The brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the only Jewish fraternity at the University of Washington, will build a giant hanukkiah (Hanukkah menorah) made of food cans this Hanukkah, which begins Dec. 4. The project is being created with the campus Chabad, and the cans, as well as any monies raised, will be donated to the Jewish Family Service.
The hanukkiah will replicate one that was successfully built by Chabad at Binghamton University in upstate New York. (That would be SUNY Binghamton to you New Yorkers of a certain age.)
Rabbi Eli Estrin of the campus Chabad has been instrumental in this project, Josh Newson, AEPi’s philanthropy chair, told me. Estrin generated the idea and handled publicity, working with AEPi members Daniel Stochel and Gilad Bernstein. Chabad members will also help build the structure.
The Binghamton hanukkiah “was very successful in terms of getting…Jews excited about Judaism and getting the campus to ask questions about Judaism,” says Newson.
To complete the project, AEPi is asking for donations of cans, especially food-service size cans (#10), which are needed to construct the base of the menorah. It will be 15 feet high and eight or nine feet wide at the base. “We’re going to build a triangle,” Josh explained to me, “and on the very top we’ll have a wooden board with Tiki torches.”
Cans will be shrink-wrapped together to provide stability.
The giant hanukkiah will either be on display in “Red Square” at the center of campus, (if permission can be secured), or in front of the fraternity’s building at 4626 21st Avenue NE.
“If we do it in Red Square, we can’t leave it out all week,” Josh points out, “but if we do it in front of the fraternity, we can leave it up all week and light it every night.”
The residential fraternity has about 40 members who live in and about 20 who live out. All denominations and levels of observance are represented, and there are even a couple of non-Jews. AEPi’s members actively participate in a variety of local charitable events.
“We’ll do whatever the Jewish community needs us to do,” says Newson. “Last year we helped with the Seattle Jewish Community School auction. A month or so ago we did the big food sort with JFS.”
The fraternity also participates in Greek System fundraisers, including sports tournaments and other activities.
To donate cans (you can get the large cans at Costco or order them from a food service company), or funds to purchase cans, contact Josh at 425-442-6818 (or firstname.lastname@example.org), or call Rabbi Estrin at 206-523-1359.
Cherie Hershman opened Essence, a beauty salon, in North Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood about three months ago and she says business is good and “getting busier all the time.”
Cherie has traveled a number of different career paths in the last decade. She was the director of the Northend JCC (you may have known her then as Cherie Eisner); she also sold pharmaceuticals and was the manager of a dental clinic. But she has always maintained her original business, Cuts on Wheels. A traveling hair-cutting service, it catered mostly to Orthodox women, (who prefer to have home haircuts for modesty), and to residents of nursing homes.
“I can do a lot more a lot faster” in the salon, she points out. When she traveled she could only manage four or five clients a day, “and color was hard because it was too messy for people’s homes.” She also couldn’t offer a lot of the services and products she has in the salon, including makeup, skin and hair care products (all organic), and a hair-removal method called sugaring. Cherie says it’s similar to waxing, but less irritating to the skin.
Observant women are still an important part of her client base. For those who require it, she has modesty screens and she also styles and colors wigs or sheitels.
Cherie says she enjoys “meeting different people and the creativity,” of her work. Originally trained in Los Angeles, where she is from, she’s also attended the Gene Juarez school in Seattle.
A Seattle resident since 1993, she and her two sons, Cameron and Tyler, live in Wedgwood and attend both Congregation Beth Shalom and Shaarei Tefilah-Lubavitch. When not working, she enjoys various outdoor activities, with hiking and roller-blading among her favorites. Cherie also knits and goes to the theater a lot with her kids, who also help out at the salon from time to time, and may even answer the phone when you call.
“I’m really focused on pampering and decadence for each client,” she tells me.