Masking Recommendation

Dear Congregation Shomrei Emunah,

As we are all about to embark on end of the year celebrations and many of us plan travel, I wanted to take a minute to remind you that while there is no vaccine requirement and mask wearing at Shomrei remains optional, both the Medical Committee and I are becoming very concerned about the rise of COVID/FLU/RSV transmission, which, if the last two years are a guide, tends to peak in early January.

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Update to Shomrei’s Covid Policy

Dear Congregation Shomrei Emunah,

I am pleased to share with you our updated COVID19 protocols. As you will see, starting immediately, we have transitioned to a mask optional policy for all non-school activities. This shift in policy comes following the successful implementation of a mask optional policy for the first floor during the High Holy Days and was approved by the board at our most recent meeting after consultation with our Medical Committee, who agreed it is time to make this adjustment. The change also brings Shomrei into alignment with other congregations in Essex County.

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Introducing Shomrei’s New President

Shalom Shomrei Community!

I could not be more delighted to step into the role of President of Congregation Shomrei Emunah. It is a tremendously exciting time of change at Shomrei: a new Rabbi, a new interim Education Director, the hoped-for full emergence from COVID-19 and return to our familiar ways of gathering and celebrating our community and Judaism.

I have gotten to know many of you over the years, but I still have so many of you to meet, which I look forward to doing soon. Today, I am writing to share my excitement, my gratitude, and to share a bit about myself and my family.

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Responding to the Tragedy of Gun Violence

Like all of you, our hearts are broken following the horrendous death of innocent children at an elementary school in Uvalde Texas, which follows two mass shootings last week at a supermarket in Buffalo and a church in Laguna Woods California. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need to act. Taking action is the only thing that will change what is happening. Here are some suggestions for appropriate actions you can consider taking. Continue reading

Announcing a New Siddur

At Shabbat morning services on June 18, we are excited to announce that Shomrei will open a new ritual chapter. Thanks to the generosity of one of our member families, we will introduce the newest Siddur of the Conservative movement. Siddur Lev Shalem for Shabbat and Festivals joins Mahzor Lev Shalem as our primary source. Like the mahzor, it features a four-column format, new translations in contemporary language, a commentary providing historical context as well as kavanot (passages of intentionality), poetry and prose that expand and enrich our relationship to the text. For those who have used our Mahzor, you will find it very familiar.

To help everyone navigate this wonderful new tool for prayer, Rabbi Greenstein will offer a short learning session immediately following Kiddush that day.

If you are interested in dedicating one of these beautiful new volumes, you may do so either online, or by contacting the office. Continue reading

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

Enveloped In Love – Our Kiddush Experience

On Feb 26, 2022, my family hosted the kiddush for Brian’s 10th  birthday party – first time double digits is an exciting chapter! The moment we entered synagogue, congregants wished Brian a happy birthday. Rabbinic Intern, Lily Lucy, welcomed us into the Hinei Ma Tov JLC event, by wishing Brian a good birthday and pointing out to the other students that the birthday table covers, balloons and food items were all set up so that the congregation could celebrate Brian entering his double-digit birthday. It made Brian feel so special. Continue reading