Dani and Ariella Shaffren and children Koby, Noa and Sarit
Dani and Ariella Shaffren and children Koby, Noa and Sarit. (Photo courtesy of Ariella Shaffren)

Organizations made sure their members were provided some delicious treats to celebrate Shavuot.

On May 22, the Young Israel of Southfield Sisterhood, led by Ariella Shaffren, Shirli Gotlib and Ella Modell, organized an ice cream truck to drive around the neighborhood between Bell and Evergreen and 11 and 12 Mile roads and give out free ice cream to all shul members who signed up and were interested.

The sisterhood reserved 300 ice cream treats as well as provided the truck with nut-free-gluten-free options for those members who had food allergies. An anonymous sponsor paid for all the ice cream.

“People loved it.” said Shaffren, who’s the director of admissions and marketing at Farber Hebrew Day School. “The adults were just as excited as the kids to see the ice cream truck.”

To celebrate Shavuot, the sisterhood also arranged for cheesecake to be delivered to all 130 member families who live in the area. Thirteen volunteer drivers made the deliveries that included an age-appropriate book on Jewish learning chosen by Rabbi Yechiel Morris.

Rabbi Yechiel Morris of Young Israel of Southfield
Rabbi Yechiel Morris of Young Israel of Southfield. