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Thursday, 23 January 2014 10:25


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By Ronni Metzger: This past December the women of the JCCH reignited the time honored tradition of celebrating Rosh Chodesh. Eileen Lieberman graciously hosted the meeting and Barbara Paris, the Atidat Ami Rabbinic Intern, led the women in reflection and instruction. We learned about the origins of this uniquely women’s holiday, and we each participated in a moving recitation of our maternal lineage.  We then studied the story of Yehudit, and its historical connection to Hanukkah. Everyone then had the opportunity to let in the light of the holiday as we each lit the Hanukkah Menorah. It was a very special evening.

On December 11, 2013, the JCCH Sisterhood hosted a beautiful luncheon with Letty Cottin Pogrebin, the renown author, speaker and founding editor and writer for Ms. Magazine. Ms Pogrebin has written ten books. She is also the editor of the anthology, Stories for Free Children, and was the consulting editor on Free to Be, You and Me and Free to Be...A Family, Marlo Thomas’ ground-breaking children's books, record and television specials, to name just a few of her accomplishments.

At the luncheon, Letty shared her insights from her recently published book, How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer, Letty interviewed other patients and caregivers about their experiences with friends and family upon receiving life-altering diagnoses. With humor and honesty, Ms. Pogrebin, provided helpful suggestions about helping close friends who are sick.  She left us with a few basic thoughts; First, always ask an ill friend (or a family in mourning) what would be helpful. Instead of flowers and candy, maybe a massage or a home cooked meal would be more appreciated.  Simple things like sharing a joke of the day could work wonders. Thinking of the family members is also important; maybe the caregiver could use some time off or help with errands.  Second, think about whether a visit is really appropriate. The patient may not be ready for company. And finally, think before speaking. The most well intentioned comments can be hurtful. Sometimes, the quiet comfort of having the company of a caring friend is enough.

As we all experience the challenges of helping loved ones with illness or death, Letty provided important tools with which to handle such trying situations.


January Events at JCCH


As we head into the dead of winter, the trees are bare and dormant, even Israel is experiencing harsh snowstorms, yet we are getting ready for Tu B’shvat, the holiday of the trees!  Talk about optimism!

Here at the JCCH, we celebrated the holiday of the trees with a Tu B’shvat brunch on January 12 with breakfast specially prepared by Men’s Club.  A guest lecturer from JNF discussed relevant environmental issues facing Israel spoke at the brunch. The Religious school will enjoy special Tu B’shvat programming on January 12th, which included a visit from Blue Box Bob! And, the Rosh Chodesh group conducted a Woman’s Tu B’shvat Seder at their January meeting on Tuesday, January 7th.

The action continues with a Sisterhood sponsored trip to see the Speigelman and Chagall exhibits at the NYC Jewish Museum on January 14th.

On January 15th, Melanie Baevsky gave a talk at the JCCH about the Social Network Twitter. Melanie is an Account Manager at Twitter NYC and discussed what Twitter is, how it's useful to both individuals and organizations, and where to get started.

Don’t miss our Israeli Wine tasting on Wednesday, January 29th. If you have questions about any of these programs, please do not hesitate contact me, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 10:28