Congregation Shomrei Emunah
67 Park Street, Montclair, New Jersey 07042 Denominational affiliation:
Conservative Member units (households):
What percentage of members are older than 50?
How many people attend a regular Shabbat service?
Friday night—generally slightly more than a minyan, on special occasions up to 50. On Shabbat morning, there are usually about 30-40.
Length of typical Shabbat morning service?
2 3/4 hours
Shabbat dress code:
Older people tend to dress casual while younger dress more casual.
No daily minyan, but one on Sunday morning in the synagogue and on Wednesday evening at a congregant’s house.
Does your synagogue have its own building? If not, where do you meet for services?
Yes, we have our own building.
Is there an opportunity to socialize after services?
On Shabbat morning, yes. There is a full kiddush luncheon.
Language of service:
Mostly Hebrew on Friday night, almost exclusively Hebrew all other times.
Is another language offered in the prayer book?
Twice a month or so, there is a so-called “family service” on Shabbat morning, led by the Hebrew school director or an assistant. They have their own home-produced illustrated siddur, with mostly English prayers in a vastly abbreviated and simplified format. On holidays, there are a couple of children’s services for various ages.
Accessibility for people with disabilities:
Yes—there is a parking lot adjacent to the building with many designated handicapped spots. The entrance is directly off the parking lot, with no steps (but with heavy double doors). The sanctuary is on the second floor, reachable by elevator. The bathrooms are handicapped-accessible.
Are services streamed online?
No streaming during the year, occasionally on the High Holidays. The rabbi gives a formal sermon only on the High Holidays (link:http://www.shomrei.org/).
Are the rabbi’s sermons available online?
He does provide weekly reflections on the parashah in an online essay called “Torah Sparks.” (Same link)
Percentage of members in interfaith marriages?
Less than 1/2 dozen
Will the rabbi officiate at an interfaith wedding? Will he/she attend one?
Will not officiate, has attended at least one.
Are there distinct roles for men and women in your synagogue?
We are formally egalitarian—women are encouraged to wear tallitot and to a lesser extent put on tefillin, women serve as president and on the board; we formally welcome LGBTQ people, although we are a very small and quiet presence; and the rabbi has re-translated and re-interpreted the two Torah passages that traditionally have been interpreted as condemning male homosexuality and placed inserts with the new texts in the mahzorim and chumashim.
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