A Weekend to Remember
It all began on Saturday evening, 12/28 as I walked into a transformed St. Mark’s!! The entire hall was transformed into a warm, Chanukkah “chaven”. A lawn sized Chanukkiah (thank you Jay Carsman) grabbed you immediately! Followed by the children’s area lovingly manned by Susan Tova, the amazing musical accompaniment and table upon table decorated with family Chanukkiahs, dreidels and oh, so much more. Three food tables were laden with brisket, chicken, salmon and many homemade delicacies, crunchy latkes and desserts galore.
The evening began with Rabbi Oren leading us in Havdalah where all held hands and swayed to the age-old bracha. We (75 people!) then lit our Chanukiah and said the brachot over the candles together. We ate (and ate) and then danced the night away with Rabbi Oren leading us around and around. It was sensational.
None of this would have been possible without the awesome duo of Shoshanah Schwartz and Ariadne Weaver. They truly worked their magic and created an ambiance that was so welcoming and warm. The room was truly transformed with a truly Chanukkah imbued ambiance. The many weeks they spent planning and the hours preparing and cleaning up paid off in a most memorable event. Kol hakvod Sho and Ari!
The weekend continued and on Sunday, 12/29 some 25 members of SYVJC attended services at St. Mark’s; a service that Rabbi Oren and Rev. Randall had worked on together. Thank you to Theo Brown, Jeff Winter and Elayne Klasson who participated in readings for the service. This was all capped by Rabbi Oren holding us spellbound with his sermon, which dealt not just with the story of Chanukkah but the deeper meaning it still holds for us today. His sermon had depth, humor and great teachings that were immensely meaningful to everyone in the audience. Many tissues were in use. His sermon is attached as many from our community and St. Mark’s had requested.
For those who have been asking, we are working with the ADL and Joan Hartman and when more information is available, it will be found in this newsletter. We hope to plan an event in conjunction with St. Mark’s (Rev. Randall), Bethania (Pastor Chris), and the Mission (Father Bobby).
The following article was sent to me by Jill Goldworn and so represents our fears and hopes as Jews: https://www.kveller.com/when-anti-semites-come-for-the-orthodox-they-come-for-all-of-us/?utm_content=buffer1a082&utm_medium=social&utm_source=mjlfacebook&utm_campaign=buffer
May this New Year bring you health, contentment and peace.