hazzan Diana Brewer was ordained through the aleph ordination program. she leads prayer services regularly at the jewish community of amherst, and is on the staff of the davvenen leadership training institute.

Sweet Sukkot Memories

I wanted to share with you a beautiful experience I had during Sukkot. I had the opportunity last week to lead a celebration at a Catholic assisted living facility called the Mercy Community in West Hartford, CT. The director of pastoral care there, the wonderful and generous Katherine Nowak, is deeply committed to providing a rich spiritual life for the Jewish residents there - a significant portion of the population. In her efforts at expanding and enriching the Jewish life on campus, she noted they had never had a Sukkot observance, and invited me to help them celebrate.

She had been planning on building the sukkah the day before the celebration, but weather prevented that. Instead, she arrived at 7am on the morning of our event with her gigantic heart and deep commitment, and built the wonderful sukkah you can see in the photos below. Chaplain Evelyn Eddie, also on the staff at the facility, joined in the effort, too. I arrived in time to help with some of the finishing touches and raise it up on its telescoping legs!

After the pre-dawn-to-night rains of the day before, the weather cleared and we were given a day that can only be described as G8d-given. Perhaps as many as twenty people came to celebrate. We sang and contemplated together the many facets of the Sukkot prism. Of course, we held those who are living amdist the tumult of fire in California close as we shook the lulav in our embodied prayer for rain.

I hope your holidays have been rich, joyous, and satisfying.



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