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 →
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.
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.
As I communicated to you last week, I am very excited about the candidates our Rabbi Search Committee has presented to the board. The committee has done a superb job, and now it is our turn as a congregation to do ours. I am writing to urge you to attend the events of the upcoming Shabbat weekend to get to know our first finalist. We have a superb and diverse pool of finalists, each with unique leadership and interpersonal skills. We would like you to meet them, spend time with them, and help us choose the right spiritual leader for Shomrei’s future. We also want them to see what an amazing community we are.
I want to tell you about some exciting things that are about to happen at Shomrei. As we continue to reopen the synagogue and find our new normal, I am thrilled to let you know that beginning on Saturday, November 13 we will be returning to the sanctuary for Shabbat morning services. For now, the time of services will remain the same – 9:30 am – and will be in person as well as streamed.
Editor’s Note: This address was originally given on Kol Nidre (Sept 2021)
Heneni – A Continuation and What it Means as a Shomrei Member
Last week I spoke to you about being present spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Well, Hineni – Here I am, again. Henei Anachnu – Here we are, again. And as we begin to return to the synagogue and to gather together after being separated for so long, I want to ask you to think about reaching out and giving of yourself. I know that every year the president stands up here and asks you to volunteer and I am no different. Heneni – Here I am – asking you to look inwardly as you do teshuva and ask God for forgiveness and to think about how you can do something differently than you did this past year. Continue reading →
Editor’s Note: This speech was originally given on the first day of Rosh Hashanah (Sept 2021)
Last year I spoke to you about being a community even though we were gathering only virtually. This year I want to build on that as I stand before you whether we are together in our social hall, the tent or you are viewing virtually. I ask you to focus on our capacity for resilience and redirection not only as a Jewish people but as our Shomrei Community.
Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Being resilient does not mean that people don’t experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering. … Resilient people or communities tap into their strengths and support systems to overcome challenges and work through problems. More succinctly, the Merriam Webster dictionary explains resilience as being able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. Our Shomrei community is the ultimate support system and that happens because of the dedication of so many of you. Continue reading →
Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on August 9th.
When I wrote to you in mid-July about our plans for the High Holidays, I noted that we would continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and reevaluate as necessary in order to ensure that our plans considered the safety of our community. While we are excited to offer a variety of in person options, based on the recent increase in infections in our area and updated information on the spread of the virus, the Board of Trustees has implemented several policy changes.
We will have both indoor and outdoor options as well as streaming. Indoor services will have a further reduced capacity than originally anticipated.
Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on July 16th.
Dear Shomrei Friends,
It is with great joy and gratitude that I write to you, announcing that this year’s High Holy Days will be back in person for those who wish and are able to attend. We understand that our community’s needs vary as we start to emerge from COVID, and some continue to prefer to view services from home. That option will be available to you as all the indoor services will be livestreamed. But for those that are ready to be in person, we are planning a variety of ways to worship together.
One more thank you (an addition to the President’s Report in the 2021 Annual Meeting Package)
While there are so many to thank for everything and everyone that make Shomrei the amazing and vibrant community that we are, especially this past year when we had to constantly change the way we “attended” services and community events, inevitably there is an oversight. I want to take a few minutes to thank Lily Lucy, our rabbinic intern whom I somehow did not mention in my report.
Lily was key in creating our unique High Holiday experience last year and any time Rabbi Greenstein, Geoff Sadow or I tried to figure out how to bring the services to our Shomrei family, Lily was there with more creative ideas. She never said no when we asked her to do something and the outcome was always inspiring. As the rabbinic intern, Lily brought us together for Zoom Kabbalat Shabbat, invited our kids to participate in services, conducted themed Havdalah services and led us for Purim and many other holidays. She provided teaching to us in her By the Light of the Moon Rosh Chodesh discussions and her thoughtful approach and her lively singing makes me smile every time we are together.