Purim Celebration at Shomrei

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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

Big in Sound and Joy – The Simcha Band!


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.

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Musicians ages 10-110 wanted!


It is difficult to believe that Purim is just around the corner. The Megillah reading will be WEDNESDAY EVENING 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).
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The Joy of the Chanukah Simcha Band


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

Photo Gallery: A Beautiful Night at Shomrei


A Beautiful Shomrei Chanukah Celebration!

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.

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Exploration: JLC Grades 5th-7th

IMG_1913 (1)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

STOM – Untying the Knot

Old metal box for donations in a Jewish synagogue

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.

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A New Year of Learning

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Dear Parents of K-1 JLC students,

Shana Tova! Happy New Year and Chag Sukkot Sameach! I’m excited to have the new year of learning start and to get to know your children. We had two wonderful classes so far, and I am looking forward to spending time getting to know you and your children at Shomrei this year. Continue reading

A Terrific Start for JLC!

JLC Staff

The buzz for JLC this year is tremendous! We welcomed the new school year with a fresh new teaching staff, filled with experienced teachers who embrace our student-directed and experiential style of learning. As a result, all three of our JLC classrooms are filled with students eagerly working around the classroom on Hebrew and Judaic curriculum that engages the senses and entices students to learn using a variety of methods that are creative, fun, and modern. Continue reading