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Coleman House ushers in the New Year

Posted: September 30, 2011

With the start of Rosh Hashanah beginning at sundown, Sylvia Jaffee was in search for a service to attend. Her daughters live relatively close to Sylvia's location in Newton -- one lives in Worcester and the other is in Millis -- but Sylvia is reluctant to drive at night. So she decided to take charge of the situation and do what she did last year soon after she moved to Coleman House ... she organized an Erev Rosh Hashanah gathering at Coleman so that she and her neighbors could celebrate together. "It's our Yom Tov [holiday]. I knew if we wanted to celebrate it, we'd need to do it ourselves," explained Sylvia.

With the help of her Rabbi in Florida, Sylvia put together a book of speical prayers in English and Hebrew.  To make it particularly meaningful, Sylvia brought the wine cup and candlesticks that had been in her family for decades so that she could lead the ritual blessings.

Many who live at Coleman helped to make the evening a success. The tables were set with fresh flowers, round Challah (the traditional holiday bread), wine, grapes and honey (for a sweet new year). One neighbor sponsored the coffee and cake which were served following the service.

Sylvia was very pleased that over 50 Coleman House residents were in attendance. One resident's reaction was particularly touching. Before the service began, he mentioned to Sylvia that he was attending only at the request of his wife. When the evening was over, however, he let Sylvia know how much he had sincerely enjoyed being a part of the event.

To see more photos from this event, check out our photo gallery.  

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