A New Year, Woman of Valor, Board Elections

Women of Valor candlesticks given to Joan Elder by Ritz Pollack (photo by Joan Elder)

The annual meeting of the Institute for Judaic Services and Studies (IJSS) was held on Dec. 16 with the election of officers. It also means the parting of two officers who have served with dedication to IJSS. Our thanks to Sandy McNabb and Linda Merritt for their years of commitment, teamwork, and knowledge.

December services were officiated by Rabbi Sanford Seltzer. Our Rabbi spoke to the history of Chanukah and reflected upon its miracles.

Eliyanah Powers, our cantorial soloist, and Harrison Sheckler, accompanist, provided religious and music abilities that complemented our prayers and thoughts. They are truly extraordinary!

However, before services began, Rabbi Seltzer spoke of Joan Elder’s role at IJSS over the past four years. Joan has been our chair and is leaving that position. She will continue in an ex-officio capacity. The words of our Rabbi voiced to “A Woman of Valor” earnestly addressed Joan’s foresight, patience, and dedication.

What is a Woman of Valor? Judaism recognizes women through a hymn in the book of Proverbs. The poem speaks of a Woman of Valor as one who is strong and righteous—and also capable of keeping a good Jewish household. Joan kept the IJSS household intact for four years!

Services were followed by an oneg at Brenda McBride’s home. Pastries and cakes were complimented by Brenda’s collection of Chanukiah menorahs. The variety and beauty of the menorahs is, like the holiday, miraculous.

At the first IJSS board meeting for 2023, an election of officers was held. Esta Goldstein is our chair, Sherry Kaplan is our vice chair, Melanie Einbund is secretary, Seth Eisner is treasurer, and Joan Elder is ex-officio. Other members of the board include Sam Horowitz, Rhoda Kaplan, Ron Solomon, Jeff Syden, and Joel Wyner. Our board is a working board and welcomes your inquiries, comments, and especially your ideas.

IJSS began the new year with services on Jan. 27. Rabbi Seltzer and our liturgical staff led our congregation. An oneg followed. If you wish to sponsor an oneg for a special event, remembrance, or just plain celebration, contact Sherry Kaplan at [email protected].

IJSS is a small and welcoming congregation. We value our members and their needs. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Esta Goldstein at 520-825-1181 or Seth Eisner at 520-818-6340 for information.

IJSS wishes all a Happy New Year.