A Little Bit of Magic

Do you remember the folktale about the shoemaker and the elves who secretly helped out the shoemaker or the stories of Elijah who provided beautifully set tables for poor, but righteous folk?

We have our own not-so-secret elves at Shomrei who on this past Saturday were out in full force at Teddy Goldman’s bar mitzvah as the social hall morphed from sanctuary to banquet hall in less than twenty minutes. Continue reading

Shomrei Latke Crew (and John’s recipe)

Photo in Hanukkah Party! - Google Photos 2018-12-13 17-12-37

This year the Latke Crew baked 720 (gluten free) latkes for the Hanukkah party!  Thanks and “yasher koach” to the entire hardworking Latke Crew: Charlie and Alan Breslin, Adrienne Shulman and Michael Sag.  A number of people asked me for my recipe, so here it is:

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Plans for the Rabbi’s Sabbatical

q_and_a.pdf (page 1 of 2) 2018-11-29 14-34-02
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.

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Shomrei Latke Crew (and John’s recipe)


The Latke Crew Baked 630 latkes for last night’s Hanukkah party!  Thanks and “yasher koach” to the entire hardworking Latke Crew: Leon Berman, Charlie, Kate and Alan Breslin, Adam Dembrow, Yechiel Felder, Fern Heinig, & Aaron Task. (see a gallery of photos below).  A number of people asked me for my recipe, so here it is:

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First Day of the New Hebrew School!


Busy busy in the New JLC!

Yasher Koach on a wonderful welcome back (indoor!) BBQ and first day of JLC!  The students were overwhelmingly positive about the change in the building and program (Wow! was a common response upon seeing the new furniture/rooms!)  The rooms looked great, the teachers were warm and wonderful, and the students had amazing energy.  I am thrilled for the year to come. Assistant Education Directors, Lily Lucey and Aylah Winter were both wonderful in their interactions with students and parents, and I think everyone is responding to having such a capable team in place.


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August 2015 IHN Wrap-up


Shomrei had a very successful and meaningful experience housing four homeless families — 14 adults and children — in the last week of August. We had a wide range of volunteers– many of our longtime participants as well as some new ones, from elementary schoolers to the over-eighty generation — and everyone had an impact. Craig Eichner taught an 8 year old boy named Vinnie to do magic tricks, and he was so excited that he asked on the last day if he could call Craig just to talk to him. We called Craig to let him know, and he came by to say goodbye in person. For good measure, he taught Vinnie yet another magic trick. Fanya Hoffman continued her tradition of painting all the girls’ nails, and the girls expressed great excitement about going to the first day of school with their new manicures. Charlie Breslin and his family took everyone to the Glen Ridge pool to cool off and have fun on a sweltering Saturday afternoon. And that is only a small representation of the Shomrei volunteers who contributed their time and loving care to our guests.

We had almost 50 volunteers in all, cooking meals, engaging in activities with kids and parents, sleeping over as night guardians and coordinating the activities. The families were with us because of terrible misfortunes in their own lives, but as always, our volunteers created an oasis in which they could eat good meals, meet really nice people, enjoy some good times. Little Vera came up to one of us as she left on Sunday Aug. 30, flashed a radiant smile, and said, “Every day here was a trip.” We hope they have many more good times ahead of them.

If you weren’t able to join us this time, but would like to do so next time, be on the lookout for our next hosting week in late December.