During the pandemic, many citizens have lost their jobs, have had their work hours cut, and have found that the limited resources they had no longer suffice. In times like these, it is fortunate that Montclair has caring institutions to support people until the national economic crisis improves.
At Shomrei, we have been concerned about the ever-expanding food insecurity in our town. One of our ongoing efforts has been our work in providing weekly dinners for people through MESH.
The Shomrei Social Action Committee created a subcommittee during Summer 2020 that would focus on food insecurity. One of our first initiatives was to connect with the Human Needs Food Pantry to collaborate on their annual Thanksgiving collection. Continue reading
Dear MESH Supporters,
Even though it’s been over seven months since we’ve been able to welcome guests to the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei, Shomrei has continued to do the mitzvah of providing meals to food insecure members of our community. Through the generosity of numerous congregants, we have been able to fund 40 takeaway meals from Villa Victoria Restaurant on Park Street in Montclair, every Tuesday in May through June and resuming again in September.
Villa Victoria is a convenient location to reach and, according to Dr. Gwen Ames, Executive Director of MESH, our guests LOVE the food they receive. The guests in the photos agreed to have their pictures in Shomreiweek because they want to show us their appreciation.
If you would like to contribute to Shomrei’s MESH fund to ensure that we can continue to do this vital mitzvah, donations are always welcome.
To make a donation to MESH, go to: shomrei.org/donate
Lynne and Aileen
The Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) is a cooperative effort between the MESH organization and local synagogues and churches. While in-person service has been discontinued, donations from each institution are being used to provide hearty, nutritious meals for the hungry. Shomrei’s turn is on Tuesday nights. Please help fulfill this crucial mitzvah by making a donation at: shomrei.org/donate.
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.
Romy 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.
Audrey 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.
The 2020 Annual Meeting of Congregation Shomrei Emunah occurred on Monday, June 22, 2020. Members voted on a number of items including the budget and election of new members of the Board of Trustees.
Results of the meeting:
- 2019 annual meeting minutes were approved as submitted.
- Audrey Levitin and Romy Rost were elected to the Board of Trustees and Miriam Haimes was elected as President.
- Special thanks to outgoing board members Fern Heinig & Lynne Kurzweil.
- The 2020-21 budget was approved as submitted.
2020 Shomrei Annual Meeting Package which includes reports from outgoing President Sara Ann Erichson and Director of Education, Heather Brown.
On Tuesday evening, 4/7/20, Shomrei’s MESH Cafe funded 40 takeaway meals from Villa Victoria Restaurant on Park St in Montclair. MESH Guests line up one by one in compliance with social distancing and are given a salad, 2 slices of pizza with protein and a beverage.
According to MESH Executive Director, Dr. Gwen Ames, our guests love this meal. If less than 40 guests show up, MESH staff distribute the remainder of the meals at the Bay Street train station where homeless often congregate. Mr Joe Tyson, MESH security personnel, told me that MESH is distributing masks to help the guests protect themselves from exposure to the virus.
Yesterday Aileen and I met at Shomrei and, while standing six feet apart, we prepared takeaway meals for our MESH guests. The meal consisted of a hearty homemade tuna salad sandwich on a hard roll with sliced tomato and shredded lettuce. Semi-homemade cole slaw, a pickle and fresh fruit salad. Courtesy of leftover Purim goodies, we included chips, hamantaschen, a water bottle and a nutrition bar. We prepared 30 bags that MESH staffers, Joe and Ref, passed out to the 20 guests who showed up. Joe told us that he and Ref would then travel to the usual hangouts where the homeless go and distribute the remainder of the meals.
From Captain Aileen Grossberg:
It was a balmy evening with a hint of showers as a full contingent of guests dined at the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei.
The night’s meal was preceded, however, by earnest discussion as to how best to be welcoming to our guests and, at the same time, keep Shomrei safe in the growing health crisis. After some input from the MESH administration, we at Shomrei decided to be proactive and as of next week will be serving only takeaway meals to our MESH guests.
From Captain Lynne Kurzweil:
Last Tuesday night we welcomed a full house of 24 grateful guests to the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei. We also provided 5 takeaway meals. Chef Arden Epstein whipped up a delicious, gourmet, totally from scratch meal assisted by her able sous chef, Zaniah.
From Captain Stuart Green:
Last night, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei played host to 25 appreciative guests. With Tu Bishvat having been celebrated the day before, our meal reflected the tradition of eating fruits and nuts generally, and the seven species mentioned in the Torah specifically: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.
From Captain Shirley Grill
A rainy night was brightened with a nutritious and innovate meal created by Chef Lynne Kurzweil! We had 24 guests on site and an additional three take away meals.