LilaTovCocktail: Ingredients: one part NE Ohio; two parts politics; two parts media, and one part each: culture, family & the Jewish community. Directions: Shake well.

Winter storm snowstopper couldn't cancel Cleveland simchas


by Lila Hanft, Cleveland Jewish News, 03/14/08

Going nowhere fast: cars buried in Mayfield Hts. on March 8.

When the “lucky” month of Adar II arrived March 7, it brought along an uninvited guest: 20-plus inches of snow that fell continuously during a 30-hour period.

Northeast Ohioans with plans for vacations, weddings, and b’nai mitzvah weren’t feeling particularly lucky on Friday, as the snow closed roads, airports, museums, public libraries, malls, and grocery stores.

Although the desultory flakes that began Friday morning seemed benign, they descended relentlessly. By mid-afternoon, many schools, businesses, and government agencies were closing early, and sheriffs’ departments in several northeast Ohio counties were asking drivers not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

It was still snowing when Saturday morning dawned, but that didn’t stop Sydney Giller from becoming a bat mitzvah at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple.

“We told people from Detroit and Akron to come early when we heard about the snow,” said her father, Gary Giller. Attendance at the service was lighter than expected, “but the family were all there.”

The party scheduled that night at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike was a different story. As the snow kept falling throughout the afternoon, Sydney “started getting text messages and e-mail cancellations.”

Family members from Akron, learning of poor road conditions, decided to go home early, before the party.

The bat mitzvah girl almost didn’t make it to the party when her father got stuck in snow at Fairmount Circle for about a half hour.

But as soon as Sydney arrived at the party, “everything was great,” Giller reports. “We had friends who drove in from Hudson and Aurora. They really made a great effort to get there.”

Read the full story at the CJN

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