HOME IS WHERE THE ARK IS from page 43
Penfil heads the Woodworkers
Guild of Livingston County, a group
of five volunteer master woodworkers
who create and donate 20,000 wood-
en silhouettes and 4,000 toys each
year to the Make-A-Wish Foundation
and children's hospitals nationwide.
"My husband and another member
of the group built an eternal light and
were looking for a synagogue that
could use it," Ginger Penfil said.
Because established congregations
already had traditional religious items,
an advertisement in the Jewish News
last summer for the newly forming
Chaye Olam caught her eye.
"I called to see if he could use the
light and the cantor said he could,"
she said. "It was a miracle that we had
an eternal light for him, and he had a
new congregation for us."
An ark for Chaye Olam was then
designed by Penfil and Cantor Dubov.
On May 30, the completed ark was
presented to the cantor as a surprise at
a congregational celebration of the
12th anniversary of his cantorial
investiture. It was dedicated to the
memory of Mark and Esther Levy, the
parents of Ginger Penfil.
'And dayeinu — as if that wasn't
enough — my congregation surprised
me with a Torah," Cantor Dubov said.
Arrangements for the loan of a
Torah from Congregation Beth
Shalom also came through Robert
Penfil's woodworking connections.
"He makes wood cutouts of meno-
rahs and Jewish stars to give to Jewish
nursery schools, including the one at
Beth Shalom," Ginger Penfil said of
her husband. "He told Rabbi [David]
Nelson that we needed a Torah — and
he gave us one to use."
After the presentation of the Torah,
Inside the new Chaye Olam sanctuary
the cantor sang a duet performance of
Shehechiyanu (the blessing of grati-
tude) with his daughter Aleksandra,
who arranged the music for the occa-
The cantor said the loan of the
Torah was an example of the support
of area congregations in the establish-
ment of Chaye Olam.
With enough room to hold 250 fami-
lies, the new building will also house
Chaye Olam's religious school pro-
gram for kindergarten through 12th-
grade students. A pre-kindergarten
Sunday school will open in September.
While the synagogue's musical pro-
gramming includes a youth choir,
Cantor Dubov's community-based
Kidz Klez Band of Michigan —
including members of various congre-
Rabbi Aaron Eiseinann, director of Machon L'Torah's Jewish Resource Center in
gations as well as unaffiliated young
Ann Arbor; with some of this year's Maimonides Fellows: Jonathon Triest, Lainie
musicians — will also meet in the new Goldenberg, Missy Solarz, Gabe Yashinsky, Jessica Leib, Simon Levinson, Lindsey
Chaye Olam building.
Kesslei; Laura Fletcher and Allison Kleiner
In addition to the established, 6-
year-old group — who earlier this
month performed at Carnegie Hall in
New York — a new Kidz Klez Band is
being formed for fifth through 12th
While the new synagogue building
formerly housed the First Church of
Christ, Scientist, Cantor Dubov said it
is "shul-ready" for services to begin
next month. "As a matter of fact the
building has the shape, architecturally,
of several tents in the desert," he said.
"The sky lights add a special touch
"In Detroit's history many syna-
gogues have become churches, but
here's an example of the church
Rabbi Avrohom Jacobovitz with Tbrah Legacy Award recipients Brent
becoming a shul."
and Nang Triest ofHuntington Woods at the June 23 annual dinner of
Oak Park-based Macho; LTorab: Jewish Learning Network of
Adina, 16, Shoshana, 18, Daniel, 21, Tzvi„ 12, and Sara, 8, with dad, Dr.
David Ungar, as he accepts the Communi , Service Award on beh4f of him-
self and his wife, Leah, from Gary Torgow and Rabbi Jacobovitz.