Generational Band” was too long. The Chanuka or Purim Band? Too dry! THE SIMCHA BAND! Yes, the Chanuka Simcha Band; the Purim Simcha Band. We have lived up to this name ever since. Continue reading →
It is difficult to believe that Purim is just around the corner. The Megillah reading will be WEDNESDAYEVENING FEBRUARY 28 which means the Chanuka Simcha Band morphs into the PURIM SIMCHA BAND that evening.
We are scheduling one rehearsal on SUNDAY FEB. 11 beginning at 10:00 and ending at approximately 11:00. If we need a second rehearsal (due to snow, building problems, sickness, or just because we really need more practice), we will meet again on SUNDAY FEB. 25 at 10-11:00. (We are keeping the holiday weekend free – NO rehearsal Presidents’ weekend). Continue reading →
Eighteen hours after the Simcha Band played at Shomrei’s annual Chanuka party I was sitting poolside in St. Petersburg, Florida. Did I hear Christmas music everywhere? Not me! I continued to hear the eleven Chanuka songs and Israeli folk songs we played the night before. The joy of the band, the SIZE of the band and our professionalism continues to sustain me through the last day and night of the holiday. Continue reading →
I look forward to our Shomrei Chanukah Celebration every year. While it is easy to love the beautiful music of the Simcha Band (Thank you Merrill Silver and Mark Weinstein!), the delicious food (lovingly prepared by master chefs John Lasiter, Leon Berman, Fern Heinig, Charlie Breslin, Adam Dembrow, Aaron Task, Kate Breslin, Alan Breslin, and Yechiel Felder), and the fun crafts (have you ever tried an edible dreidel?), my favorite moment each year occurs in the sanctuary.
The holidays are behind us, fall is in the air, and the 5th-7th grade JLC students have been exploring a variety of different subjects. From acting out scenes from the weekly Torah portion, to making Israeli salad and hummus, to painting Kiddush cups, to helping each other learn the prayers from Shabbat morning services, it has been so exciting to see their creativity and learning. Continue reading →
Tzedakah and acts of kindness are the equivalent of all the mitzvot of the Torah” – Jerusalem Talmud, Pe’ah1:1. Over the next year STOM, Shomrei Teens of Montclair, will have the opportunity to create their own organization from start to finish. We will name our organization, write a mission statement, choose where our money will go and decide just how we are going to raise that money or how we will become change makers.