Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on June 23rd
To the Shomrei community,
In this time of uncertainty and challenges, we at Shomrei have begun to plan for the fall High Holidays with the understanding that many of our usual offerings and practices may not be advisable this year given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As we make our plans, we turn to you, our community, to understand what the High Holidays mean to each one of us. We therefore ask that you fill out a short survey to provide input that will play an important role in our planning.
While we expect that holding traditional services will not be possible this year, we look forward with curiosity and enthusiasm about the opportunities the current situation has created for us. Regardless of the form that our High Holidays might take, how might we collectively experience gathering, renewal, and return during the Days of Awe?
Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation Friday, April 3rd
As Shabbat is soon upon us, I am reaching out to say “hi” and to let you know that the Shomrei leadership and staff continue to be focused on meeting the emotional and physical needs of our community during this difficult and unprecedented time. I hope this note finds you healthy and staying safe.
Many of you have reached out asking if there is anything you can do for our community. I am writing with two opportunities:
Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation earlier this afternoon (March 12, 2020)
At Shomrei we are constantly monitoring the changing situation with regard to the coronavirus and are taking new steps, as a precautionary matter, with regard to activities here at the synagogue. The purpose of this email is to share with you the latest decisions that we have made.
All events at Shomrei are cancelled this weekend including Shabbat services and JLC (as well as tonight’s Zohar class). These next few days will allow us to continue to track developments and make the best decisions for moving forward. We will communicate again before then.
Each year Shomrei honors one or more members for their commitment and volunteerism in support of our community. I am excited to announce that this year we are honoring a quintet of talented and dedicated individuals (as pictured L-R): Carol Katzman, Allison Task, Margot Laksin, John Lasiter and Adrienne Shulman Lasiter
Here’s what you need to know:
First, SAVE-THE-DATE and come to a Shomrei bash in their honor on Saturday night, February 29th. (Invitation to follow.)
Second, HONOR OUR HONOREES by expressing your gratitude in this year’s community directory (Ad Journal). (More information on how to do so below.)
Now let me share a little about our honorees’ impact on Shomrei…
I am writing to share that on December 9th, the Shomrei Board of Trustees voted to join the Montclair Sanctuary Alliance. By doing so, we add our name to a growing list of houses of worship in Montclair who have combined their voices in support of undocumented immigrants residing in our midst.
Two weeks ago, Shomrei experienced a very special Shabbat – one, that for many of us, felt transformative. Aided by our musical scholar-in-residence, Joey Weinsenberg, we engaged in services – whether it be by humming a nigun (a wordless melody) or chanting a prayer – with a stronger sense of freedom to sing and to express ourselves. Our collective voices filled the sanctuary as one. Continue reading →
It’s been quite a start to the 2019 calendar year at Shomrei and I find myself enveloped by experiences spiritual, educational and social within our community. From learning about the Dead Sea Scrolls from a world-renowned expert to celebrating Nick Levitin at a very special honor night to a transformative experience last Shabbat with our musical scholar-in-residence. (How great was it to see all the kids playing together after Havdalah!)
I look forward to this week’s Art Mazel soiree and auction; I’m hearing great things about the Purim shpiel (the Lion King!); I can’t wait for the next holiday hikes with Lily; and I’m excitedly watching our new playground go up.
And, throughout all of this, we have members who continue to open their homes for services, who are so very committed to our social action programs, and who share their experiences and expertise as @nourish speakers. All this and much more at our “little” synagogue. Our collective experiences continue to be driven by our dedicated professional staff and so many members of our community who feel a passion, dedication and commitment to making Shomrei the place we all want it to be. Thank you!
I am thrilled to announce that Nick Levitin will be this year’s honoree in our Ad Journal and at Shomrei’s annual Honor Night Dinner. Each year we honor a congregant who has had a significant positive impact on our community.
As you know, Rabbi Greenstein will be away from Shomrei from January 1st through May 31st of this upcoming year. He has been awarded the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellowship at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University.
For much of this year, a Rabbi Sabbatical Committee, led by Shomrei members Geoff Sadow and Dan Winter, have been working to ensure that our congregation will operate smoothly during our rabbi’s absence. This includes the hiring of guest rabbis to join us for many Shabbatot and to provide rabbinic coverage. This also includes the scheduling of academic and musical scholars-in-residence who will bring to Shomrei some exciting programs.