Letter from the President – High Holiday Announcement

Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on July 16th.

IMG_0397Dear 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.

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One More Thank You

Lily-Lucey2One 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.

Thank you Lily for all you do for Shomrei.

Retirement Announcement From the Rabbi

DSC_0213-EditEditor’s note: This message from Rabbi Greenstein and the response from President Miriam Haimes were originally emailed to the congregation on April 28th.

Dear Members of Congregation Shomrei Emunah,

This year has been one of extraordinary challenges. As individuals and families, as a global village, a nation and as a congregation, we have borne losses and pain, disruption and deprivation. Here, at Shomrei, we have also discovered reservoirs of strength, commitment, creativity and determination.

For the past 12 years it has been my sacred privilege to serve as your spiritual leader. And in this past, exceptionally demanding, year I have been exceptionally blessed to share in the work of sustaining our community with our office staff, educators and custodians, along with all our amazing volunteers of the Moving Forward Committee and our Board, all led by our dedicated President, Miriam Haimes, who have all risen to the occasion in inspiring ways.

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Letter from the President – May at Shomrei!

Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on April 26th.

IMG_0397To the Shomrei community,

It’s almost May in Montclair and Shomrei has a lot of plans for Shabbat services sprouting and about to come to life!  A few weeks ago, I wrote to you that we were reviewing the responses from the Shabbat Services Survey and working on various options. I am really excited to tell you about our plans for May.  We will be gathering in person outside each week and will continue to Zoom and stream so that those that are unable or uncomfortable with in person gatherings can still be part of our services.  We are also working on our plans for June when we expect to begin some indoor services.  As we come back into the building, I want to remind you that this past year we installed new air conditioning with upgraded filters and improved air flow. We will also continuously review safety protocols to ensure that we are following required guidelines.

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Letter from the President – Shabbat Survey Results

Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on April 14th.

IMG_0397To the Shomrei community,

I wanted to send a note about the recent Shabbat Survey results and our next steps.  First a huge thank you to Sarita Eisenberg for doing the heavy lifting regarding the survey and collaborating with the Ritual Committee to develop the questions and to tally and summarize the results.

We received 93 responses across a wide range of age groups including families with preschool, elementary school and older children as well as adults across all the age ranges listed in the survey.  I am very pleased with the cross section of responses.

Overwhelmingly, respondents were comfortable with outdoor services.  We did have several respondents who would also be interested in indoor services.

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Please Take Our Shabbat Services Survey

Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on March 25th.

IMG_0397To the Shomrei community,

As we approach spring I think about renewal, emergence from the long winter and change.  We continue to be in an ever-changing and uncertain environment as vaccines become more available and we learn additional facts about COVID 19.

I understand that many of you may be eager to resume our in-person services while others are content to continue with online services.  We have been diligently working over the last year to bring a myriad of services and programs to our Shomrei Community and we are now thinking about options for in person services with appropriate safety protocols.  We will be doing an outdoor Kabbalat Shabbat in April but as we plan for additional services, we want to understand what you, our community, would like during this period of transition.

I am asking you to fill out a short survey to provide input that will play an important role in our planning.  We will endeavor to find ways to gather together as a community.

Here is the link to the survey:  https://montclair.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_556YsaQ5ZWPItpQ

Please respond by Thursday April 8th so we can incorporate your feedback into our planning.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.

Wishing all of you a very Happy Passover.

Miriam Haimes,

Happy Hanukkah & Thank You!

Editor’s Note: This message was originally sent as an email on Monday December 14, 2020. 

IMG_0397Dear Shomrei Community,

First I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Hanukkah.  Last night [Sun, Dec 13] we lit the fourth candle and many of you participated in our Zoom Community candle lighting and donut decorating.  Often when we wish people a Chag Sameach for Hanukkah we say “May your Hanukkah be bright”. Well the glow of the candles do not begin to match the glow of the warmth that you as a Shomrei Community showed yesterday.  As we distributed almost 100 bags of Hanukkah goodies, we collected so many toys and socks for our greater community. The Sunday minyan had a sunny warm day to meet as well.  We most certainly will make the holiday brighter and the winter a bit warmer for so many people in need of some help and thoughtfulness.  Thanks to all of you who attended minyan, donated and participated in our program and a special thanks to our coordinators and helpers.  I am sure I will leave someone out so I apologize in advance.

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Message from Shomrei President Miriam Haimes


Dear Shomrei Community,

I just returned from Sunday minyan on the Shomrei lawn under a beautiful warm November sun. Several of us gathered in prayer and it is so wonderful to be part of this community. We had some regulars attend as well as others that hadn’t been before. Originally, we thought we would pilot a minyan in the Social Hall beginning in November to test our safety protocols and we still plan to do that as long as our Medical Advisory team thinks it makes sense. However, with the weather cooperating we continue to be outside for as long as the weather is warm and sunny.

With the High Holidays long gone and the stress of Election week starting to calm down, I thought I would reach out to you (albeit virtual) to see how you are doing as well as to update you on what is going on at Shomrei.

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