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

Taking Action Against Climate Change

At this past Sunday’s Mitzvah Day event, Shomrei members took part in an educational program delivered by David Korfhage, President of Montclair Climate Action. David began the presentation by asking us, “What comes to mind when you think about climate change?” These were our responses, “Guilty” “Scared” “Confused” “Helpless”: “Paralyzed.”

“So there’s a lot of anxiety” he responded. “And the antidote to anxiety is to take action – to channel fear and anxiety into action, even if you don’t know what the results are going to be.” Continue reading

MESH Report April 5, 2022

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Delany family who celebrated Gabriel’s bar mitzvah this past weekend, our MESH guests were treated to an outstanding meal left from the event, and the cook (that would be yours truly) simply had to lead a very experienced packing team of Sarita Eisenberg and Susan Rosenblatt. Continue reading

Bat Mitzvah L’dor Vador (from Generation to Generation)

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

MESH Report March 15, 2022

Sarita Eisenberg and Shirley Grill teamed up to prepare this week’s MESH meal. The meal included fish in a yoghurt-mustard sauce with sides of rice and sesame noodles – leftover from the Feldman bar mitzvah on Saturday. There was also a salad of greens (also leftover from kiddush), tomato, cucumber, carrot, and corn. Continue reading

Pantry Cooking: Invention in the Kitchen

What to make for dinner when you’ve already had fish twice- three times if you count the sushi- the soup from the souperspreader is gone and well, you just can’t face the supermarket?

There’s the pantry. Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a natural cook although I’ve always liked to cook. But as a kid, I was constantly shooed out of the kitchen: I had no cooking mentor although one of my grandmothers was a fine cook. 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