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Ricki Segal and her mother Min Cantor



By Ricki Segal, posted March 9, 2010

Ever since I moved to Winnipeg I look forward to going to as many social events as possible with my Mother Hilda Stern. She is a resident of the Sharron Home and along with Mom’s caregiver Marcella the three of us spent Friday evening March 4, 2011  with other seniors at the Shabbat Alive event, hosted by t the Rady JCC and the Gwen Sector Creative Living Centre held at the Asper Campus.

The event we attended was part of  the “Shabbat Across Winnipeg” program which was coordinated by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.  There  were other Shabbat services and dinners held at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, Herzlia Synagogue, Temple Shalom, Chabbad, BBYO Winter Convention, J-Peg Shabbat at 378 Lipton, and Sholom Aleichem’s Shabbat.
The group who attended the event was made up of members from the Gwen Sector as well as the Stay Young group.

I was picked up by the bus at my apartment door. As I waltzed into the bus I got a look from the bus driver silently thinking “what is she doing here.” ( at least I hope that is what he thought.)

I sat down next to Min Cantor who knew my Mother back when she was a young girl living on my Baba and Zayde’s farm in Birds Hill, Manitoba. Min filled my ears with wonderful stories of her youth, marriage, children and grandchildren. I also enjoyed the camaraderie amongst the other member of the group who actually made a few racy jokes.
Upon arriving at the dinner, I   noticed that the room was decorated beautifully and put us all in the Shabbat mood.
My mother and I were fortunate to sit at a table with four charming men. One gentleman  George Kives told me about his farm in Zonenfield Saskatchewan once he heard that I had lived in Regina Saskatchewan for many years. I felt an immediate bond with him we shared many common friendships with people who lived in Regina, Estevan and other parts of Saskatchewan.

The evening began with Gayle Waxman, executive director of the Rady Centre graciously welcomed us. Steven Hyman lit the Shabbat Candles while everyone at my table designated me to light them as well. Each table designated a person to light the candles and sing the blessing along with Steven. The most touching part of the event was when two and a half year old Adam Hyman (Steven’s son) sang the Shalom Alecheim and all the seniors participated. Steven recited the kiddush and each of us had a toast on grape juice, followed by the blessing of the bread.  Hyman then said the blessing before he washed his hands, and others who wanted to also washed.

Our dinner I understand was prepared by the wonderful chefs at the Gwen Sector. I felt that I was eating at my mother’s shabbat table. There was salad, succulent chicken so tender it just melted in your mouth, and  kugel cooked to perfection with the  right flavor to make a shabbat dinner truly gesmack (Yiddish for delicious). The plate also contained some healthy vegetables cooked once again to perfection.  The delicious lemon cake for dessert which made forget about my diet !

After dinner Steven did the Shiva Brachot (seven blessings) and we all participated following along in our prayer books.

We were later entertained by Craig, who played the piano and Christina, who sang a wonderful range of songs-- Yiddish, opera, songs from long ago and not so long ago.
The last few minutes of the concert I could see that my mother was getting tired. It had been a wonderful evening for everyone.

Special thanks ought to be given to Kathy Hallick Taylor and Roberta Malam and also the wonderful young ladies who help serve and hang up our coats

As I went home with all of my bus companions I couldn’t help over hear the conversation about how much they all enjoyed the evening. As I was the first one to be dropped off I said good night to everyone and they responded by saying “Shabbat Shalom”. These words added to the magical spirit of the evening.

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