On a Sunday afternoon in early February, more than 150 Elders, family members, volunteers and guests attended Gary Smorgon House’s inaugural Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle event titled, “Linking the Generations – Through the Power of Story.” Founded in 2009 by Rebbetzin Sara Gutnick, the Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle is a registered non-profit organization sponsored in memory of Mr. Max Blaser. It celebrates the beginning of each Jewish month in a warm and welcoming atmosphere of camaraderie, acceptance and discovery, while highlighting meaningful stories and nurturing the body and soul. Each Rosh Chodesh gathering includes a message for the month, refreshments, entertainment, and the beautiful stories which are videotaped as a legacy. The “Linking the Generations” series is the newest initiative for Elders, empowering them to create lasting legacies for future generations. “We want to tap into the wisdom and experience of our Elders”, said Rebbetzin Gutnick, “and share this inspiration with the younger generation.” Although the events are typically designed towards women, in this instance, there were some seats for men as well.

The story of the month presenter for Rosh Chodesh Adar I was Gary Smorgon House Elder, Mrs. Sadie Goldsmith, who spoke about her journey from Poland as a teenager in 1938, and the beautiful family that she rebuilt in Australia with her late husband Arthur. Sadie, together with her two children, Dr. Michael Goldsmith and Mrs. Barbara Belfer, was surrounded by more than 30 members of her extended family while presenting her amazing life-story. She later reminisced: “While recapping my story, I could see my mother’s face right in front of me. Having such a large family, Boruch Hashem (Thank G-d), makes me feel like the luckiest woman in the world.” She was overwhelmed by the positive feedback that she received following her speech. She was so surprised, as she felt that her story was not special or may not have been of interest to others. Her daughter Barbara summed it up perfectly when speaking about the impact that her mother has had on their family. “We as a family,” she said, “have always been on the receiving end of her wisdom, guidance and unconditional love.” Her family listened to her speech, and felt so privileged to have her as their parent, grandparent and great grandparent.

Sadie’s granddaughter, Mrs. Devorah Leah Schachter, recited a Dvar Torah and acted as the MC, Sadie’s great grandchildren distributed masks and chocolates to everyone in attendance, and Rabbi Yoni Reyder wowed the crowd with some beautiful Hebrew and Yiddish songs. The event was followed by a luxurious and delicious afternoon tea.

We would like to thank the many people who contributed to the success of the event: Rebbetzin Sara Gutnick, the president and founder of the Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle, for bringing the event to our facility and for her ongoing assistance throughout all stages of the planning and running of the event. The many staff members and volunteers who helped with the set-up, running and clean-up of the entire event. Abi Montag from Jemark Quality & Value for the donation of the masks, Rishon Foods for the donation of the ice-cream, and Kosher Kingdom for the donation of the chocolates. Lastly, we would like to thank everyone who attended and helped make this event truly memorable.

We look forward to partnering with the Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle in the future.