The Unetaneh Tokef melody that we sang together on Rosh Hashanah and we’ll sing again on Yom Kippur was composed by Israeli songwriter Yair Rosenblum, inspired by a kibbutz’s heavy losses during the Yom Kippur War. In 1990, Rosenblum visited Kibbutz Beit Hashita in northern Israel, which lost 11 members during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During his visit, he was inspired to write this melody to Unetaneh Tokef and stayed up all night composing it. The tune is unique in that it contains Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and modern Israeli musical influences. Continue reading
We welcome Rabbi Julie Roth as Rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah! She will begin to be at the shul on August 15.
Meeting Rabbi Julie
The Transition Team is planning many and various events to give Rabbi Julie and members of our community a chance to get to know each other. Every event will be a small, intimate get together hosted by a Shomrei member. Whether it’s 2 people or 10 it’s an opportunity for you to spend time with Rabbi Julie.
Please note many more events will be added to this signup list between now and the High Holy Days
Sign up for one welcome event here: shomrei.org/welcome
More About Rabbi Julie
When Rabbi Julie Roth became a Religious Studies major at Brown University, she didn’t know women could be rabbis. The daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a community organizer, she grew up in Cleveland in a family that sang loudly in synagogue and always invited extra guests to Shabbat dinner. In the summer of 2005, when she was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary, she saw two pathways before her, one as a congregational rabbi and one as a Hillel rabbi.
Formerly the Jewish Chaplain at Princeton University, she has extensive experience leading High Holiday services and Passover seders, teaching classes on ethics, social justice, Israel, and theology, officiating at life-cycle events, facilitating interfaith dialogue, addressing controversial topics, and counseling thousands of students and faculty. Rabbi Julie was the rabbi and co-founder of Zamru, a musically innovative, spiritually-engaging, inter-generational Friday night indie minyan based in Princeton that grew to a community of over 300. In addition, she co-founded Shabbat Katan, a creative, interactive, 5 and under service that revitalized young family engagement at her local synagogue.
Yearning to spend more time doing what she loves most – building intentional relationships, leading spiritually-alive services, giving inspirational sermons, officiating at life-cycle events, teaching Torah addressing contemporary issues, and listening with compassion – Rabbi Julie is ready to lead Shomrei. Guided by the central teaching that each and every human being is beloved, infinitely valuable, and unique, her calling as a rabbi is to connect each person with the piece of Torah, Jewish experience, or community that will help them live their lives as a sacred gift. She passionately believes Judaism contains the sparks not only to transform the world, but also to transform how we live our daily lives with greater meaning, joy, gratitude, and wonder.
An avid traveler to Israel and around the world and an extensive reader (she reads the same number of books each year as her age), Rabbi Julie loves to take walks with friends, look at the ocean, and binge-watch television series. A rusty ballroom dancer who loves to eat a delicious meal cooked by someone else, Rabbi Julie is grateful for the love of her family including her husband, Rabbi Justus Baird, and their three children, Ilan, Rafael, and Noa.
When I first arrived in the US, after having lived in Israel and Japan, I was exposed to a new work environment and culture. The transition from the academic world to the business (and later nonprofit) world posed a few challenges.I was very lucky to find support from our community in the form of Jewish Vocational Service. JVS helped me and others, Jews and non-Jews, to navigate a complex world of employment. Continue reading