The Little Minyan That Could

“The Little Minyan That Could” is celebrating its tenth anniversary this November.  It started when my father, Mike Leventer, passed away and I wanted to say kaddish in the  comfort of my own home with the support of the Shomrei community.  Never did I imagine that ten years later, we would still be meeting in our living-room, davening Maariv through the seasons and sharing life’s experiences with  each other on the first Wednesday of each month.

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Photo Gallery: A Beautiful Night at Shomrei

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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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Wednesday Evening Minyan Returns After Summer Break

The Wednesday Evening Minyan has been a Shomrei tradition since 2008. It began after my father, Mike Leventer, passed away and I wanted to say Kaddish in the comfort of my home and community. Shomrei came through for me nine years ago and we have sustained the minyan ever since.

How does the service work? We daven the short evening service in Hebrew and English. If you are observing a Yahrtzeit or saying Kaddish during a year of mourning, we support you. We sing a “Mishabayrach” for family and friends who are ill. We gather together for 20 minutes of tranquility and gratitude in an otherwise hectic week. Continue reading

The Three Weeks

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The period in the Jewish calendar between the 17th day of Tammuz and the 9th of Av is called “The Three Weeks” or “Between the Straits – Beyn ha-m’tzarim.”

This is the period between two days of catastrophe in Jewish history. Among other incidents, the main tragedies were those related to the destruction of the Temples of old. The Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE finally succeeded in breaking through the walls on the 17th of Tammuz. That day was declared a fast day. Continue reading

We Were All Refugees

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The story of Passover is a story Jewish refugees.  HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) has put together a downloadable 2017 Haggadah supplement which brings home the parallels at this special time of the year.

Hat-Tip to Meredith Lopez, Shomrei Emunah Refugee Committee

Throughout our history, violence and persecution have driven the Jewish people to wander in search of a safe place to call home. We are a refugee people. At the Passover Seder, we gather to retell the story of our original wandering and the freedom we found. But we do not just retell the story. We are commanded to imagine ourselves as though we, personally, went forth from Egypt – to imagine the experience of being victimized because of who we are, of being enslaved, and of being freed. Continue reading

Minyan at Home

A short, intimate service (Ma’ariv, evening service) held midweek on Wednesday evening in the informal atmosphere of a member’s home.

Please join us and invite your friends and neighbors to come along.

On the first Wednesday of each month, the minyan at home service is held at the home of Merrill & Andy Silver.  We’d like to schedule additional weeks for the minyan at home service.  Please contact Marge in the office (email hidden; JavaScript is required or call 973-746-5013 #1) if you would like to host a minyan in your home.

To find the next minyan at home service, check the Shomrei Services Calendar

Services for Everyone

Shomrei offers a variety of religious services, and we encourage you to seek out those that appeal to you. Our services involve a spirited and engaging mode of worship, traditional in liturgy, fully egalitarian, embracing songs and melodies from a range of sources and backgrounds, and highly democratic: shul members participate at every step, often leading the way. Through practice and study we strive to experience ritual as accessible, meaningful and enriching.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Kabbalat Shabbat service, 6:30 pm
Put aside the pressures of the work week and usher in Shabbat like with this song-filled service led by Rabbi Greenstein.

Taste of Shabbat, 6:00 or 6:30 pm, Hosted by a Shomrei member in their home or in the Youth Activity Center (YAC)
Taste of ShabbatTaste of Shabbat combines our Kabbalat Shabbat service with a potluck dairy and vegetarian supper. It’s a fantastic, cross-generational and family-friendly opportunity to schmooze with friends, meet new members of the synagogue, welcome the Sabbath and enjoy a bounty of good food.
Oct 2, Dec 11, Additional dates to be announced Continue reading

Mah Hadash (What’s New)?

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There are so many new things this time of year. The school year begins, the kids are in new grades with new teachers, new classmates and new experiences. Rosh Hashana, our New Year, gives us pause to reflect on the past and jump into the new.

On the one hand, as a parent of three school-age children and a baby, the beginning of the year causes me some anxiety… do we have the right school supplies, shoes that fit, clothing that is deemed fashionable (by my kids), can we get back into a routine, do I really have to make lunches and pack backpacks and how challenging will getting up and ready for work and getting the kids out the door be?!

On the other hand, as an educator, I relish the new opportunities to create, engage and inspire our students and teachers. Continue reading