Kvelling in Cincinnati
By Phyllis Segal Denaburg, President, Holy Blossom Temple
Past president Judy Winberg and I travelled to Cincinnati recently to celebrate with Rabbi Yael Splansky as she was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).
Our day began with a leisurely walk past the University of Cincinnati campus, and its row of Greek (fraternity) houses to the HUC campus. It was exciting to walk around the campus after the ceremony and see the American Jewish Archives, the Skirball Museum and the Klau Library, places I had heard about from my Reform movement colleagues.
Highlights of the ceremony included the keynote address by Rabbi Karen Thomashow, a beloved former Rabbi at Holy Blossom, who is currently Associate Rabbi at Wise Temple in Cincinnati and the awarding of the doctorates to four rabbis, including Rabbi Splansky.
After a brief campus tour by a very experienced tour guide, Rabbi Zachary Goodman, we went downtown for a private tour of the magnificent ‘Alhambra style’ Plum Street Temple built in 1866. Plum Street Temple is still in use for lifecycle events and some Shabbat services, as part of the Wise Temple. Rabbi Thomashow very proudly led the tour as she and Rabbi Splansky exchanged stories about the history of the site.
No visit to Cincinnati is complete without a visit to Graeters Ice Cream, ask any of our clergy, or their families. While I had already tasted Graeter’s ice cream the previous day, I certainly did not decline the suggestion to have more.
That evening Judy and I were invited to join Rabbi Splansky for dinner with her cousins at their home. Cousins by the dozens! The celebration was enhanced by champagne sent by Rabbi Splanky’s colleagues, our Holy Blossom clergy.
Our brief visit to Cincinnati ended the next day. Judy and I were honoured to represent Holy Blossom Temple and to be with Rabbi Splansky on this special day.