Temple Israel of Sharon Celebrates Despite Storm
The members and staff of Temple Israel of Sharon truly came together to weather the storm this past weekend. The congregation was scheduled to host not one, but two bar mitzvahs on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Instead of cancelling the festivities, as was done at most other religious institutions across the state, Temple Israel chose to stay open and hold the ceremonies in the midst of the storm.
The morning bar mitzvah service, for Ariel Kwitkin-Close, was made possible by an overly cooperative staff and membership. The Temple’s Cantor, Steven Dress, and his wife Myrna, slept in the Temple building Friday night so they would be there to assist. One of the Temple’s custodians, John Halloran, walked over two miles so he could be there to help, as well. Following the governor’s ban on driving, the rest of the Temple’s staff and members walked to the synagogue, some for several miles, to participate in the festivities. Additionally, Temple members opened their homes to others who lived too far to walk in the near-blizzard conditions.
“Remember those T-shirts that said ‘I survived the Blizzard of '78’? I want one that says ‘I survived the Bar Mitzvah Blizzard of 2013’,” stated Aimee Close, Ari’s mother. “Though we were of course disappointed that most of our guests could not make it, we were fortunate to celebrate Ari's bar mitzvah with 100 people in our community, all of whom walked through almost three feet of snow to honor our son. And thanks to Marty Grandberg, Caterer Extraordinaire, we were able to feed them. I am so proud of my son, and of my community for being there to support him. In a blizzard, when it was literally illegal to be out on the roads, we had 100 people in shul! What a testament to Ari, and to the community,” continued Close.
After the morning bar mitzvah, many Temple members stayed to prepare for the afternoon event, laying a dance floor, setting up tables and chairs, and helping to decorate the room. The afternoon/evening b’nai mitzvah event, for brothers Ben and Zach Reingold, was held after the driving ban was lifted, which made it possible for the other Temple custodial staff , the DJ, caterers and party organizers to arrive more easily. Grateful for the help, the Reingold family invited all to stay and share in the festivities.
"The spirit of our community overwhelmed our family this past weekend as Rabbi Starr and Cantor Dress led the charge in ensuring that our b'nai mitzvah occurred despite the weather," said Kim Reingold. "Not only were we overjoyed to witness each of our boys become Jewish adults, but so many of our family members and friends braved the roads to celebrate with us. In addition, every merchant hired – Andrew’s Catering, Party Excitement, Photographer Jon Fisher, Videographer Adam Kantor, Party Planner Gary Fisher, and TotalEntertainment - made it on time to help us make the evening even more special. We are very grateful to be a part of the Temple Israel and Sharon communities!" continued Reingold.
Temple Israel, founded in 1937, is the largest traditional egalitarian Conservative synagogue in southeastern Massachusetts. Temple Israel offers a wide and varied range of religious services, classes, and events - from pre-K to mature adults - all designed to engage, inspire, and excite the mind, body and spirit. Most programs are open to the public. Additional information may be obtained on the Temple's website, www.tisharon.org.
# # #