Shomrei Assisting a Sixth Family

Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group, August 10 Update

bcadccofhmbaakjj

Here are the important announcements for this week:

We are excited to announce that we are now assisting a sixth family in Elizabeth!  Our summer camp fundraising resulted in 8 children attending two-week sessions at the YMCAs in Wayne and Elizabeth. We are collecting school supplies for the families we are assisting. On Sept 30, we will be hosting a luncheon in the Sukkah catered by Syrian refugee families.

Continue reading

Pre-Holiday Reading

shofar1We are now in the month of Elul, leading up to the Jewish spiritual New Year. Elul is traditionally a month for introspection culminating a few weeks later on Yom Kippur.

To help you get in the mood of the upcoming holidays and gain some insights, The editors of the Jewish Review of Books have selected 10 previously-published articles that follow the arc of the fall holidays, from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to Sukkot and Simchat Torah, and created a High Holiday Companion ebook.

Continue reading

We’re Back! Lampert Library is Open.

shelving8After months of anticipation and mounds of boxes waiting to be unpacked, the Lampert Library is again ready for operation.

Thanks to a hard working crew of volunteers, almost all the books were put back on the shelves in a week’s time.  There’s still some adjusting to be done but our library looks like a library again.

 

 

Here’s what it looked like as numerous volunteers- including some who were camera shy- sorted and shelved:

shelving 1shelving 2shelving 4shelving 3shelving6shelving5shelving7

Summer Camp Fundraiser a Huge Success!

Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group, July 31 Update
bmefgpfcomhplpffefjaedcdhafolamh
We have a number of important items this week:

  • Our fundraising to help send local refugee children to summer day camp has been a major success!  Including the very generous matching grant provided by one of our member-families, we have raised a total of $2,866 so far.  The funds are being used to send seven children from two families in Paterson to the Wayne Y and to send one child from the families that we are supporting in Elizabeth to the Y camp in Union.  All of the children will be enjoying two weeks of day camp thanks to our group’s fundraising efforts.  (See photos of Kresten, below, waiting for her first day of camp to start yesterday.)  Any funds in excess of those needed for camp will be used for the general welfare of the refugee families.

Continue reading

Summertime and the Cooking is Easy

summertimesummertime2summertime3

Summertime is perfect for cool food especially when the temperature soars as it has these last few days.

So we’ll start our meal with a cool soup. As they say…”cool as a cucumber.”

Technically gazpacho is a Spanish-style soup made from tomatoes and other vegetables and spices, served cold. But today all kinds of cold vegetable soups are called gazpacho. Continue reading

Making a Difference

Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group, July 19 Update

refugee_committee_lg2

Three important updates since last week:

Good News #1: One of our member-families has offered to match — DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR — the first $1,500 that is donated to our campaign to help send recently resettled refugee children to summer camp!  So, we now need to raise only $1,500 to meet our goal of $3,000!  The funds will be used to send refugee children to summer camp at the Wayne Y and Elizabeth Y in August for one or two weeks (depending on the total funds that we raise) .

If you can, please contribute.  Any amount would be appreciated.  The camp sessions are just around the corner and we need to make payment to the Y by July 25, so time is of the essence.

Continue reading

Before the Fast

220px-NinthAvStonesWesternWallTishaB’Av, a fast day and day of mourning, occurs Saturday night through Sunday evening. The day marks great tragedies for the Jewish people. The destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem, the beginning of the First Crusade, the expulsion of the Jews from England, the expulsion of the Jews from Iberia and the deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto were among the tragic historic events that took place on that day on the Jewish calendar.

Since one is supposed to abstain from food and drink, various Jewish cultures have come up with recipes for the meal before the fast. They are always meatless as the nine days prior to Tisha B’Av are solemn and mournful, marking the period between the breaching of the Temple walls and its actual destruction. Continue reading

Our Trip to Holland: Seeking a Context

IMG_0251

The Anne Frank House conveys the narrative that Holland protected its Jews. To quote the fact checker for the New York Times: this requires context.

Conversos settled in Amsterdam during the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s important to note that Holland was not uniformly welcoming as they were not allowed to settle in other towns and it took a while before they were comfortable living openly as Jews. They also did not know much about being Jewish. Rabbis from other countries – Italy, Morocco, Germany – came over to teach them about Judaism. Ashkenazi Jews came to Amsterdam later and during the 18th century this was the larger of the two communities. Continue reading