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Showing posts from 2015

Who’s Sitting At Your Thanksgiving Table This Year? Bethel Interfaith Thanksgiving Service – November 25, 2015

Who’s Sitting At Your Thanksgiving Table This Year? Bethel Interfaith Thanksgiving Service – November 25, 2015 Cantor Penny Kessler
About 20 years ago, I volunteered to help create and edit a school newspaper at Johnson School. At the organizing meeting in early-November, one parent suggested that we hold off until “after the holidays.” I was baffled. I soon realized that I was focusing on the Jewish calendar, while everyone else was headed into the months’ long marathon that is the Christmas season. For Jews however, the holiday marathon of 4 major festivals over the course of 24 days, had just ended, and I was finally able to take a deep breath as I took down our family sukkah as we ended our marathon of fall festivals. Right, I thought; we’ll wait until after THOSE holidays. Aha. Many here may recognize Sukkot as “Tabernacles.” Every year Jews – including my family – erect sukkot, temporary hut-type structures that replicate the way our Biblical ancestors would erect temporary dwellin…

The 1966 Car Chase

It wasn't Proust's famous madeleine. It certainly didn't evoke sweetness. My stomach churned, and I still feel nauseated and shaken. 

"NEW MILFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut State Police say a 32-year-old man avoided a trooper's gunfire during a chase through several towns that ended with a crash and his arrest." (Friday, July 17, 2015)

Flashback to a Brooklyn December Sunday afternoon in 1966. Bear in mind, the memories are from a child's point of view, so distortions are freely disclaimed. 

In 1966 my grandmother lived with my parents (z"l), my sister, and me in our row house in Brooklyn. I was a kid, and she and I shared a bedroom (something I resented in typical pre-teen fashion - I'm letting you know so you know I'm no paradigm of perfect grandchild).

Annie Angelson was born in Russia in 1878, and in my memory, she was always an old lady. I remember her as very small, very cuddly, very old-world'ish - which made sense because she had emig…