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Jonah's New Yarmulke - Four Men at Shabbat Services

by User Not Found | Feb 04, 2019

KippahBoys - croppedAs told to me by Gertrude Shankman, Handmaker resident for nearly 12 years, currently aged 104. I have taken some editorial liberties, though…

Every Saturday morning we have Shabbat morning services at Handmaker for all who wish to attend. These services are lay-led by Mel Cohen and Dan Asia, along with Les Waldman, a Handmaker resident.

Dan has been mentoring an 11-year-old boy named Jonah, who has been coming to Shabbat morning services at Handmaker since he was a toddler. For the last year or so, Dan has been encouraging Jonah to help him lead certain prayers and songs during the morning service. It has been wonderful watching Jonah’s confidence grow, along with the loudness of his voice.

It is customary for men to wear yarmulkes (skull caps) during the services. The three men all have yarmulkes with the initials of their names sewn on them, handmade by Gertrude Shankman, the most senior attendee of the Shabbat morning services. This summer at one of our Shabbat morning services, Jonah was presented with his very own yarmulke with his initials sewn on it, by Dan, his mentor, handmade by Gertrude. It is hard to know whose smile was wider at this presentation, Dan’s, Jonah’s or Gertrude’s!

And so now, we have four men leading our Shabbat morning services at Handmaker, each with a special, matching yarmulke!

And by the way, we do have other young people at Handmaker helping to lead services on Saturday mornings, but we would love to have more. If you are interested in helping out, or have a child who wants to help, contact me, Nanci Levy, at 322-3632 or