Bubbe and Zayde, Saba and Safta, Nanny and Papa, Grandma and Grandpa.
These are all of the names we call our grandparents, who for many of us have brightly lit the path for Jewish life in all of our childhoods.
For Carly, her Nanny and Papa (Z”L) have inspired her to work in the helping field, bring loved ones together, volunteer for meaningful organizations, and join shabbat dinners across the city every week for over 7 years. But she did not grow up with Shabbat.
Learn more about her journey and about the special shabbat she is sponsoring in loving memory of her grandparents this First Friday-Chanukah Edition at Bucktown Chabad.
My grandparents are the reason I am the person I am today.
Where did you grow up and how did you end up in Chicago?
What did you do growing up Jewish?
What do you do Jewish now?
I have been very active in my Judaism the last 8 years in Chicago. I was very involved with Rabbi Garfinkle and Rabbi Kahn and their organization JET. After I was warmly welcomed by Rabbi Moscowitz and Sara at Bucktown Chabad (my first Chabad experience!) I started going to Gold Coast Chabad, which is so much closer to me! Going to the Gold Coast almost every single week has allowed me to connect with so many incredible people and Shabbat experiences.
For me, weekly shabbat dinner began only after my Papa Harold passed away 8 years ago on December 10th. After my papa passed, I started attending Congregation Chicago Sinai every single week to hear the kaddish being said. It was just something I needed to do to feel connected to my papa.After my Nanny Helen Passed away last year I have been doing everything I can do in merit of my nanny Helen that was my wind beneath my wings. I am currently involved with the FIDF, the JUF, Project 613 (formerly JET) and Imerman Angels. I love the Jewish community in Chicago.
What do you do for fun?
I love live music! I love bike riding all over Chicago! I love painting! I love bringing good people together! I love dancing! I love singing! I love hanging out with friends! I love to travel! I love setting people up! I love going to the Zebra Lounge and Bassment!What is your favorite Jewish Chicago event?I absolutely LOVE the Matzo Bash because everyone single person in Chicago is there. I have been involved in promoting it for 7 years.
What is your favorite Chicago hidden gem?
A little hole in the wall piano bar- The Zebra Lounge! It is my most favorite place in Chicago! I promise you that you will absolutely love it! Joel is my favorite!
Tell us more about First Friday and why this week is so important to you?
My papa’s yahrzeit and my grandparents wedding anniversary is around this time of the year and I want to bring the bright light they shared with me and instilled in me with my community. This Hanukkah I feel so fortunate that I am able to host First Friday in honor and memory of the brightest lights in my life, my grandparents. Find out more here
I feel so lucky because I am well aware that most people don’t know the kind of love and relationship that I shared with my grandparents I was born at 6:11 am and she called me every single year as long as I can remember and when I moved to Chicago 9 years ago she called me at 5:11am and 6:11am to make sure she called me at the time I was born – Detroit and Chicago time every single birthday. To all of our loved ones out there that are no longer physically here with us I pray that we all always feel them watching over us and know they are always with us and all we have to do is let them know we are open to them coming to visit us..
Now complete the phrase: When the Tribe gathers… there is lots of schmoozing, laughs, and good times
First Friday at Bucktown Chabad is a great monthly Shabbat dinner and oneg (post dinner celebration and shabbat chill) that brings out a strong community and I love being there. The food is delicious, the community is warm, the conversations are meaningful, and the drinks are flowing. I am really looking forward to the supportive community this weekend and encourage everyone to come out and bring their friends.
12.7.18 $18 The Living Room Wicker Park
Hannah and Amir for introducing me to Rabbi Moscowitz and Sara and Bucktown Chabad, who introduced me to Gold Coast Chabad (my weekly spot!) I love the Benhiyoun family, they are so important to me in my Chicago life.
Old Town Moishe House for coming out and bringing out their community to support me this Shabbat at Bucktown Chabad. I love the Moishe house community so much and love when we all come together.
Thank you for all my friends and my family for supporting me through everything and for those who are coming out to dinner Friday!
Thank you to Bucktown Chabad and Gold Coast Chabad for being welcoming and loving, and for giving me a platform to honor my Nanny and Papa