Alternative Torah Reading

The traditional Torah reading for Yom Kippur Mincha is Leviticus 18, which lists forbidden sexual relations and activities. Mahzor Lev Shalem, as well as High Holy Day prayer books dating as far back as the 1950’s, offers as an alternative reading Leviticus 19: 1-18, the so-called Holiness Code. Some of you may recall that in the 1990’s, this was the reading we did for Yom Kippur Mincha. This year, Rabbi Julie, with the approval of the Ritual Committee, has decided that we will do the alternative reading. It was felt that the Shomrei Emunah community should be made aware of this well in advance of Yom Kippur in order to understand the rationale behind the decision.

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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

Wednesday Night Minyan


Shana Tova! I hope you are greeting 5782 with a resounding “Hineni!”- here I am, ready to take on the New Year with enthusiasm and commitment.

In that spirit, I am writing about the future of the Wednesday Night Minyan. Because of my pandemic work schedule, (teaching on Zoom Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday from 7:30-9:30 PM) I am no longer available to lead the Wednesday night minyan. (Even if we changed Wednesday to another night of the week, all this Zoom time would not be good for my mental health!)  Continue reading

Monthly Wednesday Night Minyan on Summer Hiatus


Our monthly Wednesday evening minyan wrapped up another successful year.  That’s 13 years –  not bad for a minyan that was supposed to last only one month. We will take a summer break and resume in some form after the High Holidays.

It was quite a year: a Presidential election, a pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, an insurrection on our Capitol where we added the Prayer for Our Country to our regular evening service and a war in Israel. More than ever, we needed to be together and to feel a sense of community.   The Zoom minyan gave us that opportunity.

Thanks to all the participants who made the virtual minyan possible. Special thanks to Rabbi Greenstein, Lisa Z., Geoff, Michael Finck, John Lasiter and Andy Silver for their hard work, often behind the scenes.

The Little Minyan That Could

minyan_at_homeOur monthly Wednesday night minyan will resume on October 14, 2020. Thereafter, it will be on the first Wednesday of the month. This year, however, we are making one change. Like everything else during the pandemic, we will be Zooming “Maariv” into your homes.

For those of you who are new to Shomrei, or have never attended this casual, ½ hour evening service, Andy and I welcome and encourage you to join us.  And for those of us who have been physically attending this service in our living room, on the deck, or in our Sukkah for the past 12 years, thank you for keeping this intimate service flourishing. Continue reading

What to Expect on the High Holidays

shofar1Shalom, friends!

I’m excited to bring you an update of what we have in store for our virtual High Holiday experience.  Thanks to the participation of so many of our members, this experience will be a rich and heartwarming reflection of the Shomrei community.  Here’s a little taste of what to expect during the month of Elul (the preparatory month leading up to the High Holidays) and what to expect during our High Holiday services. Continue reading

Shomrei Community: Send us your High Holiday videos!


The deadline for sending videos has been extended until 9am this Sunday Aug 23.

The videos sent by congregants so far are terrific! Please join in and send us your video(s).

Super Easy
Please don’t be deterred by the technology, see the list of tech helpers below. We can set you up in a zoom session with a helper who will do all the technical part. Or you can make a short video on your phone OR your computer, either is fine. See these recording_tips.

Upload Videos Here:

Two Videos:

1. Hallways Hugs and Greetings:
Make a brief video of yourself or your family as if you were greeting your Shomrei community in the synagogue on the holidays. Make it 10 or 15 seconds at most. (Don’t forget: record with phone in “wide” orientation”) Examples:

  • Shanah Tovah!
  • Happy new year from our family to yours!
  • May you have a sweet new year!
  • Share a personal joy/simcha (“It’s going to be a great year…My son is getting married!”)
  • Share a new year’s wish or blessing for your community
  • Feel free to keep it simple or to be creative.

2. “Virtual Choir” Song:

Listen to this audio recording in your earphones or air pods and record a video of yourself singing along. The best way is to listen to the file on headphones on your phone or device and then record yourself on your computer or vice versa. Remember you can contact one of our helpers to assist you. The only audio we should hear in the video is your voice. So make sure the music is ONLY in the earphones you are wearing. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like you have a great singing voice!!! When we blend together it will sound great, just as it does when we are able to sing together in person. (Don’t forget: record with phone in “wide” orientation)

Technical Help
Don’t panic! We’ll talk you through it. Call one of our volunteer tech crew!

Eric Feldman
John Lasiter
Michael Legman
Geoff Sadow

Consult your community directory for numbers or call the office at (973) 746-5031


The Wednesday Night Monthly Minyan??

Andy and I would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has supported THE LITTLE MINYAN THAT COULD all year, and in years past.?? We all lead such busy and complicated lives, but when we make the effort to support someone saying Kaddish, or to simply support our community, our lives are elevated just a little bit. I know the word “mitzvah” means a  commandment; I’d like to suggest we add a feeling of elevation or being uplifted to the definition.

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Jan 25 & 26, 2019 – Scholar in Residence: Dr. Gary Rendsburg The Dead Sea Scrolls: Still Enthralling 70 Years Later


Fri, Jan 25, 2019
6:30pm Kabbalat Shabbat Service
7:30pm Dinner (free), Dr. Rendsburg will Speak

Sat, Jan 26, 2019
8:30am-1pm, Torah Study, d’Var Torah at Services, Speak at Kiddush (Q&A)
4:00pm, Teaching at Minch/Maariv/Havdalah

Congregation Shomrei Emunah
67 Park St. Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 746-5031
(map & directions)

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