What's New

Yom HaShoah Memorial Service

Sunday, April 23 at 7 pm at Bnai Keshet

This coming Sunday, April 23, is the annual Montclair Yom HaShaoh Holocaust Memorial Service - an Interfaith Service sponsored by the Montclair Clergy Association. The entire community is welcome!

It features a special screening of the film WEAPONS OF THE SPIRIT. During World War II, in and around one village in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered—by 5,000 Christians. The astonishing story of a unique conspiracy of goodness.

Our hosts at Bnai Keshet are lucky enough to be borrowing a copy of the prototype of the new remastered version of the film, directly from the writer/director. 

A wonderful interfaith choir will also perform.

Join us at Bnai Keshet, 99 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair.

Dine Around & HavDylan Cafe

Saturday, May 13

Please join us for a rockin', rootsy evening of Bob Dylan songs. The evening will begin at 6 pm with dinner at a Ner Tamid member's home followed by an evening of Bob Dylan music performed by Bob Mellman and The Reticents.

  • Dinner, Concert & Dessert: $50 per person
  • Concert & Dessert Only: $30 per person
  • Dinner Only: $30 per person

Please register through the Member Portal.

Can you host a dinner for 6-8 people? The cost of the evening is waived. Interested? Contact Laurie Schifano at 973-338-1500x5.

Financial Support Urgently Needed for Refugee Family

Since mid-January Temple Ner Tamid has been working with Park United Methodist Church and other members of the Greater Bloomfield Interfaith Partners, as well as with Church World Service, to help resettle a Syrian family of six in our community. This family arrived in the United States on January 17 with virtually no possessions, having been forced to flee their neighborhood in Aleppo when it was bombed four years ago, and having suffered a long and arduous ordeal before being cleared by the U.S. State Department for resettlement in the United States. 

Clothing, food, housing, medical care, transportation and English instruction—these are some of the basic needs that have been provided through communal efforts since the family’s arrival in January. Members of our community have been providing the family with daily assistance to help them navigate through the maze and frustrations of the social services network to receive the support to which they are entitled, including health care coverage and school enrollment for their children.

We were fortunate that our partners at Park United Methodist Church made the church Mission House available to house the family until they were able to find an apartment they could call home. To everyone’s absolute delight, a suitable apartment was finally found in Paterson. The family moved into the apartment on March 22, supported by donations of furniture and household supplies from many of you.

While that was fortuitous, several members of this particular family have serious health issues (injuries and illness), which impose an additional and very serious financial burden. Many of these expenses will not be covered by their insurance, and we have sought creative ways to help defray these expenses. 

This letter comes to you as an appeal to help cover these expenses for the family. To defray medical expenses not covered by insurance and to help towards the family’s rent, utility payments and other household expenses we seek to raise $10,000.

Any additional funds raised will be used for other priority needs for this family and/or another refugee family settled in Bayonne whom we have been assisting, or for new refugee families we may be able to assist in the near future.

No donation is too small! Whatever you can give is deeply appreciated! You can make a donation online through the Member Portal.

Checks can be made out to Temple Ner Tamid – Refugee Fund. Temple Ner Tamid is a registered 501(c)(3) entity, and donations are tax-deductible as permitted under U.S. tax laws. Members of Temple Ner Tamid making donations to the Refugee Fund will see those amounts reflected in the annual statement they receive from the Temple detailing their contributions for tax purposes. Letters confirming the receipt of donations will be provided to non-members on request.

Time is of the essence. But know that we recognize there are now and will always be appeals to meet needs for our own community, and this request should not in any way be seen as at the expense of our obligations "at home". However, for those who are moved and able to contribute, your generosity is gratefully welcome.

 If you wish to become involved or have any questions, please contact Amy Winkelman - a_winkelman@hotmail.com or Fred Pressman - fpressman7@me.com of the Refugee Assistance Team.

Membership Shabbat

Friday, April 28 at 6:30 pm

Don't miss the third annual Membership Shabbat. Come celebrate all of us - old and new members, and those in between. Join us for a warm and welcoming B'yachad Shabbat service followed by a complimentary dinner and entertainment by the TNT Ramblers. Kids, parents, singles, empty nesters, seniors...did we leave anyone out? It all begins at 6:30 on Friday, April 28. Wine will be served to those over 21.   

Please RSVP now by logging into the Member Portal. We need a headcount for the catering.

