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.
As you know, Rabbi Greenstein will be away from Shomrei from January 1st through May 31st of this upcoming year. He has been awarded the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University.
For much of this year, a Rabbi Sabbatical Committee, led by Shomrei members Geoff Sadow and Dan Winter, have been working to ensure that our congregation will operate smoothly during our rabbi’s absence. This includes the hiring of guest rabbis to join us for many Shabbatot and to provide rabbinic coverage. This also includes the scheduling of academic and musical scholars-in-residence who will bring to Shomrei some exciting programs.
We owe a lot of people our thanks! It’s literally been a flurry of activity at Shomrei since the pipe burst and the flood ensued. Once the initial crisis is over, the hard work begins — the restoration. So many volunteers and staff have stepped-up to meet this crisis on our behalf, it’s a good time to recognize some of them and express our gratitude! Continue reading →