Six Point Star Y of the month!

   A CSAIR Member answers six questions - so we can get to know each other

A Column that highlights a different CSAIR Member each month

Welcome. The idea of Six Point Star is to get to know a member of the CSAIR community a little better. In each installment we will pick a CSAIR member – our “Star” of the column – and ask them 6 questions. We'll print their answers – their "six points" – in this space. The questions and answers will range from the serious to the not-so-serious. It's an easy and fun way to get to know your CSAIR community a little better. 

 

Check out our Previous Six Point Stars:

Yael Levy

David Cohen

 

 YYYYYYYY

Quotes:

 

"...My adult life found me searching (and still searching in all honesty) for that elusive golden balance/ combination of the emotional comfort of Traditional observance and worship and “intellectual honesty”."

- Steve Chait

 

YYYYYYYY

 

"I also like the aesthetics of the Sanctuary- it is bright, soothing, and for me conducive to prayer."

 

- Steve Chait

 

YYYYYYYY

 

"The Rabbi and Shoshi are great, very welcoming, approachable, and personable."

 

- Steve Chait

 

 

YYYYYYYY

 

"I  ... believe there is truly something special and Holy in Jewish life and belief, though reconciling traditional aspects of faith and “secular” intellect can be challenging."

 

- Steve Chait

 

 

YYYYYYYY

 

 

6 Point Star

  New Column that highlights a different CSAIR Member each month.

Thank you Steve Chait for being the Men's Club Six Point Star of the Month!

YYYYYYYY

 

Welcome. The idea of Six Point Star is to get to know a member of the CSAIR community a little better. In each installment we will pick a CSAIR member – our “Star” of the column – and ask them 6 questions. We'll print their answers – their "six points" – in this space. The questions and answers will range from the serious to the not-so-serious. It's an easy and fun way to get to know your CSAIR community a little better.

 

YYYYYYYY

 

6 Point Star

 Y

A New Column that highlights a different CSAIR Member each month.

YYYYYYYY

 Welcome. The idea of Six Point Star is to get to know a member of the CSAIR community a little better. In each installment we will pick a CSAIR member – our “Star” of the column – and ask them 6 questions. We'll print their answers – their "six points" – in this space. The questions and answers will range from the serious to the not-so-serious. It's an easy and fun way to get to know your CSAIR community a little better.

Our December 08  "Six Point Star" of the month is:

Steve Chait

 

Question 1:  When did you first attend CSAIR?

 

It was a warm summer Shabbat morning in Riverdale town.  It was late June, 2007.  The trees were in bloom; the sky was blue; children were laughing; all was bright and promising….

 

And we had just moved from the UWS (that’s Upper West Side of Manhattan for those not from the ‘hood); we were new to town; and coming from Shaare Zedek (our previous Shul) we, of course, sought out a Conservative Shul in Riverdale…and in fact, we discovered that there was just ONE Conservative Shul in Riverdale.  And so, with some trepidation and hopeful expectation we came to a service.  It was our first time there (remarkably we took it on faith that it would be a good fit….and if not, there was always that HIR place if need be)…

 

We were, in fact, very fortunate and felt an instant affinity to CSAIR.  We also were kindly taken under the wing of Jackey Gold [a now fellow Men’s Club member- who knew?], who we knew from the Old Country (UWS) in our previous life and she introduced us to a number of people active in the Shul.  We also met Harry Perkal and David LaDue- then acting membership recruiters. And then, we reunited with some other former SZ [that’s Shaare Zedek in UWS-speak] and UWS expats and met many other active members…and then our children Hannah and Josh knew people from Camp Ramah and from their school, and before we knew it… we were hooked and signed up.  In fact, to this day we have never attended a service in Riverdale elsewhere (I know, we must get out more!).

 

Question 2: What are you working on this week?

 At home: as those who know us know….our last year has been devoted to combining two apartments into one.  The combination is thankfully now complete…and so this week as no doubt we will also be doing for many weeks (years?): unpacking, organizing, and decluttering…and as always trying to find a way to complete our parental duties, get our stuff done, and then have some down time…and all before 2 AM each night.  An ongoing challenge!

 At work: putting together a promotional brochure for the Holiday retail season and beginning to think about an exhibition in which we will be participating in January.

 

Question 3 – What role does Judaism have in your life?
 

Since you ask….central indeed!

 

I grew up in a very different Jewish setting: classical Reform in a very beautiful synagogue with very formal services, very different in style from what I now am accustomed.  My family’s Jewish life was very important even if not so traditionally observant.  That was my foundation of which I remain respectful and indebted as it activated my Jewish awareness and religious involvement. 

 

My adult life found me searching (and still searching in all honesty) for that elusive golden balance/ combination of the emotional comfort of Traditional observance and worship and “intellectual honesty”. Conservative Judaism has been for me a good “compromise” though not always perfect either!

 

I find great meaning in being a part of the historical Jewish experience and value Kashrut, traditional worship, and observance of Jewish ritual and holidays.  When I can fully observe Shabbat and the holidays I do find it a delight.  I find the long history of the Jewish people personally moving and compelling. 

 

I am, I believe, very G-d aware and believe there is truly something special and Holy in Jewish life and belief, though reconciling traditional aspects of faith and “secular” intellect can be challenging.  Being a part of the Jewish people and a proverbial “link in the chain” is also very important to me.  I hope to convey all of this to my children, yet also wish them a bit of an easier path in all this- sort of more doing and less intellectualizing (at least some of the time)! 


Question 4: What is an unusual song that you like and why?

 

“The Great American Melting Pot” from School House Rock.  I was listening to the DVD with my children a while back- it brought back memories….a lot of great songs in that series! I also like “Interjection”, “Conjunction Junction”, and that “[Something/ something] Xavier Saspirilla” song which is amazing, but “Great American Melting Pot” has that timeless magical combination of simplicity, moving kitchiness, and pleasant clever lyrics and music!

 
Question 5: What do you like best about CSAIR?

 

It is hard to pick a best, so here is what I particularly like about CSAIR: the community- its diversity of ages and backgrounds; I like the service style.  The participatory nature of the services and lay-led aspects of the service.  The Rabbi and Shoshi are great, very welcoming, approachable, and personable.  I like Kiddush food-wise and social-wise.  I also like the aesthetics of the Sanctuary- it is bright, soothing, and for me conducive to prayer.  I like the large number of families and that so many families come with their children; that children are definitely welcome.  It has been a great fit for us and we consider ourselves fortunate to have this community as our community.

 
Question 6: What makes you happy?

 

Shalom Bayit; chocolate confections in various forms, coffee: hot or iced (not luke-warm), only caffeinated and with not too much milk and with no sugar; fine wine: white or red [not rosé so much]; good friends; good times; good conversation; good food; good business; political discussions that I can agree with...but most importantly (although none of these need be mutually exclusive), of course: my family: Lisa, Hannah and Joshua.

-Steve Chait