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‘Celebrating Jewish Life’ allows subscribers to reconnect with their community, culture

August 20, 2018 GMT

‘Celebrating Jewish Life’ allows subscribers to reconnect with their community, culture

BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- For many Cleveland-area Jews, finding a way to bring greater meaning, identity and purpose to their Jewish experiences has proved to be a challenge.

Rabbi Rosie Haim believes she has just the right solution for Jews looking to reconnect with their heritage and culture.

“Most Jewish people are not affiliated (with a temple), and this leaves them looking for an opportunity to share in the Jewish experience and community,” said Haim, who served 30 years -- until June 30 -- at The Temple-Tifereth Israel, 26000 Shaker Blvd. in Beachwood.

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Others, she said, might be new to town and have not found the Jewish connection they desire. Still others are Millennials seeking a deeper connection to their heritage, retired people, empty-nesters or those without families.

Haim’s solution was creating Celebrating Jewish Life, a subscription series of six festive holiday experiences that she says will revitalize the Jewish spirit and reconnect people with the Jewish community.

Experiences are centered around Rosh Hashanah, the first to come, on Sept. 9, at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, in Mayfield Heights; Yom Kippur, Sept. 18, also at Landerhaven; Hanukkah, Dec. 7, at Beechmont Country Club; Purim, March 16, at Hard Rock Rocksino at Northfield Park; Passover, April 20, at Landerhaven; and Shabbat, to be held June 7, at Acacia Reservation in Lyndhurst.

“I thought it would be best to emphasize the social aspect of our tradition, as well as the religious aspect,” Haim said. “I chose locations that people know, where they usually go to have a nice time. These will be lovely occasions where people can relax and enjoy dinner and socialize.”

Each event will include a “meet and mingle” portion, followed by dinner and a religious experience. Participants can meet new friends, network and, at the same time, feel bound to Jewish culture.

“We’ll be forming a community and, from that, Jewish leaders for their families and organizations,” said Haim. “We want to identify leaders for our community and great modeling for people’s children and grandchildren.”

Haim said that Celebrating Jewish Life will give a nudge to those who want to go further and join and be active within Jewish-based organizations.

Haim has teamed with Cantor Laurel Barr, who has created new music to go along with the traditional music for the experiences’ services. The two have worked together for more than 20 years.

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Originally from small Galesburg, Ill., Haim said growing up there allowed her to see first-hand how people can come together as a Jewish community.

“It was such a small community, everybody would show up for all the holidays,” she said. “We would see everyone there.”

The subscription cost for the six experiences, including programs and dinners, is $600 per person. All meals will be kosher style, with vegetarian options available.

If subscribers want to invite a friend or guest, additional experiences are available for $125 each, or $100 each for guests under the age of 36.

Subscribers who are unable to attend an experience are encouraged to offer the opportunity to join in on the holiday experience to a family member or friend. Experiences are fully transferable, but not refundable.

To subscribe, visit celebratingjewishlife.com/subscribe.

Those who would like to take part in all six experiences should subscribe by Sept. 3.

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