November 12, 2021 Note from Cantor Fair

Greetings, UJS families!

It’s shocking to realize that the Hebrew month of Kislev is here and we are actually getting ready for  Hanukkah! Where has the time gone? As we launch into week nine of the United Jewish School, I am constantly surprised by the incredible creativity and innovation I see in our students and teachers.  Some highlights from last week include:

  • In Kindergarten, students learned about tzedakah. Mary Kaneti came to teach about the Temple’s food bank and who it helps.  The students learned we as Jews are commanded to take care of our world and that the Temple food bank is one of the ways we do that!


  • 1st Grade learned the story of Hanukkah, read a story called “Hanukkah Cookie with Sprinkles” (a book about giving tzedakah and welcoming the stranger during Hanukkah), and had a nice brain break of having a dance party to some Maccabeats songs about Hanukkah!


  • In 7th grade, students talked about the fact that it is Jewish Book Month! Jewish literature spans genres from nonfiction to poetry, science fiction to graphic novels. The Temple librarian, Kris Siegel, set up a display of books that would interest 7th graders and students spent time exploring the library and reading. Several students checked out a book to bring home with them. 


  • In T’filah this week, we learned about Elana Arian and learned her version of “Hinei ma tov.” We are very excited to welcome Elana Arian to Grand Rapids as our Artist-in-Residence for this Hanukkah season.  Elana is one of the leading voices in contemporary Jewish music. She is a composer, a multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, and prayer leader. Elana will teach and sing with students from the United Jewish School on December 5th. Elana will join Cantor Fair and Rabbi Schadick on December 3 at 6pm at Temple Emanuel for Kabbalat Shabbat . She will also join Cantor Fair and Rabbi Krishef leading Shabbat Morning Services on December 4 at 9:30am at Ahavas Israel. In addition, Elana will lead the community, joined by Cantor Fair, in Havdalah and headline an amazing Holiday Concert for all ages December 4 at 7pm at Temple Emanuel.


A reminder that Rabbi Krishef teaches a wonderful class for adults on Sunday morning during religious school hours called “Thoughtful Judaism: Jewish Education for Parents.” Here is information about that class. 
We love to have visitors and volunteers in the classrooms and / or in the sanctuary for T’filah. If you have any questions or concerns, my door is always open. Please let me know by sending me an email at or our Administrative Assistant, Kreenah Dunsmore, at

Here is information on a couple upcoming events here at Temple Emanuel which may interest families. 

Tot Shabbat is on Saturday November 13, 2021 at 10:00 AM
Please join us for a fun-filled exciting kid-centered Shabbat service. Feel welcome to join us, but please RSVP so we know how many people to expect. 

November 20th @ 4:00 PM Chanukah Party!
Join Rabbi Schadick and Cantor Fair on Saturday afternoon for Chanukah Fun!
Holiday Crafts, Chanukah Card Creation and Decoration, Chanukah Music, and more!
Children of all ages welcome!
Parents, grandparents, and all families encouraged! 

Cantor David Fair

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *