Welcome Rabbi Julie Roth!

We welcome Rabbi Julie Roth as Rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah! She will begin to be at the shul on August 15.

Meeting Rabbi Julie
The Transition Team is planning many and various events to give Rabbi Julie and members of our community a chance to get to know each other. Every event will be a small, intimate get together hosted by a Shomrei member. Whether it’s 2 people or 10 it’s an opportunity for you to spend time with Rabbi Julie.

Please note many more events will be added to this signup list between now and the High Holy Days
Sign up for one welcome event here: shomrei.org/welcome

More About Rabbi Julie
When Rabbi Julie Roth became a Religious Studies major at Brown University, she didn’t know women could be rabbis. The daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a community organizer, she grew up in Cleveland in a family that sang loudly in synagogue and always invited extra guests to Shabbat dinner. In the summer of 2005, when she was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary, she saw two pathways before her, one as a congregational rabbi and one as a Hillel rabbi.

Formerly the Jewish Chaplain at Princeton University, she has extensive experience leading High Holiday services and Passover seders, teaching classes on ethics, social justice, Israel, and theology, officiating at life-cycle events, facilitating interfaith dialogue, addressing controversial topics, and counseling thousands of students and faculty. Rabbi Julie was the rabbi and co-founder of Zamru, a musically innovative, spiritually-engaging, inter-generational Friday night indie minyan based in Princeton that grew to a community of over 300. In addition, she co-founded Shabbat Katan, a creative, interactive, 5 and under service that revitalized young family engagement at her local synagogue.

Yearning to spend more time doing what she loves most – building intentional relationships, leading spiritually-alive services, giving inspirational sermons, officiating at life-cycle events, teaching Torah addressing contemporary issues, and listening with compassion – Rabbi Julie is ready to lead Shomrei. Guided by the central teaching that each and every human being is beloved, infinitely valuable, and unique, her calling as a rabbi is to connect each person with the piece of Torah, Jewish experience, or community that will help them live their lives as a sacred gift. She passionately believes Judaism contains the sparks not only to transform the world, but also to transform how we live our daily lives with greater meaning, joy, gratitude, and wonder.

An avid traveler to Israel and around the world and an extensive reader (she reads the same number of books each year as her age), Rabbi Julie loves to take walks with friends, look at the ocean, and binge-watch television series.  A rusty ballroom dancer who loves to eat a delicious meal cooked by someone else, Rabbi Julie is grateful for the love of her family including her husband, Rabbi Justus Baird, and their three children, Ilan, Rafael, and Noa.

Introducing Shomrei’s New President

Shalom Shomrei Community!

I could not be more delighted to step into the role of President of Congregation Shomrei Emunah. It is a tremendously exciting time of change at Shomrei: a new Rabbi, a new interim Education Director, the hoped-for full emergence from COVID-19 and return to our familiar ways of gathering and celebrating our community and Judaism.

I have gotten to know many of you over the years, but I still have so many of you to meet, which I look forward to doing soon. Today, I am writing to share my excitement, my gratitude, and to share a bit about myself and my family.

Continue reading

Welcome to the Board of Trustees 2022

Yasher koach to the 2020-21 Board of Trustees. Special thanks to outgoing board members Sara Ann Erichson, Michael Legman, and Adrienne Shulman Lasiter.

Welcome to new officers Michael Sag and Eric Feldman, who were previously serving as trustees, Rachel Kanter, and Mara Weinstein. Welcome to new trustees Debra Caplan and Martin Kurzweil. Continue reading

The Last Kiddush

For the last kiddush under Rabbi Greenstein’s supervision, the Shomrei kiddush team went all out to prepare a menu that reflected  his and Zelda’s preferences and paid tribute to his vision.

The team of Karen Altman, Aileen Grossberg, Beryl Hiller, Sharon Hurwich, Carol Katzman, Audrey Levitin,  Zen Lucey (recoverd from COVID just in time), Cary Riker, (our newest volunteer)  and Rita Singer prepared a veritable feast.

As requested by Zelda, there was no cake but there were chocolate covered donuts (Rabbi Greenstein favorite Shabbat treat ), lots of green salad, and egg salad, a Greenstein favorite. Specially requested by Rabbi Greenstein was sable served with a no mayonnaise potato salad.

