On Sunday, November 20, following a morning at the Denison Pequotsepos
Nature Center where 80 people participated in the Jewish Day of Learning, 110
people arrived at the Mystic Y for an afternoon of food, fun and friendship!
The day began at noon with a delicious lunch cooked by Nelly Nersesyan
and her parents Marina and Gregory Nersesyan of hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot
dogs, two chilies’ (one vegetarian), corn bread, Israeli and American salads,
guacamole, chips, fruit, and other delicious foods. The burgers and dogs were
cooked on the grill by two members of the Temple Emanu-El brotherhood, Scott
Zettler and Mike Reinhard under the supervision of Rabbi Sternberg.
At 1pm, our Young Emissaries, Tal & Guy, opened their Israel room. It
was quite amazing to see them give such a broad view of Israel through the many
stations they created in their room. While most emissaries have about 6 weeks
to put their ideas into motion and create their programs, Tal & Guy had to
deal with a holiday-filled October and then one week before JCC Day, they were
away at a seminar. That left them less than three weeks to get everything done.
They worked around the clock and on weekends. Tal & Guy were determined to
get everything done in time. And they did!! See their article in this paper for
all the details.
Jennifer Zettler, the Federation’s PJ Library Coordinator held a PJ
Library story and craft program around 1pm for about 45 minutes with 8 children
in attendance. At around 1:20pm, instructors and students from ABD Self Defense
in Norwich returned for a third year in a row and gave an interactive
demonstration of Krav Maga. They broke into smaller groups and many of
children, a few adults and Coast Guard cadets participated.
Ya’ara Moses, an Israeli Artist in Residence at Conn College, came to
the Mystic Y to give people a chance to hear and experience a short workshop of
her unique style of movement called “Gaga” that she teaches in Israel and now
teaches at Conn College.
The swimming pool was a big hit and was used by many until 5pm.
During the day, many adults enjoyed having time to relax and schmooze
together – something many of them don’t get to do very often.
There are many people to thank who made this day possible. To start
with, Nelly Nersesyan and her parents spent many hours on Thursday and Sunday
preparing the food for everyone to enjoy. Nelly took over this role from Deb
Schwell who was the “chef” for JCC Day for many years. We thank Nelly and her
parents for all their hard work and Deb & Jerry Schwell for stopping over
at Ahavath Chesed to see how things were going.
A very special thank you to the Mystic Y and their many staff members
who helped make our event such a huge success. Thank you to John Sutcliffe, who
has worked with us for the past four years, Mark Guerin - for jumping in at the
last minute, Dave the custodian who has also been with us for the past four
previous years and who worked tirelessly to get everything ready in time and
finally, Ann at the desk who was our "partner in crime" all day long.
Thank you to the front desk staff as well for helping us with any request
throughout the day. You all really made our day quite wonderful and we thank
Jonathan Rowe, Scott Zettler and Mike Reinhard of Temple Emanu-El’s Brotherhood,
loaded chairs and tables from Temple Emanu-El into Jonathan’s truck and brought
them over to the Mystic Y. Seven Coast Guard cadets helped with many areas of
the day. They helped with set-up and break down of the day, served the food,
played basketball with some of the kids and assisted Tal & Guy in their Israel
room. A few of them also helped Scott, Mike & Jonathan return tables and
chairs to Temple Emanu-El.
Rachel Sheriff and Rebecca Morea also arrived early at the Mystic Y to
help with set- up as well as assisting Tal & Guy. Rebecca also stayed long
enough to help with clean up at the end of the day. Daniel & Yarden Sackett
were also on hand helping Tal & Guy. Jerry Schwell helped Tal & Guy by
making the wood stands for the signs in their room. Thank you also to the
Connecticut College Hillel students who did face painting and the Young
Emissaries Ron and Aviv from Springfield and Noam and Eliav from Hartford who
also came and helped Tal and Guy. Finally, thank you to Mimi and Ed Perl for
handling everyone’s check-in at the Y.
Thank you to all who attended our JCC w/o Walls Day and supporting this
very important and fun community event.