Last week, synagogues across America marked the 100-year anniversary of the first official bat mitzvah. The ceremony occurred on March 18, 1922 and was created by Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, to welcome his12-year-old daughter, Ruth, into the family of Jewish adults. While that sounds like a long history, it pales alongside the roughly 1,000-year longevity of the bar mitzvah. Moreover, it took almost 60 years for the bat mitzvah ceremony to attain equal stature with the bar mitzvah at synagogues in the U.S.
To explore this evolution — and what it says about the role of women and girls in Judaism — assistant JLC education director Lily Lucey invited Shomrei women of several generations on Sunday, March 19 to recount for the b’nai mitzvah classes what the bat mitzvah represented when they were 12 or 13. Continue reading →
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, Chuck Bumcrot, Anthony Mazzocchi, Jeff Scott and Kyle Turner. Continue reading →
I was a little nervous. I was getting ready to go to Shomrei on a Saturday morning. It wasn’t for a yoga class with Elissa and it wasn’t for an @nourish discussion. I was going for a Shabbat experience with the Rabbi at the alternative service names “Pure & Simple”.
120 people gathered at Shomrei on Saturday March 4th to honor Rich Epstein and Susan Lazev at “Mensches & Martinis” our annual Honor Night celebration. Accompanied by the marvelous Stepansky-Posada Jazz Ensemble, the evening began with an elegant cocktail hour followed by catered feast.
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.