Baked pomegranate glazed salmon, accompanied by a tomato and mango Israeli style salad., was the centerpiece of the kiddush luncheon.  A tub of mini ice-cream cones, rice pudding, fruit and cookies rounded out the menu to please anyone’s sweet tooth.
Preparing kiddush for Rabbi Greenstein and Zelda was a labor of love, all the more so because Rabbi Greenstein has made a point of dropping into the kitchen every Friday morning to thank the cooks. He has also in his role as Rabbi answered questions about food products and kashrut so that both halachic and culinary needs were satisfied.
As Aileen said in her thank you to Rabbi Greenstein :”Kiddush would not be as successful as it has become -some people come just for kiddush!- without your support- both for me personally and the volunteers in general. Kiddush has become a unifying community event and a centerpiece of our weekly Shabbat celebration”
Here are some of the recipes from Saturday’s kiddush. They’re not difficult. Try them yourself.
Pomegranate Glazed Salmon
(serves 4)


1-1/2 pounds salmon filet

1/2 c. pomegranate juice

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced


1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Put the pom juice, soy sauce and garlic in a large bowl and mix well. Add the salmon, cover and let marinate for about 15 minutes or put everything in a plastic bag to marinate.
3. Remove salmon from marinade and place skin side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 7 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, put marinade in a small pan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until thick and syrupy.
5. Remove salmon from oven after 7 minutes and pour half of reduced marinade over the fish. Return the salmon to the oven and bake for an additional 5-7 routes until cooked through.
6. Transfer salmon to plates and pour rest of marinade over the salmon.
Notes Serve hot or cold. Garnish with orange and lemon slices or pomegranate seeds. To make this super simple. Substitute pomegranate molasses for the juice. No need to reduce. Rice or roasted veggies is nice alongside the salmon.


Mango, Cucumber and Sumac-Onion Israeli Salad
(Serves 4-6)



2 mangoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 3 cups)

1 cucumber, diced (about 3 cups)

1/4 cup Simple Sumac Onions (see below)

3 Tablespoons chopped, fresh mint

3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Toss to combine and serve with additional sumac onions.


Simple Sumac Onions
(makes 1 cup)

1 red onion, sliced very thin

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground sumac

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl  and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes: Use jarred mango. It’s quick and easy and just as good as fresh in this recipe. Costco has an excellent jarred mango. It is also available in the refrigerated produce section of Shoprite and other markets.  This  salad will keep for a few days.


Potato Salad with Capers and Onions
(Serves 4)


1/4 cup capers (rinsed), preferably salt-packed

1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold or other salad potatoes


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Ground pepper

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced



1. In a small bowl, cover the rinsed capers with warm water. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain.
3. While the potatoes are still warm, peel (if you wish) and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. In a small bowl combine olive oil,lemon juice and capers and season with salt and pepper. Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the potatoes and toss.
5. Garnish with parsley

Notes: This can be served as an accompaniment to smoked fish such as lox, whitefish or sable.

MESH Report June 28 2022

MESH Report 6/28/22.
For The Carol Starr MESH Cafe’s last meal of the current year, co-chairs Aileen Grossberg  and Lynne Kurzweil along with chief packer and dishwasher Susan Rosenblatt were joined by our newest volunteer, Rabbi Greenstein who spent an hour or so away from his office to help prepare the evening’s meal.  Among his many other talents, Rabbi Greenstein is a very capable chopper. Continue reading

A Stronger and Holier Community

Rabbi David Greenstein’s tenure as spiritual leader of Congregation Shomrei Emunah started not with a bang but a silence. A sanctifying silence. On his first Shabbat on our bimah, in August 2009, he introduced us to the practice of maintaining absolute silence until all congregants finished reciting the Amidah to themselves. No kibbitzing with your seat-mate about afternoon plans. No rabbi moving on to the next reading once most of us were seated. At every Shabbat and holiday service for the next 13 years, if anyone was still praying, the rest of us held the silence. In time, the silence itself felt like prayer. It was an early lesson from our new rabbi in achieving communal holiness, not through words or deeds but through respect. A community of all for one, as well as one for all.

Rabbi Greenstein announced upon his arrival that his greatest value was building Jewish community. And in a recent conversation, that is how he looked back on his years as our rabbi: “I tried as hard as I could to share my love for living a Jewish life, for studying Torah, for connecting people, to be there for people. That’s what I tried to do.”

Continue reading

MESH Report June 21, 2022

MESH Report June 21, 2022, From Chef Shirley Grill: On the first day of summer, yours truly, the appointed MESH chef was joined by two wonderful women: Aimee Brooks and Risa Bernstein in the preparation of a delicious meal for our MESH guests. Aimee took on salad making-she needed to leave earlier so she took the first course–salad prep-from the mixing of the ingredients to filling 20 salad containers. Aimee got the job done. Continue reading

Faithfulness and Hope: Parashat Sh’lach

Parashat Sh’lah
Numbers 13:1-15:41

There are so many threads in our Torah portion that we can try to tie together!

Our text tells of the spies sent by Moses to scout the Promised Land that the Israelites were about to enter. They spend 40 days on their mission. But, at their return they literally destroy all hope in the hearts of the people. They refuse to enter the land. In fury and disappointment, God decrees that the entire adult population shall wander in the wilderness “until all of your carcasses are finished in the wilderness. According to the number of days that you scouted the land – forty days – one day per year – shall you bear your sins – for forty years, so that you will know My opposing Will.” (Num. 14:33-34)
Continue reading