As the Nights Grow Longer: Good Books with Cookie Chaser

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As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we will be inside more than ever. Tear your eyes away from the screen and pick up a real book. Most libraries are open for limited in-person visits or at the very least, offer pick-up service.

The synagogue library will pull books for you and leave them in the office. The library is also open for browsing. Please wear your mask, sanitize your hands and put books in the designated basket. Continue reading

October Things to Do

oct 14 Ruth WisseLooking for some ways to fill your time? Here are a few suggestions.

Ruth Wisse, Martin Peretz professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature emerita at Harvard has a series of podcasts and webinars produced by the Tikvah Fund. While you may or may not agree with the organization’s politics, Professor Wisse’s lectures are well worth listening to.  Continue reading

It’s Never Too Late

OSC Sept still watersAt this time of year with the month of Elul behind us and Tishri on its way out,  I often think of my own mortality and relationships that have flourished, struggled or withered away.

My uncle Robert, the last of my father’s generation recently passed away at aged 97. A few months before his death, in January on Shabbat Vayigash he gave a d’var Torah in his synagogue. He linked  the story of Joseph’s revelation of his identity to his brothers and their reconciliation to the longstanding rift between him and one of his daughters. He asked for his daughter’s forgiveness- no discussion, no arguments, no recriminations or explanations. Continue reading

RBG: A Tribute

RBG funeral

On Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah evening when we heard of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, cries of “Oh, No!” rose from the Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah table. We had just moments before been discussing her role in keeping some balance on the Supreme Court and her qualities of maintaining friendships even with those whom she often did not agree.  Continue reading

Additional Things to Make and Do


Return overdue library books to Shomrei or Aileen’s front porch (no mask needed). Just place the books preferably in a plastic bag into the marked box on the front porch. 204 Park Street, just a couple of minutes up from Shomrei.

Marcia Falk’s  Days Between  looks at liturgy from a feminist point of view, breaking new ground with poems, prayers and meditations. On September 23 from 3-4, this well-known poet will lead you into the season in this session presented by the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. Click here for the link to register. Continue reading

A Few More Things to Do

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Help us clean up the library’s records and recover over 100 overdue books. Elul is a perfect time to clear your book conscience.  To simplify the process –  drop books off on my front porch (there will be a labeled container) when you stop at Shomrei to pick up your holiday bag: 204 Park Street (map) just a couple of blocks up the street from Shomrei.  Continue reading

Still More Things to Do

Here is the latest in the biweekly online- and increasingly- in person things to do. This is only the tip of the virtual iceberg.

Looking for a place to go before school starts?

stormkingStorm King, in Mountainville, NY about an hour north, is another indoor/outdoor sculpture experience although none of the indoor facilities are currently open.  Established in 1960,  the 500 acre site  is made for wandering and picnicking. The Woodbury Commons Shopping Center , south of Storm King, has over 250 vendors of all sorts.   Continue reading

More Things to Do

montclair orchestra

There are so many things to do these days that there’s no excuse to be bored. Organizations, educational institutions at every level, entertainment venues and cultural groups have all risen to the occasion. They do not want to be forgotten.

Granted , most are not face to face. But in these days, we must rely on our imaginations. Perhaps get together with trusted family or friends to share some of these online experiences.

Continue reading

Things to Do


The library can be a treasure trove of information and entertainment, whimsical and useful, frivolous and serious.

I’d like to share with you a variety of items to help you fill any extra time you or your family might have. Continue reading