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

Jamming With Joey

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I think that I can speak for almost everyone who experienced last weekend’s Musical Scholar Shabbaton in saying it was truly exceptional! The quest to bring Joey Weisenberg to Montclair was five years in the making, and he surely did not disappoint. In fact, if it was possible, he may have exceeded my already lofty expectations.

Some people wondered, why do we need help singing? Shomrei always has been a “singing community” and we integrate music and song into almost all of our services. The way I explain it is that there is a difference between being led in song and teaching people to sing (and pray) together. Having talked to others and seen his videos, there was no doubt in my mind that Joey Weisenberg is a true visionary in this area. As Creative Director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, Joey has become a rock star, working to educate and train communities around the world to unlock their musical-spiritual potential and make music a lasting, joy­-filled force in synagogues and in Jewish life.

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Connecting Through Singing

naz 2“Music helps us listen to each other,” said Joey Weisenberg, our musical Scholar-In-Residence who came to lead our Shabbat services on Fri March 1st. Joey Weisenberg is most recently the Creative Director of Mechon Hadar’s Rising Song Institute which aims to bring more inclusiveness to Jewish prayer and singing across the nation. He is a multi-instrumental musician, singer and composer who works with regular congregants in shuls across the nation in an effort to make music a joy filled experience that can be easily accessed by all.

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Building with Our Voices

SaritaWhat an amazing weekend it was with our guest, Joey Weisenberg. A highlight for me was towards the end of services on Saturday, when Joey invited us to gather round him for Musaf. To make room, we shifted the bima and moved the chairs aside. Envision the people, after moving through the parted Red Sea and gathering on the far bank, singing their praises and gratitude. Now come one step closer, he coaxed us. Now come even one more step closer. And so we stood shoulder to shoulder. Continue reading

An Amazing Start to the Year

Sara Ann ErichsonIt’s been quite a start to the 2019 calendar year at Shomrei and I find myself enveloped by experiences spiritual, educational and social within our community. From learning about the Dead Sea Scrolls from a world-renowned expert to celebrating Nick Levitin at a very special honor night to a transformative experience last Shabbat with our musical scholar-in-residence.  (How great was it to see all the kids playing together after Havdalah!)

I look forward to this week’s Art Mazel soiree and auction; I’m hearing great things about the Purim shpiel (the Lion King!); I can’t wait for the next holiday hikes with Lily; and I’m excitedly watching our new playground go up.

And, throughout all of this, we have members who continue to open their homes for services, who are so very committed to our social action programs, and who share their experiences and expertise as @nourish speakers.  All this and much more at our “little” synagogue.  Our collective experiences continue to be driven by our dedicated professional staff and so many members of our community who feel a passion, dedication and commitment to making Shomrei the place we all want it to be.  Thank you!

See you at shul!

Fondly,
Sara Ann Erichson

Book Club: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The ImmortalistsShomrei Book Club

We all agreed that our February  choice, “Panther in the Basement” was a top notch book, rich in language and the history of pre-State Israel under the British Mandate.

Our next meeting will be on Monday, March 18 at 7:30 pm to discuss “The Immortalists ” by Chloe Benjamin. The story begins on  the Lower East Side in 1969 when a mysterious woman promises she can predict the day of death for her clients.  Four adolescents in the Gold family sneak away to have their futures predicted. The novel probes the link between reality and illusion, destiny and choice, this world and the next, according to the critics.This book was a best seller and Book of the Year on NPR.

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Journey From Song to Solitude

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Now Showing in The Shomrei Gallery: Journey: From Song to Solitude, The Photographs of Shomrei Congregant Nick Levitin

Dear Friends,

I’d like to invite you to an exhibit of my photographs currently on display at Shomrei.

This exhibit, entitled Journey: From Song to Solitude, is a reflection of my own journey with photography. Although, I started taking pictures when I was a young boy, the 70s was when I began in earnest. It was a volatile and dramatic time that offered up dramatic images of the passions of that decade. That is the first part of the exhibit. Over time, I have been drawn to more serene subjects and those make up the second half of this exhibit.

Net proceeds of any photographs sold goes to Shomrei’s Refugee Assistance Group.

The photos are on display in the gallery on the second floor. I do hope you will stop by and take a look.

Thanks,
Nick

 

MESH Report 2/12/2019

MESH 2-12Report from Captain Fern Heinig:

It was an icy night but the Carol Starr MESH Cafe was able to open their doors. It was a concern whether staff and volunteers could make it to Shomrei because of the icy roads but everyone made the gallant effort so our guests would have a dry space and nutritious food to eat.

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