WJC Voices: Winter 2022-23

Latkes for Everyone

What comes to mind as you anticipate your upcoming Hanukkah celebration? Is it the presents? The food? The lighting of candles? The blessings you’ll remember from the past year? Do you have a special family tradition over the holidays, or plans you’re looking forward to, perhaps going to a Broadway show, playing or watching sports, or curling up with a good book?

You’ll find articles in this issue—our second Hanukkah issue, as Voices celebrates its one-year anniversary, that touch on all of those subjects and more. The pieces range from Alison Clarick Gottsegen’s marvelous interview with Broadway producer Ruth Hendel; to Barbara Richter’s profile of three congregants who participated in the Maccabiah Games in Israel; to my son Micah’s mouth-watering investigation into our synagogue’s latke-making secrets.

There’s a theme that runs through much of this issue about life at WJC through the generations—from Amanda Wasserstrum’s lovely piece about sending her son off to nursery school at the very same WJC ECC that she attended as a child; to Erica Sigel’s family menorah, lit in memory of her grandfather; to favorite Hanukkah gift memories of congregants young and old.
And all of that doesn’t even include our feature articles. There’s one from Rabbi Arnowitz, about WJC’s 100 Blessings for 100 Days initiative, sharing blessings from more than a dozen congregants; and Evan Schapiro’s exploration of why we give and receive presents on Hanukkah.

Thanks also to Randy Heller for his wonderful piece offering “liner notes” for the music of WJC’s Renewal service; to Caren Osten Gerszberg and Jacques Steinberg for their profile of Jirandy Martinez, executive director of the Community Resource Center in Mamaroneck; to WJC librarian Arlene Ratzabi for sharing her top Hanukkah book picks for young adults; and to Rabbi Dalton for encouraging us all to look for miracles this holiday season.

It has been a privilege to get a sneak preview of these articles as I helped put together this issue, and a pleasure to work with Katie Schlientz, Evan Schapiro, and Jacques Steinberg to get this magazine into your hands in time to light the very first candle on your chanukiah. May you find blessings, miracles, and plenty of latkes on your plate this Hanukkah.

Chag sameach.

Jeremy Blachman
Guest Editor

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