In Beny2020 Stories, Our Virtual Mishkan

Roots of Admiration: A Family’s Proud Participation in the Beny2020 Tribute

By Denise Gordon

When Cantor Benjamin Maissner announced his retirement, Holy Blossom Temple began planning how to honour him. Gillian Rosenberg got involved, then her son Benjamin, and Gillian’s mother, long-time Temple member Zita Gardner. Soon Gillian recruited cousin Jerry McIntosh, making it an extended family affair.

Zita, a former head of the Leo Baeck Day School recalls, “when our children were young, our family celebrated many Shabbat dinners and numerous occasions with the Maissners. We love Beny and his family – our roots go deep.”

Zita is working enthusiastically on the Tribute book, helping Gillian, a proud 3rd generation Temple member. Gillian also coordinates the Beny2020 social media program, which includes Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Gillian’s son, Benjamin, designed the Beny2020 logo. Gillian enlisted a cousin, a more recent Temple member, independent film producer Jerry McIntosh, for interviews with Beny.

“I have always admired Beny’s voice at services, his breadth of knowledge, talent and enthusiasm as a cantor, but getting to know him better has only deepened my appreciation.” Jerry is even digitally archiving Beny’s audio work for posterity and helping produce video items for the tribute.

You can see their work and the tireless efforts of so many dedicated congregants on June 10th. When your family joins many more at the online tribute to Cantor Benjamin Maissner, it will be an imaginative, surprising, and unforgettable affair to honour 41 years of service to Holy Blossom. Raise a glass and say l’chaim!




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