MESH Report

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

MESH Report April 5, 2022

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Delany family who celebrated Gabriel’s bar mitzvah this past weekend, our MESH guests were treated to an outstanding meal left from the event, and the cook (that would be yours truly) simply had to lead a very experienced packing team of Sarita Eisenberg and Susan Rosenblatt. Continue reading

Shomrei goes to the Theater–A Big Thank You to Lindsey Sag

On Sunday March 6th, twenty Shomrei people went off-Broadway to see a production of Prayer for the French Republic at the Manhattan  Theater Company.  Our congregant, Lindsey Sag, who is the General Manager of the theater suggested I organize a theater party.  I hesitated — it was still Covid after all — were we ready to head into Manhattan?  In fact we were!  Tickets sold out quickly, COVID is waning, and it was almost a Spring day. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

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