March 03, 2015   12 Adar 5775
Search our site:


"I enrolled my boys at the Temple Shaari Emeth Early Learning Center. I couldn't believe what happened next." --Dr. Stacy Gallin, Manalapan, NJ

On behalf of our entire congregation, Rabbi Panken, Cantor Siet, and President Sue Rifkin welcome you to Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan, New Jersey, our kehillah kedoshah, our sacred community. Please read Rabbi Panken's message to our visitors.

Upcoming Events  
Purim Family ServicePurim Family Service Wed. 3/4/2015 6:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, 3/4/2015, our one-hour Purim Family Service starts at 6:30 p.m., includes a Megillah reading, and is open to all. Come in costume, it's raucous fun for the whole family! Our Junior Choir will sing, groggers will be everywhere and enjoy hamentaschen and a special costume parade. Can you guess what the Rabbi and Cantor will be wearing this year? We will also hold a fundraising raffle, which will include a 51-inch television and two sets of Yankees tickets, graciously donated by the Shaw and Fischer families, to benefit the Toby & Seth Hanover Youth Scholarship Fund. Please bring a box of pasta to use as a grogger and to be donated to the Open Door food pantry after the service.
Kabbalat Shabbat-First Friday of Each MonthKabbalat Shabbat - 3/6/2015 6:30 p.m.
If you have ever become hungry for a delicious Shabbat dinner somewhere around the Aleinu prayer, then the Kabbalat Shabbat service is for you. Experience a new way to celebrate Shabbat at Shaari Emeth. A one-hour service at 6:30 p.m. geared toward involvement of youth and adults, with a fun, interactive study of the week's Torah portion, a story or participation by Religious School students, inspiring singing and guitar music, and an Oneg Shabbat following services with light dinner fare, including delicious wraps and, yes, Black and Whites while they last. First Friday of each month, next Kabbalat Shabbat will be on 3/6/2015. Please join us.
Mitzvah Committee Shabbat Services at Pine BrookShabbat Services 3/7/2015 at Pine Brook Care Center
On Saturday, 3/7/2015 at 10:30 a.m., our Mitzvah Committee will conduct our monthly Shabbat services for residents of the Pine Brook Care Center, a nursing home at 104 Pension Road in Englishtown. For many years, Shaari Emeth has held monthly services and a Passover seder at Pine Brook. Please consider volunteering to serve as a prayer or song leader. There is a Torah service and Religious School students will receive "service credit" for their participation. Please contact Allen Rothman at or click through to our Mitzvah Committee web page for more information.
Club YOSHE Ceramics SundayClub YOSHE Ceramics Sunday 3/8 11:15 a.m.
Sunday, 3/8/2015 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. is the latest awesome event for Club YOSHE, our first and second grade youth program. There will be pizza for lunch, and children will learn a super-cool ceramics technique, taught by a local ceramics artist. All pieces are glazed, kiln-fired to perfection and gift wrapped! Cost for this event is $6.50 per child. RSVP must be received by 3/4 at 5:00 p.m.! For more information please contact our Club YOSHE Youth Advisor, Robin Gitlitz, at or click through for the Ceramics Sunday flyer.

