Losing a loved one during the eighteen months beginning in March 2020, was a compounded experience of losses. The pandemic changed the way we visited people who were sick and the way we held the hands of a person preparing to die. The experiences of grief without shiva, without community, and without consistent access to a minyan to say kaddish also added to the loss.
As Beth El reopened, we were determined not to leave your stories behind.
One way we chose to do this was through the creation of a quilt to memorialize the people connected to our community who died during the pandemic. We wanted to create a tangible, visible, and beautiful work of art that will mark their absence, celebrate their lives, and share their stories with our Beth El family.
The quilt you see on this page is the result of generous contributions of time and effort from family and friends of those we lost as well as volunteers from our community who helped them put it all together.
Watch this moving documentary film that tells the story behind our quilt including testimonials of relatives who lost loved ones during the pandemic.
As Rabbi Schuck explained, “We want to create a moment for us to remember . . . as kids grow up here at Beth El and for individual families . . . to have a place in this synagogue where the loved ones they lost during this challenging time will always be remembered.” He stressed that their “character — the people who they were will be symbolized on this quilt to teach and inspire future generations in our community.”
Susan Wolman: Susan was our quilter extraordinaire, having taught quilting and sewing for years. She put the quilt together and did all of the sewing.
Sheryl Fleishaker: Sheryl took on the role of doing all the quilting itself, a task she accomplished in only two days!
Joyce Wechsler:: Joyce spearheaded the quilt project, and even learned how to quilt from Susan Wolman.
Not every participant was able to put design and make a square for his or her loved one. Not to worry, we had amazing volunteers who spent their time helping others design their squares. Thank you to all of them:
Thank you to everyone who participated: