In addition to some of the hats I wear, I help to arrange a retreat for women, to benefit Keser Kavod, an organization that provides hairpieces for men and children with illness and hair conditions. Our Winter retreat is an event that many women look forward to. A good part of the camaraderie that unites these women of different ages and diverse backgrounds can be attributed to our star speaker, Mrs. Miryam Swerdlov. In her very real way, with immense depth and witty delivery, she captures the essence of who we are and gives us the encouragement to accept and appreciate what we have, and to move on with our lives. “Look at life through the windshield, not through the rear view mirror”, is a typical Miryam phrase.
So, we had our retreat February 22nd of this year, at which time Miryam invited us to her home for her upcoming Yom Holedes (birthday) on the 22nd of Adar. About 20 women showed up at her Crown Heights home yesterday afternoon, coming from Lakewood , Boro Park, Flatbush, Williamsburg, Monsey & Monroe. We can always count on our nucleus, the core of our group - the women that come with us year after year, to show up. Miryam, single-handedly, set a beautiful dining room table, and transformed her kitchen island into an elegant buffet of food, even as dessert eyed us from the kitchen table.
We served ourselves from the wide array of food in the kitchen, which we carried to and ate in the dining room. There were beautiful salads, sushi, bagels, lox, tuna & egg salad, roasted potatoes, hot soup, cabbage & noodles, and several types of crackers and breadsticks. While we ate, we heard inspiring music from Morah Music, interspersed with words of wisdom and chizuk from Miryam, and spontaneous dancing.
After lunch, we sat or stood around the kitchen table drinking coffee and eating cheesecake, but mostly savoring these moments of friendship until the next time this wondrous group reunites, hopefully soon, with the coming of Moshiach, bimhaia b’yameinu, Amein. (I guess my surroundings rubbed off on me!)