YOSHE Seniors Lounge Night Sun. 3/8 4-5:30 p.m.
YOSHE Seniors Lounge Night Sunday 3/8 4:00-5:30 p.m.
YOSHE Seniors Lounge Night - Sunday, 3/8 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. - enjoy food, friends, and a night to feel good about yourself! YOSHE Seniors from 9th-12th grade are welcome for a great program on courage, confidence and self-esteem, led by our high school teens. Please RSVP to YOSHE Seniors advisor Sheryn Cohen at
Used Book Collection for FundraiserUsed Book Collection for Fundraiser-2/13 to 3/9
Extra books? Please consider the donation of your used books of all genres-the book collection box is in the hallway outside the sanctuary. These books will be used for Temple Shaari Emeth's Used Book Sale, to be held from 3/15-3/18. Any questions, please contact Suzanne Wycoff or Deborah Bonomo.
Knit N' NoshKnit n' Nosh - Thursday 3/12/2015 7:00 p.m.
Join the Temple Shaari Emeth community to knit blankets for Project Linus, an organization that provides handmade blankets to children in hospitals, shelters, or anywhere a child might be in need of a big hug. Over 5 million blankets delivered since 1998. Knit or crochet a blanket, make new friends, and have a little nosh. Coffee and nosh provided by the Social Action Committee and Sisterhood. 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on 9/11/2014, 11/13/2014, 12/11/2014, 1/8/2015, 2/12/2015, 3/12/2015, 4/9/2015, 5/14/2015 and 6/11/2015.
Tot ShabbatTot Shabbat - Friday, 3/20/2015, 6 p.m.
Join us for a short service, silly story and soulful singing on the third Friday of most months, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by a delicious Oneg. Great fun will be had by all! Tot Shabbat is a Shabbat service for families with children in second grade and younger, and will be held on 10/17/2014, 11/21/2014, 12/12/2014, 1/16/2015, 2/20/2015, 3/20/2015, 4/17/2015 and 5/15/2015.
YOSHE Seniors Ski Trip Sunday 3/22YOSHE Seniors Ski Trip Sunday 3/22
[Postponed from 2/15 due to extreme cold] YOSHE Seniors invites all teens to join them for a Skiing/Snowboarding and Tubing Day Trip to Jack Frost in Blakeslee, PA, Sunday, 3/22 from 7:30 a.m. sharp to 7:30 p.m. Whether you are an expert in the half pipe, downhill, moguls or just drinking hot chocolate, this trip is for you! $27 lift ticket; $50 lift ticket and ski rental; $55 lift ticket, ski rental and lesson. Snow tube $25; helmet $10. Ski chaperones needed! Limited space so sign up today with Sheryn at
Passover UniversityPassover University-A Day of Community Learning 3/22/2015
On Sunday, 3/22/2015 starting at 11:15 a.m. all are welcome to join us for Passover University - a day of community learning at Shaari Emeth. There will be two learning sessions and lunch. Choose from a number of different sessions including Passover Baking; Modern Slaves: The Problem of Human Trafficking; Kosher for Passover Wine Tasting; Passover Crafts and Activities for Kids and others. Superstar teachers from our clergy, staff, and the community. Click through for a flyer with schedule and registration information. RSVP deadline 3/13.
Jewish Interest Book ClubJewish Interest Book Club with Rabbi Melinda Panken 3/25/2015
Join Rabbi Melinda Panken for our Jewish Interest Book Club on Wednesday, 3/25/2015 at 7:00 p.m. at Shaari Emeth. Our book will be The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure. All book club meetings are at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays at Shaari Emeth and all books are available on Kindle. Please join us for a great discussion. All are welcome.
Shabbat ZimriyaShabbat Zimriya - Friday 3/27 8:00 p.m.
March 27, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. is our inspiring Shabbat Zimriya service. Shabbat Zimriya is a musical service with guitar, clarinet, saxophone, mandolin, piano and bass accompaniment by our clergy and talented Shaari Emeth musicians. A warm, bright and wonderful Shabbat service not to be missed. We hope to see you for Shabbat Zimriya. Join us, and bring a friend!
NFTY Weekend Event 6-7th Graders 3/27-3/29/2015NFTY Weekend Event 6th-7th Graders 3/27-3/29/2015
Announcing a great overnight weekend event for 6th and 7th graders! The NFTY Kallah (mini convention) provides our kids with the opportunity to meet their peers from the New York/New Jersey area. They will laugh, participate in mixers, learn, play games and have a great time - a taste of the NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) experience as the programming will be led by high school teens from our region. Professionally chaperoned; round-trip transportation by bus to and from Temple Shaari Emeth to URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick, NY. Discount for registration by 3/12/2015. Email Sheryn with questions at Click through for our flyer or click here to register.
Caring Community Passover Connections 3/29/2015Caring Community Passover Connections 3/29 11:15 a.m.
On Sunday, 3/29/2015 from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., please join our Caring Community to decorate and deliver pots of spring flowers for Passover to senior members of the Shaari Emeth community. Children of all ages are welcome to participate. When you RSVP we will assign you to a senior and you will reach out to him or her and arrange a delivery time. A wonderful event that is so meaningful. RSVP to Marcie required by 3/19 at
Kollel Family ServiceKollel Family Service-Special Needs Sat. 4/18 1:00 p.m.
"My house shall be a house of prayer for all people" - Isaiah 56:7. The Kollel Family Service is a Shabbat service designed to provide families and children with special needs the opportunity to worship together in an inclusive and sensitive environment. No "shushing" allowed! As with all of our Shabbat services, members and non-members of Shaari Emeth are invited to attend. Oneg with bagels and cream cheese follows services. Saturday, 4/18/2015 at 1:00 p.m.