Don't be left out. Mark your calendars now! Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Community Events

There are still a few spots available for some of our Community Events which were offered at this year's Gala in February. The Events are new this year and the goal is to foster community while having fun. Community Events are themed dinners or parties for a limited number of people hosted at a congregant’s home, with a $40 per person donation made to the Temple. Limited spaces are available! Check these out and sign up soon:

  • JAPANESE HOMECOOKED DINNER 4/22/17, hosted by Tamima Friedman & Daniel Rosenblum
  • ZEN TANGLE DRAWING 4/23/17, hosted by Ronni Pressman
  • PIZZA ON THE GRILL 5/6/17, hosted by Ronni & Fred Pressman
  • SONGS AROUND THE CAMPFIRE 6/10/17, hosted by Cantor Meredith Greenberg & Leora Perlman
  • BACKYARD TIKI PARTY Date TBD (late spring or early summer; hosts will contact participants) hosted by Amy & Scott Claman

Please reach out to friends and sign up for a night out! As the event gets closer, your host will contact you with their address and any other necessary details. Once you sign up your reservation is non-refundable.

By signing up, you're committing to a spot at the event and donating $40 per person to Ner Tamid. If your plans change and you are unable to attend, you can send a replacement but your donations are not refundable. You will be billed by the Temple for $40 per person.

Find out more about each event and sign up here .

Transition Update: Rabbinic Search

At the most recent meeting of the Ner Tamid Board of Trustees, the board voted to accept the recommendation of the Transition Committee to conduct a search for a rabbi who will succeed Rabbi Kushner immediately upon his retirement. The other option considered by the board was to hire an interim rabbi to serve for one year. The formal recommendation was made after having consulted with lay leaders and clergy at synagogues across the country that have recently experienced rabbinic changes and other local clergy, receiving presentations by professionals at the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) and URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) whose areas of responsibility include rabbinic changes, and reviewing literature on the issue of organizational transition, particularly in the synagogue setting. In addition, the Transition Committee considered the results of focus groups conducted to date at which TNT members voiced opinions on a wide range of issues relevant to the temple and its future.  

Several factors weighed heavily in the committee’s recommendation. Most importantly, Temple Ner Tamid has had two years notice of Rabbi Kushner’s retirement. The Transition Committee began its work very early in the process and was able to identify and address issues raised by this significant organizational milestone. The important issues related to a smooth and effective transition will continue to be the subject of thought, strategy, and action. Lay leadership will work with clergy and professional staff on an ongoing basis to make the rabbinic change a positive experience for the temple and for them.  

A common theme from the focus groups has been the centrality of community at TNT and the feeling of connection among us. Rabbi Kushner’s leadership style has allowed others to grow, flourish, and be creative and accountable for different aspects of temple life. That has strengthened the congregation as a whole and makes it easier to navigate change with confidence and intentionality. We are also fortunate to have a dedicated and talented staff, including Cantor Meredith Greenberg, Iris Schwartz, Ronni Pressman and others to provide leadership, stability, and continuity during the transition period.

Rabbi Kushner’s accomplishments, his beloved speaking and teaching style, his intelligence, and his general familiarity to us all will be missed. However, with his retirement now a reality, we should embrace this opportunity to grab the momentum that comes with change. The committee intends to capitalize on that excitement and not put it on hold.  

The first step in our rabbinic search is to continue the process of self-evaluation. Additional focus groups are scheduled for April and may be followed by a temple-wide survey. A search committee will be formed to do the work of reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, and making the final recommendation regarding the next rabbi at Ner Tamid. The CCAR maintains a formal process for synagogues conducting rabbinic searches. The position will be “posted” in September of 2017 and the review and interview process will follow. Our hope is that, by early 2018, we will have hired our new rabbi who will be joining our community on July 1, 2018. If the Search Committee and the Board feel that the search does not bring us the ideal rabbi for TNT, we will instead begin the process of hiring an interim rabbi.  

We will update the congregation shortly on the events planned for next year to mark this transition and honor Rabbi Kushner. It will include dates and more details about the events.  

If you have concerns or questions about this update or the transition process in general, please feel free to reach out to Ken Cohen, David Katowitz or TNT president Andi Robik. Or, you can send an email to transition@nertamid.org and we will respond to the message.  

Rosh Chodesh Iyar Gathering

Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 pm

Save the Date: The Rosh Chodesh Iyar Gathering for the Women of Temple Ner Tamid and friends will meet at Ner Tamid on Sunday, April 26 at 7:30 pm for Songs & Stories of Kol Isha (A Woman's Voice). Sharon Goldman, a NJ-based singer/songwriter, whose insightful and vivid storytelling and heartfelt, soulful performances will be with us as she shares a bold, unique song journey merging Jewish imagery, myth, and memories with a modern, feminist perspective.

Join us with an opportunity to figure out how to take "your mask" off revealing your fuller self.

