My family moved to Grand Rapids in 1973 when my husband accepted a position as a pathologist at St. Mary’s Hospital, and we became members of Ahavas Israel. I have been a member of the Wednesday morning minyan for over forty years and a regular at Shabbat services. I’ve been active at Ahavas Israel in many capacities over the years. I served as librarian, Sisterhood President, creative handicrafts chair, Congregational President and longtime board and executive board member.
I am very proud of the ways the building has been enhanced through the years by the work of our hands and funds raised by the Ahavas Israel Sisterhood.
The needlepoint wall hanging in the foyer was stitched by members of the congregation soon after the building was opened. It features the Hebrew word Sh’ma, shaped like a flame, and it was created from an enlarged photo of an Israeli postage stamp.
The Twelve Tribes wall hanging in the social hall was designed by an artist. Each tribe was hooked separately a Sisterhood member who paid for the materials in that section, and then the sections were joined and mounted. The piece was dedicated at the Sisterhood Donor dinner in 1980.
The banner of the month project took ten years and was completed in 2007. The banners are same size, but the design of each was decided by the woman producing it. Each month the appropriate banner is displayed at services. The other banners hang in the social hall.
The names of the women who created the wall hangings are listed on plaques in the social hall.
Services in the Chapel are enhanced by the beautiful Torah mantles depicting ancient Jerusalem. Sisterhood donor projects for 2001 and 2002 raised the funds for those mantles designed and produced by Judaic artist Jeanette Kuvin Oren.
In the sanctuary the Seven Fruits of Israel are shown on the Torah mantles designed and produced by Barbara Ladin Fisher. Sisterhood donor events in 2003, 2005, and 2006 funded the project. Dedication of the Seven Fruits of Israel Torah mantle took place October 6, 2007.
These projects reflect my special interests. Look for a way to become involved at Ahavas Israel that will involve your interests.