2006-07-14 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Dr. Geraldine Chapey
Dr. Geraldine Chapey

Temple Beth-El Honors The Sinensky's

Temple Beth El celebrated its 85th anniversary with a dinner at the Sands honoring Bella and Sam Sinensky. The Sinensky's are leaders in the Temple, the school and in the Temple's Holocaust Commemoration as second generation Shoah survivor family. Their two children Elana and Michael are faithfully continuing the traditions which have been passed on to them by their loving and devoted parents. Bella Sinensky serves as the Dean of the religious school and is greatly appreciated by the children, their parents and the congregation.

Rabbi Blaine, a world renowned Rabbinical scholar and an outstanding religious leader, welcomed everyone to the 85th anniversary dinner. He praised the Sinensky's and noted that for them Gemilut Hasadim, deeds of loving kindness, are a way of life.

Rabbi Blaine reaches out to our community at large and plays a vital role in our interfaith activities. This year Rabbi Blaine continued his interfaith commitment in many ways including: (1) honoring Monsignor Martin Geraghty with a dinner in his honor celebrating Monsignor's accomplishments in promoting brotherhood, peace and harmony and (2) honoring my mother, Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey, member of the New York State Board of Regents, as one of the recipients of this year's Righteous Person Award.

Kudos to Selma Kaplan for her outstanding accomplishments as President of the Temple. Her unique talents and energetic leadership style excel in all her activities on behalf of the Temple and our community. A special thanks to Barbara Roth and Shirley Siegal for sharing their expertise, knowledge and talents with our community. They enhance the definition of charisma.

The dinner dance at the Sands was a wonderful evening where everyone had a chance to meet and greet.

During the last week in June we had a wonderful opportunity to hear the Peninsula Performing Arts Conservatory (PPAC) proudly present a "Common Thread - An Immigrant Journey" at the Chapel in Fort Tilden. It was a delightful evening with the PPAC band and ensemble and theatre department presenting a new musical by Michael C. Finnegan - the PPAC Director. Finnegan graciously extends credit to the talented Frank Caiati and to his talented wife, Sheila Finnegan.

Over 100 children performed in the PPAC program. They ranged in age from 6 to 14 years old. Each of the children worked tirelessly to learn the songs and to develop their respective characters. In addition, the children learned valuable lessons about immigration and heritage.

Mike Finnegan also thanked Bill Murray and the wonderful Broad Channel Theater Company for allowing the PPAC to borrow and use their sound equipment. This is a great example of neighbor helping neighbor. He thanks the Broad Channel group for helping our children to be heard in a very professional musical. Congratulations go to Walter Birkhold who is a very talented teacher and a virtuoso conductor of PPAC.

The band ensemble performed the following: our National Anthem, Marches of the Armed Forces, It Don't Mean A Thing If You Ain't Got That Swing, I Dreamed a Dream and That Thing You Do. All of the children and adults involved in the PPAC can be very proud of their accomplishments.

We know that summer is really here when we go to the St. Thomas More/ St. Edmund's Parish Show. As usual it was a delightful evening. The title of this year's show was "Shall We Dance" and featured many parishioners and friends.

The show was dedicated to Tom Hennessy, who truly did leave us too soon. As clearly stated in the program, "Tom believed in impossible dreams and made many dreams come true in Breezy. We appreciate what Tom has done for us. He will always remain in our hearts and prayers and will be a part of Breezy forever." This is a beautiful tribute to a man who helped so many. Ed Deacy and the Rockaway Point Fire Department performed a remarkable tribute to Tom Hennessy with their rendition of the "Impossible Dream." It is always a delight to hear Deacy's magnificent professional singing voice. It is certainly one of the highlights of the evening.

Maryellen Barnes always does a fantastic job. Her effervescent personality, her professionally honed talents and her love for the community combine to bring us such wonderful entertainment. Way to go, Maryellen!!

I always look forward to hearing the very talented Jonathan Hare. His creative talents, warm personality and trained singing voice bring an added dimension to the show. Al Lo Voi always enhances the show. He really knows how to project his voice so that each person in the audience feels personally involved in the melody.

Truly it is a great evening. There are so many talented professionals who deliver wonderful performances including: Therese Bennett, Catherine Leib, Anita McLaughlin, Kathleen Ribolla, Elizabeth Walsh, Catherine Tennyson, Hugh White, Joshua Dolan, Mary Castellano, Cathy Murfitt, Peter Tennyson and the entire cast. Words cannot convey how much we appreciate the fact that each of these talented individuals is willing to share their talents with us. Thank You! This year the O'Malley School of Dance was a great addition. I hope that we will see them again next year. Congratulations to all the tap dancers and the parish children who participated.

Sister Mary Beatta was outstanding as usual. I understand that her singing tour in Ireland received overwhelming success. I always enjoy listening to Sister's tapes and CD's. She is truly a marvelous and talented professional.

Now that the summer '06 is officially on its way we can look forward to many more wonderful summer happenings. June and July are also the time when we have the opportunity to circulate petitions for the New York State Fall elections. This year we will be going to the polls to elect our Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Assemblyperson, Senator, Congressional representative and Democratic District leaders.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have participated in this democratic process. In our country we are fortunate to have this privilege. Thanks to all the petition carriers and those who signed them. The petition process is coming to a close. Now we will hear more from the candidates.

Please take note that the Sea Breeze Golden Age will be having a Chinese Auction on July 12. The meeting will be in St. Francis de Sales auditorium from 12 to 3 p.m. Come and bring your friends.

If you are a senior and would like to join our picnic on Thursday, July 20, at the Sunken Meadow Park, please call our office to make a reservation at (718) 474-1641. Buses will leave at 7:45 a.m. You will be treated to a barbequed chicken lunch and a steak dinner. Buses will return at about 5:30 p.m.

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