I did not grow up celebrating Sukkot. Lou built our first sukkah when our son was 2 years old. Each year Lou drags the sukkah pieces up from the basement and our now 36-year-old son comes over to help him put it together. We cut the schach from grasses that we grow in our yard and Lou spreads it on top of the sukkah. And then I hang the decorations – stained glass and metal ornaments that we’ve collected over the years. Continue reading
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
Tuesday evening we welcomed 21 grateful guests and wished everyone good health and improved circumstances in 2020. Chef Lynne planned a seasonal menu centered around a generous contribution of organic produce from Judy Wildman and Ken Bannerman including winter squash, potatoes, parsnips and cabbage.
From Captain Sarah Kravits:
On a sub-freezing night, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei provided many kinds of warmth — a hot meal, a warm place to eat it, and friendly people providing it. Chef Melissa Elbaum unfortunately was sick and could not cook, so Chef Lynne Kurzweil and sous-chef Aileen Grossberg came in to save the day, ingeniously repurposing food in the refrigerator and freezer. They created a delicious meal of a hearty tomato and roasted eggplant vegetable soup, a green salad with marinated tomatoes, a “flight” of quiches (broccoli and cheddar, mushroom and spinach, and salmon and goat cheese), a tuna chickpea salad on a lettuce leaf boat, toasted bagels with cream cheese and butter, and roasted root vegetables that were the last of the CSA generously provided by Judy Wildman and Zelda Greenstein (in the photos you can see the “before” and “after” of the roasting). Dessert was fruit salad and homemade chocolate/chocolate chip cookies.
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.
About 250 people gathered at Shomrei for the second annual “Concert for Eric” a tribute to Eric Singer z”l. This year’s concert entitled “Bountiful Brass – From Bach to Bernstein” featured Montclair Chamber Brass: Don Batchelder,
Jeff Scott and
The Shomrei Caterers have been busy these last few weeks. Congregants have discovered that we can do an excellent , creative job for them for kiddushes both large and small. We customize menus, provide creative plating and table set-ups.
So think of Shomrei when you plan an event.
Here are some recent successes from Shomrei kiddushes and MESH meals. Continue reading
The weeks of anticipation were almost over. Shavuot was just a couple days away. Shomrei’s preparations for the community Tikkun were in high gear especially in the kitchen where the refrigerator shelves were overflowing with butter and eggs, vegetables and fruit.
The quiches had been baked; the cheesecakes were here, too. The blintzes were being prepped.
But what about the kugel? It’s not Shavuot without kugel. And why kugel and other dairy dishes? Continue reading
The weather is changing; it’s cooler; the radiators have begun their early morning clanking. It’s time to de-emphasize the salads and look to hearty soups and sturdy fare.
But we have one last fling with Sukkot which bridges the seasons. So, this selection of recipes includes a variety of year round kugels and an easy to make souffle. Continue reading
By all measures the Shomrei Celebrates . . . Aileen Grossberg event was a big success. One hundred and thirty people feted our amazing Aileen, ate John Lasiter’s stupendous dinner, imbibed the best whiskey money could buy, watched a fun-filled video tribute produced by Fran Legman and Nick Levitin, and heard our resident poet laureate Judy Wildman read a tribute to our honoree. Everyone mingled happily in this loving atmosphere. The centerpieces, designed by Nancy Beslin and Carol Cathey, were the height of creativity, reflecting two of Aileen’s major areas of interest – books and cooking. Candles on each table conveyed intimacy and romance.