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September 25, 1992 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

EPTI
R E ADY
F R 75 3

THE SYNAGOGUE: CLEANING HOUSE BEFORE THE BIG DAY

Eva
Shapiro in
a Temple
Israel
sanctuary
soon to
be filled
with High
Holiday
congre-
gants.

PHIL JACOBS MANAGING EDITOR

0

kay, so the rab-
bi has been
spending all
summer writ-,
ing and re-writing the ser-
mon that will change our
lives. The cantor has been
bathing his vocal chords in
lemon, tea and honey. Fam-
ilies have been buying new
dresses, suits and shoes and
cooking and cooking and
cooking.
It's hectic. It's challeng-
ing.
Now try multiplying those
High Holiday preparations
by several thousand.
At Temple Israel in West
Bloomfield, the largest syn-
agogue in the state, some
6,000 people are expected
from the temple's 2,500
member families.
They will pray in shifts,
four to be exact. The park-

ing lot will be an exercise in
stadium procedure, with cer-
tain portions designated for
each service. The West
Bloomfield Police Depart-
ment will be on hand to di-
rect traffic. About 1,000
extra folding chairs have
been set up in the main
sanctuary's back aisleway
and atrium.
On the spiritual side, Eva
Shapiro's prayer is that all
the membership have beau-
tiful, memorable High Hol-
idays. On the practical side,
Temple Israel's executive di-
rector has probably cast a
heaven-directed word or
two, hoping that everything
goes without a hitch.
After the High Holidays
last year, Ms. Shapiro and
her staff met to evaluate the

services. Preparation for
this year's services began in
in June and July. The
biggest change is the inclu-

"If you were at
home expecting
guests, you know
you can't relax until
everything has
been checked out
and is ready."
— Eva Shapiro

sion of a family service that
will bring different age
groups of children with their
parents to the temple. An
additional children's service
is offered as well.
Services aside, there are

still chores to be done, like
cleaning the carpets and the
windows, making sure the
sound system and lighting
are checked out. There are
landscapers adding wood
chips on the outside. The
grounds and parking lots
are carefully maintained. It
makes one feel a little bit
like a baseball team getting
ready for opening day.
"You prepare for the High
Holidays as if these were
guests coming to your
house," Ms. Shapiro said.
"Everything must be taken
care of; nothing can be over-
looked. We make sure that
the rabbis' robes are cleaned
and that the silver on the
Torahs has been polished.
"Yes, all of this makes me
nervous. But again I use the

example of this being a
home. If you were at home
expecting guests, you know
you can't relax until every-
thing has been checked out
and is ready."
Even when all of her
"guests" arrive, Ms. Shapiro
said she'll be walking the
building, taking care of any
challenges that may arise.
"This is my fifth Rosh
Hashanah as executive di-
rector here," she said. "What
makes it go much easier for
me is the help I get from the
staff and the volunteers. But
also the attitude of the
membership is cheerful and
understanding. Nobody's a
grouch. They feel good about
being here, and they feel
good that this is their tem-
ple and they are able to par-
ticipate in such an im-
portant time of year."



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