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‘Shabbat Under the Canopy’ at Temple Beth Am, Mar. 22

‘Shabbat Under the Canopy’ at Temple Beth Am, Mar. 22

‘Shabbat Under the Canopy’ at Temple Beth Am, Mar. 22

Handcrafted chuppah

Join Temple Beth Am, 5950 N. Kendall Dr. in Pinecrest, for the dedication of a new chuppah and the opportunity to meet Anita Diamant. The theme for this special event on Mar. 22 is “Shabbat Under the Canopy.”

The evening (6-9 p.m.) will be a lively spirited celebration. In Jewish tradition, a chuppah is a canopy under which a couple stands during their wedding ceremony. As a gift of the heart, a dedicated group of women at Temple Beth Am have created a custom-designed handcrafted chuppah. It symbolizes a home that the couple will build together, a place that is welcoming and secure.

Diamant is a prizewinning journalist and author of numerous books about contemporary Jewish practice, as well as four bestselling novels, including The Red Tent. A woman for our times, Diamant will be the temple’s special guest, courtesy of the Dr. Morton M. Axler Speaker Series and the temple’s Sisterhood. Following a festive dinner, Diamant will share her thoughts in a personal, free-form conversation hosted by the synagogue’s Rabbi Judith Kempler.

The public is invited to attend; reservations are required for dinner. The service begins at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $20 per person for dinner. Sponsorships are available for Wine and Cheese reception with Diamant at 5 p.m. All information is available at www.tbam.org/shabbatcanopy or by calling 305-667-6667, ext. 149.

THE STORY BEHIND THE CHUPPAH

The chuppah that the Sisterhood of Temple Beth Am created for the congregation truly has been a labor of love, cooperation, and community. Each of the women brought a unique talent and skill to the task; each put in time and effort to bring a design to life in the form of a ritual object handcrafted in fabric.

It all began when Temple caterer Sarah Davidoff (also a Sisterhood board member) reported that brides, while discussing wedding plans with her, often expressed surprise that there was no Temple chuppah. The board agreed that providing one would make a wonderful Sisterhood project, whereupon Sarah (who was married under a hand-embroidered chuppah her mother made) “volunteered” her mom, Judith Davidoff, to chair the committee. And once fiberartist Nancy Billings was recruited as artistic co-chair, the “Chuppah Project” was born.

The committee held a temple-wide design competition. Using strictly anonymous judging, the Sisterhood board selected the top three entries, ranked them by preference, and sent them to the clergy for the final selection. Judging was no easy task as any of the top three would have been a fine choice.

In the end, artist Tracy Ellyn was named winner of Sisterhood Chuppah Design Competition.

The women who translated Ellyn’s design into fabric art were Nancy Billings, Margie Buchbinder, Judith Davidoff, Susan Golinsky, Elizabeth Janowitz, Natalie Kleinberg, Marlene Kohn, Phyllis Meyers, Marcia Reisman, Lily Serviansky and Jackie Zucker.

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