This Simchas Torah, the program at Ahavas Torah in Scottsdale, Arizona, was unique, just like the shul and the Jewish community there. This shul hosts a vibrant, young community and many visitors and guests. There’s a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a strong connection to Torah and mitzvos. Rabbi Ariel Shoshan, the rav of Ahavas Torah, led a stirring Hallel that was so beautiful it would be hard to describe in words. I would say that it is worth a trip to Arizona just to hear Rabbi Shoshan lead Hallel.

Have you ever tried to make a shidduch? It’s not easy. There is someone in our community who has made over 100 shidduchim. Sharon Ganz started her events approximately 25 years ago. She was living in Toronto, and she wanted to find a way to help singles meet new people. The problem with running events in one city was people were meeting the same people at the events. She ran her first Shabbaton in Toronto. This was followed by Shabbatonim in Montreal, Denver, Florida, Memphis, the Catskills, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and New York. Her goal was to bring people from different cities together so they would be new to each other.

Have you ever headed to Kennedy Airport, excited to be going on a trip, submitted to security, and waited patiently at the gate when you found out your flight departure time was postponed? You sat at the gate and watched lightning flash outside the large picture window. Then you waited some more and thought the storm seemed to be passing.

On Sunday, October 3, Congregation Etz Chaim hosted an important mental health seminar virtually. Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, rav of Congregation Etz Chaim, welcomed everyone. He shared the genesis of this program, which started with Mrs. Linda Baron Katz, community member and mental health advocate, who had the idea to do something significant during mental health awareness week. This program was dedicated in memory of her sister Susan Baum and her father-in-law Mr. Marty Katz. Malka and Moshe Cohen, community members, joined to help make this happen, and they also sponsored in memory of Moshe’s brother Jack.