On Tuesday, Dec 31st, we drove down to Lawrence’s Beth Shalom synagogue for the Brit-Milah of Avraham-Eitan Jack-Alexander, son of very dear alumni friend Adam K. and Stefanie. It was a wonderful Simcha, huge crowd and lots of wonderful things to eat. They even had this custom to give away stuffed animals which was very appreciated by little Esther-Miriam. Mendel was honored with the two final blessings at the ceremony. It means so much for us to be able to participate in such joyous occasions, and see our beloved alumni friends happy and in new stages and milestones of life. Baruch Hashem, it is really very special.

We also got to see several other alumni friends at the occasion, one of whom Josh R. recently announced his engagement to Elana J. and we got to see them both and wish them Mazal Tov in person. It meant a lot to us that Josh R. (among the dozens of family to be called) made the effort to call and share with us the good news! We got to see Justin F. another UAlbany alum who had been studying for many years in Israel, got married in Manchester and now moved to Far Rockaway. This was the first opportunity to see him since his marriage abroad! We also got to see Brad L. another really good alumni friend who has been one of the strongest and most consistent encouragements for “Mendel’s Mondays” there with his father, with whom we have enjoyed several great Shabbos weekends over the years.

Over the years we’ve met quite a few people from all over Long Island, so it wasn’t surprising to recognize quite a few of the guests at the Bris. Plus we know quite a few members of Adam’s family, his cousin Michele G. is also an alum of Albany and was very active at Shabbos House, and his whole family feels like Mishpoche. One couple from the Five Towns said they remember us all the time because they once visited here with us for a summertime Shabbos (we remember their visit well, fine people) and they use the Shabbos House cookbook every week! 

We stopped off in Monsey to see Raizy’s sister Nechama Dina, do a little shopping and get back home in time for New Year Eve. Instead of watching the ball drop, we dropped and fell off to sleep in time to for an early rise on New Years Day.

And just a few days later we get a phone message, this one long-distance from South Africa that another very dear alumni friend Yael G. became engaged to Shimron S. and while we can’t see her in person because of the distance, we feel very happy and excited for her at this special time.