Please RSVP to Cantorial Assistant Ronni Pressman. 

ShopRite Food Collection

Hello. I am Emily Dephoure, the new volunteer coordinator for the ShopRite food collection program. Many of you already know about this great monthly program that helps the local Human Needs Food Pantry serve thousands of hungry people throughout suburban Essex County. The program has been vital to the Food Pantry, which is facing an ever increasing need. Ner Tamid volunteers have handed out flyers to shoppers at the Brookdale ShopRite and collected thousands of bags of groceries. And, many shoppers are eager to give because it is an easy way to contribute. But, we need more volunteers to help keep this program going. It is also a great service activity for families and teens. 

We are also looking for adult volunteers with large vehicles such as SUVs and/or pickup trucks who could help transport food to the Pantry, which is a few miles from the ShopRite on Label Street in Montclair.

Contact me at emilydephoure@me.com if you would like to sign-up for a shift.

Here are the 2017 collection dates - Please consider volunteering.

Sunday, January 29; Sunday, February 26; Sunday, March 19; Sunday, April 30; Sunday, May 21; Sunday, June 11; Sunday, July 16; Sunday, August 20; Sunday, September 17; Sunday, October 15; Sunday, November 12; Sunday, December 10

Tikkun Olam Volunteers - Join our Community in Service to Others

We need your help. We have a variety of Tikkun Olam projects, but not enough volunteers to man them all. Depending on what’s your passion we have a volunteer opportunity that’s just right for you. But, if by chance you don't see that one special project that tickles your fancy, we want to hear where you want to help “repair the world.” 

Here's the list of our current opportunities waiting for your special touch:

  • Bloomfield Café – Soup kitchen partnering with United Park Methodist Church (monthly)
  • Brookdale Shoprite – Collecting food donated for the Human Needs Food Pantry (monthly)
  • Blood Drive – Donate blood (semi-annually)
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network – House homeless families; parents and children, in need of shelter (1 week a year)
  • Christmas Holiday Hospital Assistance Program – Relieve hospital staffs who celebrates Christmas (Christmas Eve and day)
  • Temple Rummage Sale – Setup and sell donated clothes and household items (annually)
  • Neighbor to Neighbor Network – Assist elderly and infirm Bloomfield residents with simple home repair and cleanup (a couple of weekend days)

Any of these projects require just a couple of hours of your time, and you're never going to be doing them by yourself. It's a great opportunity for families who want to experience community service together, for students looking for mitzvah projects, or for congregants wanting to get to know one another a little better while enjoying a rich rewarding experience. The work isn't hard. You might be tired at the end of the day, but you'll feel great about what you've just accomplished. 

Maybe you're looking for a broader social action opportunity. You want to be involved in an activity that can change the future of a larger constituency which might not necessarily be local. If this is the case contact Lori Price Abrams, VP Tikkun Olam, loripriceabrams@gmail.com to discuss your idea. Get involved! Be a Tikkun Olam volunteer and help “repair the world.” Click here to download your volunteer form today!

Bloomfield Café Feeds the Hungry

Throughout the summer Ner Tamid’s members and friends have dedicated their time and energy in an effort to help those less fortunate. Beginning in the middle of last summer we have been preparing food for our homeless of Bloomfield and Montclair. On the fourth Sunday of every month we use the Park United Methodist Church of Bloomfield’s kitchen and dining room to prepare and serve the community’s homeless a nutrient meal which might be the only meal they have had in some time. Food insecurity is something most of us only read about, but for these men, women, and children face this reality every day. 

You don't have to be a master chef to volunteer. You can help set up and serve. At the end of the day you’ll feel something very special in helping others. Be a joiner. We'd love to see some new faces. You're only volunteering for a couple of hours of work.

Please contact Sharyn Mandell sharynknows@aol.com with any questions or to add your name to the list of volunteer to help.

Please click hear to read more about the wonderful efforts of amazing volunteers and Tikkun Olam Committee.

Temple Ner Tamid's Amazon Store

Temple Ner Tamid has its own new Amazon.com store featuring favorite books and DVDs of Rabbi Kushner, Cantor Greenberg and fellow Temple members. 

Shopping via Ner Tamid's Amazon store won't cost you anything extra, but it does allow Temple Ner Tamid to earn about 6% from most purchases. You can purchase the books and DVDs recommended by clergy, staff, and fellow members or other items on Amazon.com that may not be featured on Temple Ner Tamid's Amazon store. All of your Amazon shopping benefits Temple Ner Tamid

Please click on the link below to access Amazon.com and then after shopping, proceed to the checkout. Ner Tamid's commission will be credited automatically.