Ruach Chayim Musical Shabbat Service, July 29

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You are invited to join BCC the last Shabbat of the month for a musical Kabbalat Shabbat service led by BCC’s clergy Rabbi Lisa Edwards and Cantor Juval Porat.

This week we celebrate love and life: The wedding of Amy Alterman and Grace Paradiso (picture above), Victor Lamkay & Hector Viera‘s 15th year anniversary and Ilene Cohen‘s 70th birthday!

Saturday, July 29 at 8pm! New friends are welcome. The service will be streamed live on our website.

Special guest musician: James Fuchs.

BCC Member Ilene Cohen will drash on the occasion of her 70th birthday–and there will be a blessing for the new moon of Av. The Oneg refreshment hour is being sponsored by Ilene Cohen in honor of her birthday and Victor Lamkay & Hector Viera because they are celebrating 15 years together! And there will be a wedding blessing for Amy Alterman and Grace Paradiso, who will be getting married on August 7.

Amy and Grace: Our Story

November 10th, 2010 was a date that would change our lives forever.

We met at an New York City LGBT Center lesbian dating event, which we were both initially reluctant to attend. At the last minute, we simultaneously felt compelled to attend by some mysterious force! Grace noticed Amy immediately as she rushed in wearing a little black dress and Harley Davidson boots. Amy’s vision tunneled in on Grace instantly – her hair, her boots, her swagger. The dating event was organized as a question game. People who chose the same answer to the relationship themed question would form a small discussion group and get to know one another.

We officially met in our first (and only) shared answer to “what is the most important part of a healthy relationship?” “Communication,” we answered. Magnetized to one another, we ignored all other people as we spoke intimately to each other during the 20-minute mingling period.

We have been healthily communicating ever since. Three days later we scheduled a dinner date in Chelsea. (This was unusual for Grace as she had a strict “first date, drinks only” rule, but she knew that this would not be just any first date). Grace battled the pouring rain and traffic to “Feels like the First Time,” “Waiting For a Girl Like You, ” and “Hot Blooded,” which all serendipitously played on the radio.

Once in the restaurant, we barely ate. Later, we would laugh about how this was the first and only time the bread basket was not devoured within the first 15 minutes of dinner. Enchanted by Grace, Amy barely spoke during dinner (a rare event!). Not ready for the evening to end, we went for a drive in the West Village where we talked for several more hours inside Grace’s parked car in the pouring rain. We shared music and stories and had our first kiss (initiated by Amy) after listening to a Melissa Etheridge song.

It was an epic eight hour date, and the beginning of our exciting, adventurous, loving, and passionate relationship.

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