by Mrs. Rivkah Strasberg
The lights were dimmed, the tables beautifully set, as women and girls entered into the warmth of Cheder Chabad of Philadelphia’s first annual Mother Daughter Melave Malka held at Chabad of the Mainline. From start to finish, the evening was a huge success that truly brought the feeling of unity and Hakhel into the Cheder community.
Arranged largely by Mrs. Temma Cohen and Mrs. Nechama Haskelevitch along with other members of the Cheder Parents Liaison group , the Melave Malka was an opportunity for mothers and daughters to share, bond and enjoy each other’s company in an intimate setting with their friends and classmates.
The evening began with a buffet dinner and speeches representing various facets of the Cheder community. The principal, Rabbi Mendy Levin; a teacher, Mrs. Mushka Moscowitz; a parent, Mrs. Rochel Flikshtein; a student, Chana Sherman, with the MC being Mrs. Nechama Haskelevich. The speakers shared some beautiful, Chassidishe stories as well as their personal experiences in Cheder and what special aspects makes it feel like being part of a larger family unit.
Then came time for some hands on fun. Mothers and their daughters chose a glass vase, put together synthetic flower arrangements and mod podged decorative wallpaper designs to the outside of the vases. The unique twist to the craft though was that mothers had to think of words to describe their daughters and include those words as part of the decoration. There were definitely many lovely creations that now brighten the Cheder families homes.
The ultimate Hakhel point was the round circle, kumzitz style, sing a-long led by teacher Rochel Ehrentreu playing her guitar. Young, sweet voices mixed with more mature voices in beautiful harmony and smiles and the achdus was palpable throughout the room.
As everyone lingered over dessert and shmoozed together, one could feel the excitement and happiness in the air mingling with the true sense of family. This Hakhel gathering surely brought The Rebbe much nachas and brought the geulah closer.
To find out more about Cheder Chabad of Philadelphia, please call Rabbi Levin at 610-520-1480 or visit the website at chederphiladelphia.org.