Creativity on Display in Community Chuppah

The Community Chuppah

The creativity and collaborative nature of our Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation (AARC) were on display at the joyous installation ceremony for Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner on December 15, 2018.

A beautiful Chuppah was decorated with thirty colorful cloth squares created by our community, forming the artistic centerpiece of the event.

Much appreciation goes to the Chuppah project coordinators:

  • Sarai Shoup – Installation Committee chair
  • Marcy Epstein and Eileen Dzik – selected and purchased chuppah materials, including the deep blue background for the squares and reverse side fabric reminiscent of a Talit.
  • Marcy Epstein – hosted several workshops at her home to help people with ideas. Techniques included crochet, embroidery, applique, fabric painting, needlepoint, attaching beads and stones, and more.
  • Kathy Kopald – cut the squares and prepared for mailing
  • Sherry and Steve Lessens – mailed out the squares
  • Karyn Schoem – sewed together the entire chuppah
  • Seth Kopald and Alan Haber – Seth made the poles from bamboo from Alan Haber’s yard
  • We are creating a record detailing who made each square in the Chuppah, along with their comments about the process and its meaning. If you contributed a Chuppah square, please add your information to this Google Doc by January 31, 2019.

    Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner at her installation, under our new community-created chuppah, photo by Eric Bramson

    The Nancy Denenberg Fund paid for the chuppah materials, and Nancy’s sister contributed a square in her memory.  Nancy, who passed away in 2006, was one of the founders of the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Havurah, which later became the AARC. The community Chuppah commemorates Nancy’s interest in the arts and in building a nurturing community.

    Rabbi Ora’s installation also featured music performed by congregation members, a Shabbat ceremony with thought-provoking dvars by Rabbi Ora and our guest speaker Rabbi Shelley Goldman.

    A delicious meal was catered by El Harissa and coordinated by Stacy Weinberg Dieve and Kathy Kopald. Deborah Fisch, Lori Lichtman, Bob Lichtman, Adrianne Neff and Nancy Meadow contributed challahs and amazing desserts.

    Our talented band added to the beauty of Rabbi Ora’s installation, photo by Eric Bramson

    We are looking forward to seeing how the Community Chuppah is enjoyed in the future as our congregation celebrates significant events and milestones. For more about the congregation’s ritual art pieces, see the blogs on the Torah Table, Torah Table Tapestry, Ner Tamid, and Yad. Additional blogs on the AARC’s other hand-crafted ritual objects are coming in 2019.