Three Faiths Dialogue, 4/22/2015 7-9 p.m.
Three Faiths Dialogue, Wednesday, 4/22 7-9 p.m.
Tolerance and acceptance only happens when we know and understand one another. Please join us for these panel discussions in which we will explore facets of Islam, Christianity and Judaism to understand our differences as well as our commonalities. The Three Faiths Dialogue is a series of sessions, sponsored by the Freehold Clergy Association, and each held in a different house of worship in our community. Join us on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Temple Shaari Emeth. The subject will be "The Role of Women in our Faiths."
Cantor's Concert Saturday, 5/2 8:00 p.m.Cantor's Concert Saturday, 5/2 8:00 p.m.
Cantor Siet has inspired Temple Shaari Emeth and audiences with his exceptional voice and passion for 40 years. His love of Judaism draws people into a spiritual world of joy and ruach (spirit). The program will include selections of liturgical music and Broadway show stoppers. Cantor Siet will be accompanied by the Shaari Emeth Adult Choir. Advance tickets are $18/members, $15/seniors and children, $25/non-Temple members. Patron tickets are $40 and include preferred seating and a wine and cheese reception before the concert. Click through for more information and to order tickets online.
Daytime PlaytimeDaytime Playtime Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30 a.m.-12 noon
Bring the kids to enjoy our well-equipped, sparkling gym on most Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Please check our web calendar to confirm the schedule for the day you are attending. Bouncy House, scooters, slides, basketball hoops, crafts, great fun! Only $5 per child, and the public is welcome.
Parent and Me ClassesParent and Me (Mommy and Me) Classes
Jewish learning starts young. As young as 3-30 months in our Parent and Me (Mommy and Me) classes. Our highly experienced teachers provide an interactive, calm and soothing environment. Your child will be introduced to his or her Jewish heritage through songs and stories. He or she will make new friends and you will meet other parents with young children. And on Fridays - Shabbat, Songs, Snacks & Celebration, a 30-minute Shabbat celebration class. Parents may stay with their children or begin to separate in the process of transition. New classes now forming-register today.
Volunteer for the Caring Community CommitteeVolunteer for Caring Community Committee
Please volunteer to be a part of our Caring Community Committee. You can deliver meals to those who are sick; deliver gifts for parents and grandparents who are welcoming a newborn; and reach out to our senior community by delivering gifts at Chanukah and Pesach to those who are over the age of 80. If you would like to volunteer or if you have any questions, please contact Barbara Esserman at, or Rabbi Panken at It only takes a little time, but is so meaningful.
House a Homeless ManHouse a Homeless Man 2014-2015
Donations are requested to cover the costs of providing emergency housing for homeless men in the Freehold area from December through March. Each night the Freehold Clergy Association arranges for a different house of worship to open its doors to provide a warm, safe place to stay and hot meals for the homeless. Food and shelter are donated but there are additional costs of about $10 per person per night. Won't you please donate to help to continue this very important and life-saving charitable program? Please click through for a flyer - donations should be made payable to Church of St. Robert Bellarmine, which is handling the financial arrangements for the homeless shelter program. Thank you for your support.

View all of our fliers...

