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July 23, 2014 | 25th Tamuz 5774

Chari Schwartz, Temple Kol Ami, Thornhill, Canada

About 10 years ago, I attended a CAJE conference with a small group of people from Toronto. Ontario. I got the idea of making this into a little mini vacation and dragged my mom along with me. She was baffled as to why I would want to bring her with---after all---this was about my work and getting some ideas on good teaching and managing a supplementary school. Little did she ( or I) know what a transforming experience this would be. Mom quickly got into CAJE mode and chose this nice little singing group called Debbie's Chorale. After the first session with Debbie, my mom was hooked. She loved being part of a group of people with various experience and just enjoy the opportunity to sing and share and feel. No sooner had she decided that I too must try this on for size So the next day mom and I and about 150 others were on a stage learning Reb Machmans prayer which, to this day, bring huge tears to my eyes when I hear it or sing it. Debbie did more than sing and write... she, as many have said, provided opportunity to reach new heights with Jewish experience making us all feel like Kol Ami-a voice onto the nations. My mom is gone now...to the very end of her life, mom said that she was "one of Debbie's girls" and kept amongst her special treasures the lyrics and pictures from that time. The spirit of song lives amongst all those whose lives she touched. She touched my lifebut most importantly she touched my mom's life. To me that is a gift for all time Zichrona Livracha- may her memory be for a blessing

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