Not Just Another Congregation
Nestled within the vibrant community of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, lies the iconic synagogue –Congregation Shomrei Torah.
Established through the auspices of YU five decades ago, it serves as the oldest and largest orthodox shul and community center in Fair Lawn. Through an abundance of diversified shiurim, engaging programming for children and adults, and a broad range of learning opportunities, the welcoming congregation is not just a place to attend services — it is a hub of spiritual and religious growth for the Jewish community of Fair Lawn.
It all began with two energetic visionaries – Rabbi Benjamin and Rebbetzin Shevi Yudin – who have shepherded the Fair Lawn community from its early stages and have fostered the spiritual journey of its congregants ever since.
Beloved to all those who know them, the Yudins are indeed the pioneers of Congregation Shomrei Torah, and consequently, the Fair Lawn community. Together, the indomitable couple designed and built the shul to feel like “home” for young and old alike. Teeming with warmth and wisdom, their home is an extension of the Beit HaKnesset where they continue to guide Jews from all backgrounds on the sacred journey of Torah observance – and where everyone is always welcome.
Today, the 50-year milestone of Congregation Shomrei Torah is fraught with bittersweet emotions: We mark not only 50 years of leadership, but the transition of Rabbi Yudin to Rabbi Emeritus.
Now, we look ahead to the future, as we build upon the rich legacy of our past.
Rabbi Benjamin and Shevi Yudin arrive in Fair Lawn to lead 17 shul affiliated families. The Coffee House for Fair Lawn teens meets every Wednesday evening to chat with the Rabbi.
The Fair Lawn youth become part of New Jersey NCSY.
Rabbi Yudin starts weekday minyanim.
The Orthodox Congregation of Fair Lawn moves from the basement to the shul building.
The Shomrei Torah Charity Fund, now called the Norbert Schloss Memorial Shomrei Torah Charity Fund, is established to help needy people and Yeshivot here and in Israel.
80 affiliated families buy the site of the current shul building.
The new shul building and Eruv are completed. The first congregational Shavuot Siyum is established.
Shomrei Torah grows to over 200 affiliated families. Shomrei Torah welcomes and assists in the settling of many families from the former Soviet Union. Shomrei Torah organizes ten simultaneous chupot, plus dinner and dancing, for ten couples who didn’t have a Jewish wedding in the former Soviet Union.
Rabbi Yudin leads a Federation of NJ mission to Israel.
The Fair Lawn mikveh housed in Shomrei Torah is dedicated.
The Leah Sokoloff Nursery School of Shomrei Torah is founded. A Holocaust Memorial Sefer Torah is dedicated.
Rabbi Yudin begins mentoring Rabbinic interns, Assistants and Associate Rabbis. The Daf Yomi starts in Fair Lawn and continues until today.
Shomrei Torah adopts the sister community of Maon in Israel.
In response to the need for additional Yeshivot in Bergen County, Rabbi Yudin initiates the formation of Yeshivat Noam with many Shomrei Torah members.
Shomrei Torah welcomes and hosts an annual Yachad Shabbaton.
Rabbi Yudin heads Shomrei Torah mission to Israel just prior to Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. Shomrei Torah houses the first Bnei Akiva group in Fair Lawn. Shomrei Torah raises money for the Magen David Adom ambulance for Yehudah and Shomron.
Torah Tuesday is established by Rabbi Yudin to provide Torah learning for retirees on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings. The program is subsequently dedicated as the Naftali Aron Torah Enrichment Program.
Rabbi Yudin, with the help of Yeshiva University, initiates the Torah Enrichment Center to attract young couples to Fair Lawn. From that initiative comes the Beit Medrash program a few years later.
Shomrei Torah attracts 100 new families.
The Fogelman Memorial Beit Medrash Program is officially dedicated.
As the Rabbi and Shevi celebrate their Yovel (50th) year, they take pride in the fact that the Fair Lawn Orthodox community of today now numbers 1,000 families. They feel so blessed to be part of their Shomrei Torah family and thank Hashem each and every day for their wonderful children all raised in Shomrei Torah and the beautiful families they’ve built.