Message from the President – Rabbinical Candidate Visit

Chaverim (Friends),

As I communicated to you last week, I am very excited about the candidates our Rabbi Search Committee has presented to the board. The committee has done a superb job, and now it is our turn as a congregation to do ours. I am writing to urge you to attend the events of the upcoming Shabbat weekend to get to know our first finalist.  We have a superb and diverse pool of finalists, each with unique leadership and interpersonal skills. We would like you to meet them, spend time with them, and help us choose the right spiritual leader for Shomrei’s future. We also want them to see what an amazing community we are.

MESH Report Dec 28, 2021

On the cusp of the new year, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe, with chef Aileen Grossberg in charge of the kitchen, served 20 nutritious, delicious meals.  The meal consisted of a colorful mixed green salad with accents of purple cabbage, yellow peppers and red tomatoes in a creamy ranch dressing. The entree was one of our guests favorite preparations – maple-soy baked salmon accompanied by jambalaya rice with green peas. A fresh whole wheat roll and a cookie dessert duo -one a chunky chocolate chip and the other a chewy oatmeal cranberry -rounded out the meal. Seasonal clementines, a bottle of water and a breakfast bar helped fill the takeaway bag. Continue reading

Macaroni and Cheese …. Perfect Together

Around Thanksgiving, I kept seeing articles for Thanksgiving meals that included a side dish of macaroni and cheese. As someone who does not think that cheese and poultry belong together in the same meal, that sounded awful. But it did get me thinking about mac-n-cheese. So here are some recipes that I’ve accumulated over the years. Continue reading

Narrative Distance: Parashat Sh’mot

Parashat Sh’mot
Exodus 1:1-6:1

With this book we begin speaking about the Jewish people as a nation. Until now we have been speaking about individuals. But now the Children of Israel are called a people “`am” for the first time. So they are called by Pharaoh, by Moses, by taskmasters, by God.

And with this shift we enter, almost imperceptibly, into a change of the nature of the voice of the Biblical Narrator. From the start of the Torah, from The Beginning, we have heard a voice of a storyteller who is not God or any identifiable being. The voice is the voice of an all-knowing narrator who can tell us what God does and thinks and says, and what everyone else says or does or wants. But the narrator is not God, or Laban or Tamar, or any other character in the story. We accept this voice naturally, for it tells us of events and personae – such as Noah or Sarah – long gone.

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Mythic Space: Parashat Vay’hi

Parashat Vay’hi
Genesis 47:28-50:26

As Jacob, the final Patriarch, prepares to die, he begs his son Joseph to take his body out of Egypt and bury it in the ancestral cave originally purchased by Abraham. He chooses to take his place within the mythic space – historical and imaginative – that this cave signifies. (See Sparks 2011) His consciousness of this transformative choice can be detected in the way he recalls the history of the place: “It was there that they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife; it was there that they buried Isaac and Rebecca, his wife; and it was there that I buried Leah.” (Gen. 49:31)

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Short Stories for Short Nights

Short stories are powerful and versatile. They take tremendous skill as every word counts. A reader can’t skim a short story or skip over the boring parts.

What is a short story?  It is a fully developed piece of writing that can generally be read in one sitting. The upper limit is about 20,000 words, which isn’t really that short.

A book of short stories can consist of stories by one author or many and may cover many time periods.

Enjoy stories from this brief selection of stories from the library’s collection. Books of short stories have the word STORIES on the spine label. 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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