Susan Schanerman steps down as Emanuel's cantorial soloist

Susan Schanerman announced to Temple Emanuel of Tempe congregants last week that she will step down as the cantorial soloist at the end of the year. She will continue her role as Emanuel's director of education.

"As a lifelong educator, I feel that the time is right for me to step down as cantorial soloist in order to devote my energies to the religious school and adult education," Schanerman wrote in a letter to Emanuel members. "I would like to have the opportunity to spend Shabbat with my husband or to sit beside you at Shabbat services. I will be very grateful to have a bit more free time to pursue personal interests."

A letter from Susan Gordon, Emanuel president, and Rabbi Dean Shapiro said the congregation has created a small committee that will seek an interim part-time replacement. "We are certainly sad that we will no longer hear Susan's beautiful voice on our bimah, but we support her personal decision," the letter read. "She has brought beauty and soul to our prayers, and many of us cannot remember a service without her."

Schanerman, who has served as the Reform congregation's cantorial soloist since 1999, will remain on the bimah until Dec. 31.

JNF plans luncheon for women

Jewish National Fund, Women's Campaign for Israel will host "Taking Steps Forward," a luncheon for women set for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at a private home in Paradise Valley. The luncheon program will feature guest speakers Diane Scar, JNF national campaign director, and Emily Kile, attorney at law. Kile will provide practical steps for women to build independence, wealth and confidence.

The luncheon is being held in memory of Elad Riven, the 16-year-old volunteer Fire Scout who died in the Carmel Forest Fire last December. Proceeds will support the outfitting of volunteer Fire Scouts with specialized equipment. Event co-chairs are Jill Beck and Toni Dusik, and event sponsors are Able Financial Group and Cypress HomeCare Solutions.

The event will also include a "fall-inspired" floral arrangement demonstration by Dennis Thompson, owner of White House Design Studio, and lunch catered by Simply Scrumptious. Dietary laws observed. Cost for lunch is $50. Women can also make a contribution to the 2012 Women's Campaign for Israel. To register by Nov. 11, visit jnf.org/steps or call Nancy Rodgers, 602-277-4800. Space is limited.

AJHS hosts ShabbatLuck program

ShabbatLuck's next large event will be held Friday, Nov. 18, at the Arizona Jewish Historial Society's Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, 122 E. Culver St., Phoenix. The event includes mingling at 6:30 p.m., a short Shabbat service at 7 p.m., and a potluck dinner. The program is for Jewish singles and couples in their 20s and 30s.

As a service project, guests are asked to bring beach or bath towels for Hospice of the Valley. A volunteer sewing group will convert the towels into bath ponchos for patients.

Registration deadline is Nov. 15. To be added to the Anyvite list, visit shabbatluck.com.

Class gives Jewish look at self-image

The Jewish Enrichment Center will present "Hubris or Humility: A Jewish Perspective on Self-Image" 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Nov. 10-Dec. 22 (except Nov. 24), at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. The class, taught by Rabbi Yisroel Isaacs, will examine Torah-based insights on both practical and theoretical aspects of self-image. Cost is $25 for JCC members, $36 nonmembers. For more details, contact the JEC, 480-420-7613 or info@phxjec.org. To register, call the JCC, 480-483-7121.

- Leisah Woldoff

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