With the Jewish New Year of 5783 just around the corner, Handmaker staff, volunteers and residents have been busy preparing for the holidays logistically, as well as spiritually.
Handmaker’s wonderful Executive Chef, Claire Ferguson, has planned some delicious festive meals for residents for the holidays, beginning on Erev Rosh Hashanah and ending with Simchat Torah, including meals in the Handmaker Sukkah during Sukkot! The festive meals at Handmaker are for residents only this year, but you can order your holiday meal to pick up at Handmaker by contacting Claire at 520-322-3639 or [email protected], or Mike Felde at 520-322-7009 or [email protected]. Prices and menus are available at Handmaker.org. Rosh Hashanah orders must be placed by Thursday, September 22 at 5 pm.
For the last 30 years, Mel Cohen has been leading services at Handmaker, most often alongside Dan Asia, and with Michael Rosenzweig during the High Holidays and Festivals. Handmaker is grateful that they will be leading holiday services this year; some in-person in the Handmaker Great Room and some on Zoom. Please check in with Nanci Levy at [email protected] for the most up to date schedule and zoom links.
This past month Handmaker welcomed the Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA) 7th and 8th Grade classes for a visit. The students sang some Holiday songs, performed a skit, handed out handmade Rosh Hashanah cards, and spent some time chatting with the residents. It was wonderful to also meet Rabbi Dr. Cody Bahir, the new Director of Judaic and Hebrew Studies at THA. Rabbi Cantor Emily blew her Shofar, giving residents the opportunity to hear the distinctive sound of the Shofar blasts during the Hebrew month of Elul, in preparation for the Jewish New Year.
The smell and taste of apple and honey cakes brought back many happy memories for residents who grew up with these treats. This month residents also enjoyed making and tasting their own homemade apple honey Cake in both the Rubin and the Tynan Assisted Living Neighborhoods.
An Around the World class this month focused on the upcoming Holiday celebrations, with help from Rabbi Richard Safran and Nanci Levy. During the class, residents sampled the sweet taste of apples and honey, and made some lovely Jewish New Year cards with Angela Salmon to share with friends and family.
And every Saturday afternoon this month, a group of residents have been meeting in the Rubin Library with copies of the book “Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27,” by Rabbi Debra Robbins. The book provides a framework for a spiritual practice to prepare for the upcoming holidays during the month of Elul, and the group has enjoyed meeting to listen, read, write, meditate, share, and prepare themselves for the start of a new year.
Wishing everyone a sweet, meaningful, and happy new year! Shana tova!