Protesting during COVID

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Generally, attending a protest is not a hard decision for me—find your walking shoes, grab a sign and go.  Yet COVID has made this a wrenching decision—how do you isolate yourself to stop the spread of one disease and step out to stop the ravages of racism and hate.

After 12 weeks of self-imposed quarantine, the protests compelled me to step out.  As I weighed the risks, I saw the risk of very few people showing up as greater than the risk of my getting infected.  And while I know that protests do not change the world overnight, silence kills.

Each one of us must judge our tolerance for risk, this time the risk of remaining silent was greater than the risk of becoming ill.

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Tributes to Vivien Lichter

VivOn Sunday, April 19,  there was a touching memorial for Vivien Lichter. Many of the speakers at the service were Shomrei people – Rabbi Greenstein, Toby Stein, Aileen Grossberg, Dale Russakoff and me [Shirley Grill] – and our stories were about Viv and Shomrei…It felt like a story of Shomrei as well as Vivien.

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MESH Report Mar 31, 2020

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Many thanks to Shirley and David Grill for contributing 30 takeaway meals for our MESH guests this past Tuesday evening.  The bags were prepared by the Watchung Deli and included: 27 Turkey on Rye, 3 Vegetarian Sandwiches, chips, cookies and a water bottle.  The deli delivered the sandwiches to Karen Altman, who included a note in each bag with the menu and a message from Shomrei to stay safe, healthy and to follow social distancing!  Karen brought the meals to the Salvation Army driveway where the MESH Staff removed them from her trunk and distributed them to the MESH guests who were already lined up.  Many thanks to Karen!  Continue reading

It’s Time to Bowl, Bowl, Bowl!

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Dear Friends,

I am writing with an odd request—as a member of HOMECorp’ s board, I have been asked to form a Shomrei bowling team for one of HOMECorp’ s most energetic fundraisers—a BOWL-A-Thon.  It’s a corny and fun event and it raises a good deal of money for the agency. What I need are 6 courageous bowlers who are willing to spend Sunday afternoon, January 26 at Eagle Rock Lanes!  The entry fee is $100 per bowler or $600 per team.  The fee includes shoes and snacks.  And if you can’t bowl, will you be a sponsor?  More details below…and many thanks to all of you! Continue reading

MESH Report 6/25/19

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From CaptainLynne Kurzweil:

We welcomed a full house of 24 guests plus 3 takeaways to our final MESH Cafe of the spring season. We will resume serving in September while our MESH guests can attend cafe at other houses of worship over the summer. Tonight Master Chef Aileen Grossberg prepared a sumptuous feast with the help of Yours Truly, Arden Epstein and young helpers Zaniah and Sarah. Also assisting with plating, serving and clean up were Alex Kent and Rachel Kanter.
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MESH Report 6/18/19

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From Captain Shirley Grill:

It was a stormy, wet night on Tuesday so we invited our MESH guests into Shomrei early to provide sanctuary from the storm! We had a full house with 24 guests and 5 takeaway dinners. The evening was brightened by Chef Arden Epstein’s fare, in colors of red and green…rather spring like! Appetizer was fresh cherries and nuts–can be seen in forefront of the picture; Main Course was Asian Chicken Salad with cashews and mandarin slices; string beans in a mustard dressing and a hot roll; Desert was Strawberries and homemade chocolate bark–yummm! And all the guests received a goodie bag with a power bar and clementine for a late night snack or breakfast!
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MESH Report 5/14/19

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From Captain Shirley Grill:

Tuesday night was a cold and rainy night–not your typical spring evening!  Because of the weather, we let our guests in early rather than have them wait outside in the rain.  We were fortunate that the meal was a spinoff from our wonderful Syrian meal the prior Friday, so much of the work was reheating and cutting and chopping for a fresh green salad and fruit salad.

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MESH Report 4/16/2019

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Report from Captain Shirley Grill:

It was a cool spring evening and spirits were high in keeping with the wonderful weather! John and Adrienne prepared a wonderful repast, consisting of :

A tuna salad and pita chips for the appetizer;

The main dish was perfectly baked barbecue chicken, great roasted potatoes and home made coleslaw which was yummy!

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Meaningful Work Choices — New Frontiers – @nourish, Sat, Feb 2, 2019, 10:30am

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Sat, Feb 2, 10:30 am
Free and open to everyone

Good Coffee and Nosh!

It takes courage to leave the known world for new frontiers. The panel members will share their experiences and open up the discussion to the audience so that we can all explore the journey of finding meaning in work and life.

Our panel, led by Dale Russakoff, who left her longtime job as a reporter at the Washington Post in 2008 to become a freelance writer, will consist of:

Alison Wininger
A public interest lawyer who represented low-income clients in the Bronx, Harlem and London, then chose to become a stay-at-home mom to her two daughters.  She has begun to share her passion for social justice with her older daughter, Abigail, now 3, and together they volunteered with IHN for the first time in December. Continue reading