Click here for our Religious School

Click here for our Early Learning Center

Cantor Siet's 40th Anniversary Celebration
We are celebrating Cantor Wayne S. Siet's 40th Anniversary as Cantor of our congregation with two very special events! A very special Cantor's Concert will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are now available. And on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. will be Cantor Siet's 40th Anniversary Luncheon, the social event of the year to be held at Battleground Country Club. Additionally, there is a Commemorative Journal marking this very special occasion. Please consider showing your appreciation for Cantor Siet's contributions to our community by placing an advertisement in this journal. We hope that you will join us for these events in honor of our wonderful Cantor.

Temple Shaari Emeth Newsletter
Click below to read our latest Temple Shaari Emeth Newsletter.
For prior editions, click here.

Click here to read our Shaari Emeth Newsletter


Welcome to Our Community  

Welcome to Temple Shaari Emeth. Founded in 1966, we are a Reform congregation located in Manalapan, New Jersey, in western Monmouth County.  We are a member congregation of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest denomination of Judaism in the United States. As a progressive, egalitarian Jewish congregation, women and men have equal responsibilities and privileges, and we are welcoming toward interfaith families, persons of any ethnic background or sexual orientation, and individuals who are Jewish by choice as well as those who are Jewish by birth.

Please browse through our pages to learn more about the Temple Shaari Emeth family. Feel free to contact us at our main telephone number, (732) 462-7744, by email, or visit us in person at any Friday night service. Our synagogue is located at 400 Craig Road, Manalapan, NJ 07726 (click for directions). We look forward to meeting you.

Early Learning Center 2-generation family
A Temple Shaari Emeth Early Learning Center mother and her child pose in front of a giant billboard with their picture on Route 9 in Manalapan. When the mother was very young, her mom enrolled her in Shaari Emeth's preschool and now, years later, she has enrolled her own children at Shaari Emeth - a second-generation Shaari Emeth Early Learning Center family. Temple Shaari Emeth has been a trusted member of the community since 1966.

Rabbi Panken's 10th Anniversary Celebration 2013-2014
In 2013-2014, our wonderful Rabbi, Melinda F. Panken, had completed ten years as spiritual leader of our Temple and was beginning her 18th year as a rabbi. Throughout the year we celebrated her progressive, warm and dedicated leadership in many ways. Please click here for our web page describing the events held in honor of Rabbi Panken. To view the Commemorative Journal from Rabbi Panken's 10th Anniversary Gala, with special messages from congregants and friends, and our sponsors' advertisements, please click here.
Shaari Emeth Confirmands visit Washington, D.C. to lobby their Representatives.
Shaari Emeth Confirmation students visiting Washington, D.C. to participate in a political action seminar and to lobby their Representatives on critical social issues. As Reform Jews, we take the commandment, "Justice, justice shall you pursue" very seriously. We seek out injustice and apply ourselves to remedy the wrongs of society. The Temple Shaari Emeth Religious School (Hebrew School) instills these values in all of our students.

This Week at Shaari Emeth  
Section Links  

News From The Union For Reform Judaism  

URJ Condemns Harsh Ad, Calls for Respectful Debate

URJ Press Releases   |   Feb 28, 2015 12:00 AM

URJ Offers Grants for Congregations to Host Taste of Judaism® Classes

URJ Press Releases   |   Feb 27, 2015 12:00 AM
Classes Aim to Attract Those Curious About Judaism

Reform Jewish Leaders Respond to Arson Attack at Greek Orthodox Seminary in Jerusalem

URJ Press Releases   |   Feb 26, 2015 12:00 AM

Five Reform Jewish Teens Win Award for Creative Excellence

URJ Press Releases   |   Feb 24, 2015 12:00 AM
Five first place winners, and 12 runners up receive prizes for innovative projects

Six Teen Leaders Elected to Lead North American Reform Jewish Youth Movement

URJ Press Releases   |   Feb 23, 2015 12:00 AM

Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.
Union for Reform Judaism Member of the
Union for
Reform Judaism