MONTCLAIR, NJ — Congregation Shomrei Emunah, a synagogue in Montclair, has announced that Rabbi Julie Roth will become the next spiritual leader for the synagogue on Aug. 1. Roth comes to Shomrei from Princeton Hillel where she has been the executive director and Jewish chaplain for 17 years. She succeeds Rabbi David Greenstein, who is retiring after 13 years at Shomrei.
During her tenure at Princeton, Roth has built one of the premier Hillels in the world and pioneered cohort-based learning fellowships and an educational travel program that received Hillel’s International Meyerhoff Award for Educational Vision in 2014. She was also the recipient of the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award, Hillel’s highest honor in 2013.
Additionally, Roth is the rabbi and co-founder of Zamru, a musically innovative, spiritually engaging, intergenerational Friday night indie minyan based in Princeton that grew to a community of more than 300. She is also the co-founder of Shabbat Katan, a creative, interactive service that revitalized young family engagement at her local synagogue.
“We are thrilled that Rabbi Roth will become our congregational leader later this summer,” Shomrei President Miriam Haimes said. “She has a deep passion for Jewish life and education that we are confident will inspire not only Shomrei members but the greater Montclair community. As the executive director at Princeton Hillel, she guided the students on their college and Jewish journeys and we look forward to having her share her love of Judaism and knowledge with us.”
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Roth holds a Bachelor of Arts in comparative religion from Brown University. She is a recipient of the Wexner Fellowship and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2005. She and her husband, Rabbi Justus Baird, have three children.
“I couldn’t be more excited to lead the Shomrei community,” Roth said. “I’ve been yearning to spend more time doing what I love most — building intentional relationships, leading spiritually alive services, giving inspirational sermons, officiating at lifecycle events, teaching Torah addressing contemporary issues and listening with compassion — and look forward to doing this at Shomrei.”
Congregation Shomrei Emunah, located at 67 Park St. in Montclair, is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.