Meet the New Members of the Board of Trustees

Yasher koach to the 2019-20 Board of Trustees.  Special thanks to outgoing board members  Fern Heinig & Lynne Kurzweil.  Replacing them are Audrey Levitin and Romy Rost.

image001Romy Rost, Trustee (term expiring 2023)

I’m truly excited to join the Board and work together to continue to grow our Jewish community at Shomrei. Seeing my daughter’s joy being in the preschool here has inspired me to get more involved and hopefully bring skills and experience that will help Shomrei flourish, especially in these unique times. Our youngest daughter will soon join the preschool and I have no doubt that together they will discover their Jewish identity in this very nurturing environment. As a career and leadership coach, I love the practice of personal development and therefore am always encouraging myself and others to strive for ‘better’! I look forward to doing that with all of you, too.

DSC_0572-Edit-3Audrey Levitin, Trustee (term expiring 2022) & Co-Chairperson, Social Action Committee

I am so happy to be a Trustee on Shomrei’s board and look forward to serving the community in this new way. I love all things Shomrei.  I come to services regularly, participate in Torah Study and one of my favorite things in life is to be with the community and enjoy kiddush on Shabbat. (A shout-out to Aileen and Beryl.)  I am also the Co-Chair of the Social Action Committee with Sarita Eisenberg.  My husband Nick is a past President and my children Josh and Nina are part of the Shomrei family. Shomrei is quite simply my home away from home.

Tributes to Vivien Lichter

VivOn Sunday, April 19,  there was a touching memorial for Vivien Lichter. Many of the speakers at the service were Shomrei people – Rabbi Greenstein, Toby Stein, Aileen Grossberg, Dale Russakoff and me [Shirley Grill] – and our stories were about Viv and Shomrei…It felt like a story of Shomrei as well as Vivien.

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Shomrei’s Younger Generation Rises to the Coronavirus Challenge

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Last Friday, I had an alarming call from a member of Shomrei. Between bone-rattling coughs, she told me that both she and her partner had Covid 19 and were quarantined in their home. Both over 60, they desperately needed groceries and didn’t know whom to call since all of their friends are in the age group vulnerable to the Coronavirus. (The couple requested that their names be withheld.)

As coordinator of the Mensch Squad, I was braced for such calls to come eventually, but this was our first, and I warily reflected on the demographics of our squad – most of us tilt toward the same vulnerable age group as the couple who needed our help. Indeed, some of our more faithful members are in their 90s. Continue reading

In Memory of Carol Cathey

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I have met many people as a member of Shomrei Emunah, and all of them have taught me so much about their lives, about myself, and about our space in the world.

I first noticed Carol Cathey from a distance.  She came regularly to Shabbat morning services, and I was struck by how outgoing she was, how stylishly and yet comfortably she dressed, and how easily she navigated the synagogue with her walker. Continue reading

Honoring Shomrei Stars!

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Each year Shomrei honors one or more members for their commitment and volunteerism in support of our community. I am excited to announce that this year we are honoring a quintet of talented and dedicated individuals (as pictured L-R): Carol Katzman, Allison Task, Margot Laksin, John Lasiter and Adrienne Shulman Lasiter

Here’s what you need to know: 

  • First, SAVE-THE-DATE and come to a Shomrei bash in their honor on Saturday night, February 29th. (Invitation to follow.)

  • Second, HONOR OUR HONOREES by expressing your gratitude in this year’s community directory (Ad Journal).  (More information on how to do so below.)

Now let me share a little about our honorees’ impact on Shomrei…

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Nutley Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

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Rabbi David Greenstein, members of Shomrei’s Park St. Band and some Shomrei congregants attended the Nutley Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Monday at Vincent United Methodist Church. Photos courtesy Vincent United Methodist Church.

Rabbi Greensteen’s Thanksgiving Speech:

“How good and pleasant it is for all of us to be here together!” (Ps. 133:1)

Shalom – Peace – Welcome!

My name is David Greenstein. I serve as Rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Montclair and, over the years, it has been so good and pleasant for me to join with my holy sisters and brothers, the clergy and with Mayor Scarpelli and the leaders of the Nutley community, and with all of you to celebrate this beautiful holiday, conceived and brought forth in this great nation – ever new and ever challenged to continue to grow and renew itself.

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The Gift of Hinei Mah Tov

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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.”

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A Day to Celebrate

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No matter where you are on the political spectrum, July 4 is a holiday to both celebrate and even revere: celebrate for the present and revere for the promise which the holiday represents.

As Jews, we should hold the promise of Independence Day in special reverence. While Jews were not always treated equally in the colonies and the nascent nation, they were usually treated better than in the lands from which they came.

The streets may not have been paved with gold- as some rumors promised- but they were more often paved than not.
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Innocence Project – How You Can Help

1156Last Shabbat I had the privilege to make a presentation through the @nourish series about the Innocence Project.,  I was joined by two extraordinary men, Rodney Roberts and Huwe Burton both of whom spent years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit  Thanks so much to all who took part.

Some of you asked how you can help. Continue reading