Reflections on the Civil Rights Trip: Changing My View of History

As a young child I watched a show called You Were There featuring Walter Cronkite as host introducing reporters on the scene when significant events in history were occurring. The show consisted of reenactments of history bringing the viewer into the situation as it was happening. I saw the duel between Hamilton and Burr as well as the being witness to the first use of penicillin in 1945. According to Wikipedia, “At the end of the program, after Cronkite summarized what happened in the preceding event, he reminded viewers, ‘What sort of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times… all things are as they were then, except you were there.’” Continue reading

New Social Group at Shomrei

A new social group called Boomers has been formed at Shomrei Emunah whose purpose is to encourage social, supportive and informational opportunities for Shomrei Community Boomer members and their friends. Activities will be aimed at the Baby Boomer generation, and, while membership is intended for fellow Baby Boomers, participation in activities will be fluid and open to all. Subgroups and activities might consist of groups for hiking, lectures, meet-and-greets, theater, and widows/widowers, as well as opportunities to connect/reconnect with people and events at Shomrei. Activities will be determined by the group. Continue reading

What is Being Done to Reduce Gun Violence?


Last Saturday (September 24, 2016) members of the Shomrei community, prior to its annual slichot services, were privileged to hear fellow congregant Megan Lewis discuss gun violence in America, and what steps are being taken to try to reduce what has become an American epidemic. The talk was the followed by an extensive question and answer period. Continue reading

Shomrei: There When You Need It

Shomrei Emunah BuildingYears ago the Montclair Chamber Ensemble, a chamber orchestra I founded along with Oscar Ravina was going to perform a concert for the benefit of Shomrei and the Hebrew School. One Thursday evening before the concert I called a member of the synagogue and asked if he would like to be one of the sponsors. He said, “No”, stating that his children had grown and that he hardly used the synagogue anymore. I was more than amused to see him in synagogue that very next evening at Friday night services saying Kaddish for the yahrzeit for one of his parents.

Many of us think of supporting the synagogue in proportion to our attendance. We think of it as a temporary structure like a tent. We put it up when we need shelter and take it down when we don’t. We know it must stand 24/7, 365 days each year, but somehow the responsibility for those other 364 days rests upon someone else’s shoulders. Why should I do my part and shoulder the burden when others use it more than I do?

The trouble is that we never know when we will need it. Continue reading