Goodbye “Sharing Shabbat”


Shomrei’s calendar bears a scar. On Friday March 13, 2020 and Saturday March 14, all the Shabbat services were listed as “CANCELED.”  The Shabbat of Ki Tisa was our lockdown date. The following Saturday the “Sharing Shabbat” services began. Broadcast live on YouTube, Rabbi Greenstein, would go to the shul, all alone and lead an adapted one hour service in front of a web camera. How strange it must have been for him, to lead prayers out loud with no response or feedback.  In fact, without even the sure knowledge the automatically triggered technology was working or anyone was listening. Continue reading

Shomrei Latke Crew (and John’s recipe)

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This year the Latke Crew baked 720 (gluten free) latkes for the Hanukkah party!  Thanks and “yasher koach” to the entire hardworking Latke Crew: Charlie and Alan Breslin, Adrienne Shulman and Michael Sag.  A number of people asked me for my recipe, so here it is:

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Photo Album: Shomrei’s 4-legged Members


There was a little purring, some excited barking, some energetic wrestling, and a little bit of growling. On a brisk Sunday afternoon, some of Shomrei’s 4-legged members and their 2-legged friends showed up for Shomrei’s “Pets Are a Blessing” event on the lawn.  Conducted and organized by Morah Lily and Rabbi Greenstein, activities included photos in front of a “step and repeat” wall, art projects, cookies, juice and  some discussions about the way in which our pets are a blessing in our lives.

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Starr Family Endows Shomrei’s MESH Cafe

The Family of Carol Starr z”l, has made a generous donation to our MESH Cafe which will help sustain the effort. The program has been renamed the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei in her memory.

The MESH Cafe (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) is a cooperative effort between the MESH organization and local synagogues and churches.  Volunteers at each institution cook and serve hearty, nutritious meals for the hungry. Continue reading

An Uplifting Evening – A Photo Gallery


How do you really fix a broken pipe?  You get together with a hundred and thirty of your friends and focus on something that matters! Such was the case last Saturday night as Shomrei honored Dale Russakoff and the volunteers of the Mensch Squad and IHN (Interfaith Hospitality Network). (See the lists of all honorees below).  Dale co-chairs Shomrei’s chapter of IHN and she leads the Mensch Squad. Continue reading

The Other King and Queen of Purim!

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Purim is a family enterprise in the Breslin Household.  For the last 3 years Nancy Breslin has been the organizer behind the Purim Carnival and for the last 2 years Charlie has taken on the daunting task of organizing the Shalach Manot JLC fundraiser.

The carnival is a mammoth undertaking. There is a myriad of logistics to stress over — organizing games, arranging rentals of bouncy houses and photo trucks, ordering hundreds of prizes, schlepping 40 boxes of pizza and a car full of other goodies from Costco, just to name a few. Also there’s enlisting the help of and organizing scores of other volunteers.

And Nancy juggled all the balls without dropping any!

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Florida Shooting Moment of Silence at Shomrei


This Last Sunday, Feb 25, about 25 Shomrei congregants observed a 6 minute moment of silence in memory of the murdered victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida.  The observance was at 2:19pm, the time the shooting began and the 6 minutes of silence reflected the duration of the shooting.

17 candles were lit in memory of the 17 victims and a small banner was placed nearby which read “Do not stand by when you neighbor’s blood is shed.”  (Lev. 19:16)

Rabbi David Greenstein read psalm 20, and reminded those gathered that psalms and prayers are not enough.
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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