August 8-9 this year was Shabbos Nachamu, the last Cozy-Shabbat of Summer 2014. It was larger than any of the Cozy-Shabbat weekends this summer, thanks to 8 families visiting from Toronto, NJ and Monsey – all in the area for Visiting Day at a nearby Jewish summer camp, 3 alumni couples from 2001-2, plus the summer regulars. We also hosted the day-camp counselors on their final week in Albany (they are from Jerusalem, Brooklyn and Albany). Mushky and Chani are back from camp (they were a huge help with Shabbos), so the only Rubin kid still away this summer is Moshe.

The wonderful mix of interesting guests added much spice and flavor and we really had a nice time together. The visiting alumni were Dan (’01) and Atara (’02) and their 4 kids, Mark (’02) and Dawn, and Matt (’02) and Shellie. For Shabbos lunch we also had Dan B. and Ian G. and Stephen S. – all 2013. It’s really nice to have alumni come up and visit.

It was also the last Shabbos for Ben & Steph in Albany as student/residents (though we expect them back as alumni, of course), and for Diana L. who completed her Masters this summer. Ben shared this short but meaningful message at Shabbat Lunch. We wish them all the best, along with all the other recent graduates, with much success as they enter / transition into “the real world.”

Here’s are tidbits (on Mendel’s Messages) what people shared on Friday Night in connection with the Parsha Va’Etchanan, the Shema which is a highlight of the Parsha and current events in Israel and around the World.

We had nice sized Minyanim throughout (even an 8am on Sunday) which was nice (especially because one of the guests was saying Kaddish for his father). Among our visiting family guests were a radiologist, a venture capitalist who read the whole Parsha, an anethiesologist, an expert John Deere major farm equipment mechanic, an family law attorney who specializes in women’s Agunah issues, a family doctor, families with roots in Mexico and Chile and London, an attorney for insurance companies, you name it – all who love Torah and Jewish community, and who added greatly to our Shabbos atmosphere and experience.

We also wrote up these “calls” from a great Dingaling Hotline session at the end of Shabbat on Pirkei Avot Chapter 4.

With all these families there was a bunch of kids, all having fun together over Shabbos. Around 6pm on Shabbos afternoon there was a big pilgramage to the new Main Fountain at UAlbany that came alive with a light and water show.