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


On the first Wednesday of each month, Minyan at Home is held at the home of Merrill & Andy Silver. During our beautiful and brief Ma’ariv (evening service), we will daven in both Hebrew and English. The service includes the Mourner’s Kaddish. It’s a nice, social, meaningful way to conclude the day.

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

For address contact:

Lisa Zelenetz, Synagogue Administrator
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(973) 746-5031

To find the next minyan at home service, check the Shomrei 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.


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)?

JLC teachers meeting 2015 sept

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

Hinei Mah Tov Reenergized!

Allison Fishman Task (and assistants) will Chair Hinei Mah Tov programming.

This summer, we have made two significant changes toward a new and reenergized Hinei Mah Tov (HMT) service for the coming year.

I am excited to announce that congregant Allison Fishman Task has volunteered to chair the HMT Committee and will work with me and our HMT families to continue to develop the nachas (gratification), simcha (spirit) and ruach (joy) of HMT services. Please be in touch with Allison (email hidden; JavaScript is required) if you would like to help her develop, plan or host any upcoming HMT services.

Another exciting development: this summer we hired guitarist Mitch Radler as our song leader and JLC music teacher.

Continue reading

High Holy Day Services Open to Guests and Non-Members, No Charge. (but please RSVP)


Ad which will run in the Montclair Times and online.

Shomrei’s High Holy Day services are open to anyone.  There is no charge but space is limited, please RSVP (if you are not a member) at Childcare services are also available.

Schedule Highlights:
Sun, Sep 13, Erev Rosh Hashanah, 6:30 pm
Mon, Sep 14, Rosh Hashanah, Day 1, 8:45 am
Tue, Sep 15, Rosh Hashanah, Day 2, 8:45 am
Tue, Sep 22, Kol Nidre, 6:20 pm
Wed, Sep 23, Yom Kippur, 9:00 am

A full service schedule is also available.

These are the days when all doors are open: the doors of prayer, song, meditation and silent introspection, of family, friendship and solitude, of exploration, seeking and of solace, of joy, pride and humility and awe, of acceptance and forgiveness and love. Continue reading

Selling Hametz

breads_2If possible, all hametz – food not acceptable during Pesah (Passover), or materials containing such unacceptable food – should be destroyed or given away before the holiday begins.

Should this be impossible, the hametz may be stored in such a way that we are sure not to use it during the holiday and its actual ownership, and the ownership of the space in which it is stored, is transferred to a non-Jew until the holiday ends.

Continue reading