By Harriet P. Gross
My mother, of blessed memory, had a rather “different” (downright strange, I think) view on sending Shanah Tovahs. “You can mail them any time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur,” she would say. And true to her mantra, she would drop her New Year greetings into the mailbox as she walked to shul for Kol Nidre.
Maybe in reaction to her, I learned to mail early. Even in this day of easy emails and almost cost-prohibitive postage, I prefer — and persist in — the tradition of addressing and stamping paper greetings to family members and friends across the country. All of my Shanah Tovahs will have reached their destinations — through the grace of the U.S. Postal Service — by the time you read this.
The cards themselves represent an investment of sorts: This year I purchased six packages of eight cards each at the Dallas JCC’s gift shop, for a total of well over $40. Of course, this supply is augmented by the “freebies” that come from an assortment of Jewish organizations in thanks for contributions earlier in the year. When I send holiday gifts to children in the family, I tuck into each package a recycled front saved from one of the nicest cards I received last year. Since they fit within the boxes, no envelopes or additional stamps are required.
And there are other greetings I deliver in person or by phone. This year, there are some I’ll send right here, through this column. So here’s my list of recipients, in no particular order:
Shanah Tovah, Steve Lawrence! I hope he can have a happier new year after the recent loss of his partner in life and song, Eydie Gorme. I knew they were both Jewish, but I didn’t know until reading her obituary that her roots were Sephardic, and she grew up speaking Spanish just as well as English. So, long live “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” as we enter 5774!
Shanah Tovah, Judy Cohn and Florence Kramer! As Judy leaves the Dallas JCC, she leaves behind a stellar record of arts accomplishments that will probably be impossible to beat. Florence exits the Legacy Willow Bend after acing the immense job of volunteer coordinator, and she, too, leaves figurative shoes that will be terribly difficult to fill. May you both enjoy your well-earned, well-deserved retirements!
Shanah Tovah, Parkland Hospital! So glad you have met approved standards as you enter the new year. Dallas deserves a first-class public hospital, and you’d better be it!
Shanah Tovah, Dr. Carmen Miller Michael and Lois Finkelman! Both are among the Dallas Historical Society’s 2013 awardees for Excellence in Community Service. Carmen, professor emeritus of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, is being honored in the Health/Sciences category; Lois, who served four terms on the Dallas City Council, receives the honors for Individual Leadership. Mazal Tov to you both!
Shanah Tovah, Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers! As I write this, you’re both leading your major league divisions in the great American game of baseball. May you continue your winning ways, because I’m hoping to see my two hometown teams — past and present — meet each other in this fall’s World Series!
Shanah Tovah, Don Alan Croll! Now Temple Shalom’s cantor emeritus, he came to Dallas after a stage career, and in his retirement, he’s back on the boards again. You can see him through Sept, 1 at Theatre Three, in a rollicking old farce entitled “So Help Me God”; I already did, and so help me, I enjoyed it!
I close with this very personal note: Shanah Tovah to my Cousin Faye, who was caretaker for her husband through his inevitably losing bout with ALS. She also cared for her mother during the months of dementia that preceded her passing, and for her younger brother until his recent death from Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and terrible cancer. May she find in 5774 some peace for herself.