Plans for the Rabbi’s Sabbatical

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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.

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Vigil

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Rabbis Ariann Weitzman, David Greenstein, Marc Katz, and Elliott Tepperman lead 200 members of the religious, political and social Montclair community at B’nai Keshet to mourn the victims of the Tree of Life massacre at a vigil of prayers, song and support, Sat. night, Oct. 27. Photo © Adam Anik

This past Shabbat the worst attack on Jews in American history took place. Many of us were stunned, horrified, angered and grief stricken. What does one do in such a circumstance?

One answer was provided by our rabbi and our community: Congregation Shomrei Emunah co-sponsored a vigil along with congregations Bnai Keshet and Temple Ner Tamid.

Unfortunately, due to the late hour of the email notice that went out to the congregation about the vigil (it could not be sent out earlier because of Shabbat) there were few Shomrei members in attendance. How I wished our congregants could have been there for this special evening – a chance to come together to share our pain and find comfort in one another’s embrace. Having spoken to a number of our congregants, I know many wished they could have attended.

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Turning Strangers into Friends

IMG_2133The biggest reason my family joined Shomrei back in 2015 is because of the community here. So as the crisis in Syria grew,  my husband and I kept asking each other: Should we do something? Adopt a Syrian orphan? Donate some clothes? It seemed obvious that I should email the rabbi. Was Shomrei “doing” anything? Continue reading

Gratitude

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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

“Thank You” at Thanksgiving

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Thanksgiving is a day for thanks although we Jews often give our thank yous at the New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

So I am taking this opportunity to put the THANKS back into Thanksgiving and express my thanks to people involved in activities that I have a stake in.

So thank you to all the volunteers who help to get food on the table for those weekly kiddushes. Even when I am not directly involved, I thank them. Without our volunteers we would have no bountiful weekly spreads and the fellowship that comes with sharing a meal.
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Grape Leaves and Gratitude

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Adults L-R (Tamam, Bara’a and neighbor Abdulrasul). Smiles all around just before lunch prepared by Bara’a.

Judith Antelman, a new member of Shomrei, recently attended her first meeting of Shomrei’s Refugee Assistance Group. The group assists refugees who recently resettled in our area. The following is her response after meeting one of the refugee families.

Grape Leaves and Gratitude

These days, I greet every morning with gratitude. I am grateful for my health and well-being. I am grateful for compassionate family and friends. I am grateful for an abundance of organic, locally grown food. I am grateful for gardens, parks, and running paths in and around Montclair. I am grateful for my new community of friends at Shomrei. And on a crisp Autumn Sunday in November, I found gratitude in the humble home of Bara’a, Tamam, and their three children.

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A Visit with Refugees

The Arabic version of Rosetta Stone Language learning software.

The Arabic version of Rosetta Stone Language learning software.

On a spring Sunday, Andy Silver and I delivered some much-needed clothing and a TV, provided by members of the Shomrei community, to a Syrian refugee family in Elizabeth, NJ. Bara’a and Tammam seemed tired when we arrived. That, of course, is understandable — being a refugee means once again being in a foreign land, not speaking the language and, for the most part, at least for now, being dependent on strangers. In addition, Bara’a and Tammam have two small children and are expecting a third and our visit came in the middle of the daily Ramadan fast! Continue reading

Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group Attends Vigil to Honor Refugees

Shomrei members in photo: Andy, Merrill and Dan Silver, Nick Levitin and Beryl Hiller of Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group.

(L-R):  Merrill,  Dan and Andy Silver, Beryl Hiller of Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group.

On Tuesday, June 6th several Shomrei members attend a vigil in Montclair in support of refugees to the US.  The vigil was held on the anniversary of the date the ship St. Louis full of refugees was turned away from American shores in 1939.

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Update from the Shomrei Refugee Committee

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Editor’s note:  The Refugee Committee is a group of Shomrei congregants concerned and involved with the needs of refugees coming to our area.  Here is a report of some of the activities some of the committee members are engaged with.  If you’d like more information about the Refugee Committee you can join here: shomrei.org/refugee

Dear Friends,

Here is an update on efforts to help refugees and other immigrants in our area:

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