Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Our Torah Fund Honoree JoAnn Luquis

This past Sunday, our dear member JOANN LUQUIS received our Sisterhood Torah Fund Honor. This honor is representing the Women’s League of the Jewish Theological Seminary. I was thrilled to be a part of this event. JoAnn is a very special person and member of our community. She has been on a journey ever since she joined our Congregation. She first came to me wanting to learn how to read from the Siddur, she then learned how to read a Haftorah, then the Parsha, then learning how to Daven. Of course, JoAnn comes to our Yiddish Class/Yiddish Club and our Learn to Lead Services classes regularly. JoAnn is an integral part of our Congregation on so many levels. She is very involved in Sisterhood, she has been coming to shul almost every morning & night, every Shabbat and always with a smile on her face. She learned to chant a Haftorah and lain (read) from the Torah. She leads Mincha & Maariv and is now learning to lead the Shabbat service. Not only does she participate in all of our services but JoAnn also picks up and takes back home other members so that they too can be a part of our Minyan who might otherwise not be able to get to shul. She is gracious and compassionate, caring and considerate and she embraces tradition and community with her whole heart. She truly leads her life by doing Mitzvot.

For those who were not able to attend, I would just like to share with you how wonderful this celebration was. IT WAS FANTASTIC! Linda Liederman was a superb Chairperson and opened with her beautiful greetings & introductions; as the Program continued…Natalie Winter (co-President) did the Hamotzi, Our Rebbetzin Judy Krinitz spoke and gave a beautiful D’var Torah, Maris Blechner and Robyn Rosenberg introduced our Honoree & Tributes, our dear Rabbi Wise shared his beautiful words with us, Arthur Liederman (our co-President) greeted us with warm words, Barbara Kaplan (V.P. of the Torah Fund in our area and surrounding areas) also shared her words with us, Stephanie Gedan (1st year Rabbinical Student at JTS), was our guest speaker, Diane Landau graciously presented the Pins and Dr. Beth Diker closed with her beautiful thank yous. I was thrilled to participate with some words and to sing my special tribute to JoAnn, who was so deserving of our Sisterhood Torah Fund Honor. By the way, it comes as no surprise that Maris Blechner did her usual fantastic job of coordinating the Brunch. The Honoring/Brunch was truly beautiful. The food was delicious and everyone had a great time socializing & seeing friends. So many people attended to support and honor JoAnn. It was so heartwarming.

DATES TO REMEMBER…Our next ”YIDDISH CLUB CLASS” will take place on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER  28th at 8:00 PM. ALL ARE WELCOME – COME JOIN US – BRING A FRIEND! We will continue in the Spring. Look out for dates in our Bulletins.

Also, I have added an **EXTRA** ”LEARN TO LEAD SERVICES (DAVEN)” class which will be taking place on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12th at 8:00 PM. ALL ARE WELCOME, COME JOIN US – BRING A FRIEND! We will continue in the Spring. Look out for dates in our Bulletins.

Don’t miss our  ”HHBJC ANNUAL FAMILY/ COMMUNITY CHANUKAH DINNER” being held on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9th at 5:00 PM.  Being organized by our fantastic and dear MARIS BLECHNER with those who so lovingly volunteer to help. Let us celebrate The Festival of Lights together. It will be lots of FUN for CHILDREN & ADULTS alike. There will be an artist doing FACE PAINTING (by the way; not just for kids)! There will also be a JELLY BEAN COUNTING and there will be DELICIOUS FOOD (CHINESE BUFFET)!  Yours truly will of course be singing some Chanukah songs and I look forward to lighting the Chanukah candles and singing the blessings together with you. There will be something for EVERYONE…PARENTS, CHILDREN, GRANDPARENTS, GRANDCHILDREN, SINGLES, COUPLES, FRIENDS…COME AND LET’S ENJOY TOGETHER!  

Let us all pray to Hashem for the family and friends of our brethren who were killed at the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregations in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh. We must never forget! Let us also pray for all those killed at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Southern California simply enjoying some country music, a popular spot for college students. And let us also pray to God for all those in California, suffering the fierce and deadly fires and for all the emergency responders who are risking their own lives to save others.

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

Wishing you a Happy Chanukah!!          

See you in Shul.

Cantorially always,

Cantor Sol Zim