In Honor of Sidney and Vivien Lechter

Some forty plus years ago, Vivian (of blessed memory) and Sidney joined Congregation Shomrei Emunah. At the time, we had no idea how special and vital they would become to the life of our Synagogue.

Sid was the driving force in bringing the Jewish War Veterans’ Post 47 to our Shul. He was Commander of the Post and ultimately moved up the ranks to the level of State Commander. When Sid told me he was moving, I asked him if there was a Post in Michigan. Yes, he said, two of them, and I am sure either one will be blessed to count him among one of theirs. Vivian always saw to the breakfast after the monthly meetings. They always invited the Sunday morning minyan to join them; lucky for me, because I was often there. Vivian was a great hostess, somehow knowing just the correct amount of food needed, and always how to make that food look and taste delicious. Beyond all that, her friendly personality was infectious, insuring that everyone felt welcome. Continue reading

Eulogy for Yechiel

In 1987, Linda and Yechiel, and 3 little boys under 5 years old, followed the Silver family out to Montclair, a year after we had moved here. We had been acquaintances from our Brooklyn synagogue and had mutual friends, but we, ourselves, were never really friends.

Of course, that quickly changed once the Ariel/Felders arrived.  The “acquaintance” evolved into friendship, the friendship often felt like family. Continue reading

Learning to Read Torah

One of my fondest wishes as a little girl was to do everything the boys do on the Bimah. From the age of four I attended Junior Congregation accompanying my older brother. It was just the two of us. My father was at work, and my mother had gone to shul on Friday night and was enjoying a shabbat of her own making at home. By age five I knew all the prayers by heart. The service was held in a small, simple room in the basement of our synagogue. It was filled with children, and it resonated with laughter and song. There I learned to daven, I was a chazanit, I had aliyot, I held the Torah, I sat on the Bimah. All the “jobs” were accessible to me. One shabbat, after a major snowfall, when it was too dangerous for our mother to drive us, my brother and I trudged through the heavy snow to the synagogue so that we would not miss the service. Continue reading

Bat Mitzvah L’dor Vador (from Generation to Generation)

Last week, synagogues across America marked the 100-year anniversary of the first official bat mitzvah. The ceremony occurred on March 18, 1922 and was created by Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, to welcome his12-year-old daughter, Ruth, into the family of Jewish adults. While that sounds like a long history, it pales alongside the roughly 1,000-year longevity of the bar mitzvah. Moreover, it took almost 60 years for the bat mitzvah ceremony to attain equal stature with the bar mitzvah at synagogues in the U.S.

To explore this evolution — and what it says about the role of women and girls in Judaism — assistant JLC education director Lily Lucey invited Shomrei women of several generations on Sunday, March 19 to recount for the b’nai mitzvah classes what the bat mitzvah represented when they were 12 or 13. Continue reading

In Praise of Jim Nagel

The  Kiddish Committee is saddened by the loss of our faithful volunteer, Jim -familiarly called Jimmy- Nagel.

One Friday morning several years ago, Jim just showed up and continued to show up almost every week until we had to shut down kiddush  because of COVID.

Jim was a whiz in the kitchen and would do anything asked of him, even run errands. As Karen Altman, one of the kiddush volunteers said : Jimmy was such a lovely person- so genuine and warm.

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Eulogy for Noa Freudberg

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El Malei Rachamim

My dear friend Noa Freudberg, Noel bat Joseph, tragically died on September 30, 2021. We met in Torah study class at Shomrei Emunah, and she became the God-given sister I never had.

A licensed social worker, Noa made many contributions to society, to her patients and to the many people whose lives she touched and saved. She was   bright, talented  kind and compassionate.  She  was Educated at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Noa had great analytical skills and social justice values. She worked at University Hospital in Newark as a medical social worker. She was also in private practice for many years. Many psychiatrists would refer patients to Noa because of her skill, kindness and empathy.

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Welcome Ehud Klinger, Synagogue Operations Director

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Join us in welcoming Ehud Klinger!  Ehud will serve as Shomrei’s Synagogue Operations Director. He will be in charge of all day-to-day operations and administration.

With a background in political science Ehud has extensive experience in the field of operations. Born in Israel, Ehud also lived in New York and Japan before settling in New Jersey. Ehud has served the Jewish world as a tour educator, teacher and member of various congregations before arriving in South Orange. Most recently he has been planning educational expeditions to the Jewish destinations. Married with 2 young children Ehud loves exploring new places and spending time with friends and family.

Contact:
Ehud Klinger
(973) 746-5031 x101
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Welcome to the Board of Trustees, 2021

Yasher koach to the 2020-21 Board of Trustees.  Special thanks to outgoing board members Dawn Berman, Marc Chalom, Shana Rubin and Allison Task.

Welcome to new board members Adam Dembrow, Lynne Rubin, Sarita Eisenberg and Michael Sag:

Adam DembrowAdam Dembrow, Trustee (term expiring 2022)

My wife Sarah and I, and our kids Lily (11) and Eitan (8), just passed our fourth anniversary of living in Montclair, and we’ve been part of the Shomrei community since we moved here.  I have particularly been enjoying the group study sessions led by Rabbi Greenstein of Pirkei Avot and the Zohar.  I’m excited to join the Board of Trustees and am looking forward to working with the community that I’ve found so welcoming. Continue reading

Memories of Jerry Weiss

Jerry Weiss cropped 2I got to know Jerry well quite a few years ago when we were both appointed to a Shomrei committee no one wanted to serve on. Suffice it to say our assignment was unenviable and none of us wished to be there, least of all Jerry. But he graciously agreed to be co-chair, and he and Helen hosted our many meetings in their lovely home. Week after week, he held us together and steered us toward a conclusion with kindness and above all care for the future of Shomrei. I don’t think it was a coincidence that we all became good friends and remained so. Continue reading

JLC Prayer for Our Country

Stuart Green and Jennifer Moses fly the colors on inauguration

Stuart Green and Jennifer Moses fly the colors on inauguration day.

Each week during JLC our students begin with community time led by Morah Lily. This week on Wednesday, following a historic inauguration we asked our JLC students to look towards the future and help create a prayer for our country. These are their beautiful worlds full of hope and light. Continue reading