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Gratitude for the High Holidays at Handmaker

by Nanci Levy | Oct 05, 2018
Erev Sukkot - 9.23.18 - 8

We are just about to complete the Jewish month of Tishrei, a month that begins with Rosh Hashanah; the Jewish New Year; followed by Yom Kippur; the day of atonement; and then Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in rapid succession. We celebrated, reflected, and then celebrated some more. It is a joyous time, but a busy time. Needless to say, things can get a little hectic this time of year in the Jewish Community. It is not really until the celebration of Simchat Torah is over that we have the time to sit back and think back on the whirlwind of holidays that have just come to an end. Just as the Jewish High Holidays are a time of reflection on the year that has passed, the time just after these holidays can be a time for reflection as well. A time to think back on, and if you are planner, a time to make notes about what can be done differently next year.

There are so many elements and details that go into the observance and celebration of these holidays, as any host of a holiday celebration can attest to. Handmaker takes the worry of these details off the shoulders of our residents so that they can just focus on their observance. They do not have to think about where their High Holiday service tickets are, what they are making for Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner, when to pick up the bagels and lox for the break fast, or how to build their Sukkah. Instead, the work and these details are taken care of by Handmaker staff and volunteers. So in reflecting back on these holidays, now is also a good time to recognize with gratitude all of those who played a role in making the High Holidays so special at Handmaker.

In addition to their normal day to day responsibilities at Handmaker, we have amazing and dedicated staff who planned, prepared and served the special holiday meals for residents; set up the Great Room so that it would be ready for holiday celebrations and services; built, decorated and then took down the Handmaker Sukkah; brought residents to and from the Holiday meals and services; as well as a great many other details that we were not even aware of.

We are blessed with two wonderful service leaders, Mel Cohen and Dan Asia, who not only lead services every Saturday morning, but every holiday service as well. They have help during the Holidays from Michael Rosensweig, and this year; with a Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation; we brought in a Rabbinical student to help Mel, Dan and Mike during Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Eric Dangott not only helped with meals and services, but he had an opportunity to meet with and connect to our residents throughout the holidays.

So, we look back on these chagim (holidays) with gratitude for our ability to observe and celebrate, and appreciation for all of those staff, volunteers, and others who did what they did so that we were able to observe and celebrate during this High Holiday season.

Shana Tova, and Shabbat Shalom.