Being There for Family Promise

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As so many of you know, Shomrei has hosted homeless families with young children in our synagogue since 1988 as part of the Interfaith Hospitality Network (now Family Promise). Twice a year, for a week at a time, for over 30 years, 50 caring volunteers have cooked food for the families, entertained the children and slept over as nighttime guardians. Because of the pandemic, we have not hosted families since December 2019 and the entire congregational shelter network remains shuttered. For 18 months, Family Promise (FP) has been sheltering families in hotels and shifting more resources into its other missions — stabilizing those on the verge of homeless with rental assistance  and case management. FP needs even more financial support to continue to support vulnerable families, particularly as the moratorium on evictions is lifted and many more parents and children face homelessness.

Even though we can’t host families for now, we can be there for them and for Family Promise. Here are two wonderful opportunities to help: Continue reading

STOM Kids, Getting Out the Vote!

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Delia and Jonah

STOM (Shomrei Teens of Montclair) kids writing non-partisan get-out-the-vote letters as part of the Vote Forward Project.

Vote Forward’s mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. We build tools to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy.

Our STOM teens engaged in the democratic process…here’s what they wrote to Americans across the country: Continue reading

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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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 6/18/19

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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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