Masking Recommendation

Dear Congregation Shomrei Emunah,

As we are all about to embark on end of the year celebrations and many of us plan travel, I wanted to take a minute to remind you that while there is no vaccine requirement and mask wearing at Shomrei remains optional, both the Medical Committee and I are becoming very concerned about the rise of COVID/FLU/RSV transmission, which, if the last two years are a guide, tends to peak in early January.

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Update to Shomrei’s Covid Policy

Dear Congregation Shomrei Emunah,

I am pleased to share with you our updated COVID19 protocols. As you will see, starting immediately, we have transitioned to a mask optional policy for all non-school activities. This shift in policy comes following the successful implementation of a mask optional policy for the first floor during the High Holy Days and was approved by the board at our most recent meeting after consultation with our Medical Committee, who agreed it is time to make this adjustment. The change also brings Shomrei into alignment with other congregations in Essex County.

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Open Door Judaism: President’s Remarks on Rosh Hashanah

Editor’s Note: This speech was originally given on the first day of Rosh Hashanah (Sept 2022)

L’Shana Tovah!

It is wonderful to see so many of you in this space.

I want to speak with you about Open-Door Judaism, how Shomrei epitomizes the spirit of the open-door philosophy and how we can each engage with it, and Shomrei during this new year. Open Door Judaism at Shomrei means the active and ongoing removal of barriers to find comfort and spirituality in the Judaism each member wishes to explore.

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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.

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Responding to the Tragedy of Gun Violence

Like all of you, our hearts are broken following the horrendous death of innocent children at an elementary school in Uvalde Texas, which follows two mass shootings last week at a supermarket in Buffalo and a church in Laguna Woods California. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need to act. Taking action is the only thing that will change what is happening. Here are some suggestions for appropriate actions you can consider taking. Continue reading

Announcing a New Siddur

At Shabbat morning services on June 18, we are excited to announce that Shomrei will open a new ritual chapter. Thanks to the generosity of one of our member families, we will introduce the newest Siddur of the Conservative movement. Siddur Lev Shalem for Shabbat and Festivals joins Mahzor Lev Shalem as our primary source. Like the mahzor, it features a four-column format, new translations in contemporary language, a commentary providing historical context as well as kavanot (passages of intentionality), poetry and prose that expand and enrich our relationship to the text. For those who have used our Mahzor, you will find it very familiar.

To help everyone navigate this wonderful new tool for prayer, Rabbi Greenstein will offer a short learning session immediately following Kiddush that day.

If you are interested in dedicating one of these beautiful new volumes, you may do so either online, or by contacting the office. Continue reading

Message from the President – We Need You!

Shomrei Community,

First I want to thank all of you who participated either in person or virtually for our first two candidates.  It is very exciting and our candidates have felt welcome as a result of your participation and all the hard work so many of you have done to make the weekends go smoothly. Our next candidate will be here this weekend and I ask that you continue on our journey to find our next spiritual leader and help her to see what an amazing community we are as you learn what she brings to Shomrei. I urge you to attend the events of our upcoming Shabbat weekend to get to know our 3rd and final candidate.  We want to hear your voices and that is only possible if you attend in whatever way you are able.

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Message from the President – We Need You!

Shomrei Community,

First I want to thank all of you who participated either in person or virtually for our first candidate a week ago. The candidate told me how welcome he felt at Shomrei. Our next candidate will be here this weekend and I ask that you continue on our journey to find our next spiritual leader and help her to see what an amazing community we are as you learn what she brings to Shomrei. I urge you to attend the events of our upcoming Shabbat weekend to get to know our 2nd finalist. We want to hear your voices and that is only possible if you attend in whatever way you are able.

As we did for our 1st finalist, we have planned multiple opportunities for engagement and limited the number of attendees at each of these events. This will allow us to “spread out” to ensure appropriate social distancing. Please sign up at http://shomrei.org/inperson. Services and the Town Hall will be livestreamed as well.

In addition, these weekends require the efforts of the entire community to make them a success. We need volunteers who can pitch in to help during the weekend and to ensure that the candidate’s first impression of Shomrei is a great one! If able to help, please sign up with this link.

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me, or any of the RSC members should you have any questions, input or concerns. We are on this journey together as we conduct a thoughtful selection process and we need your support and engagement. I know that we will be excited by the outcome.

Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on January 18th.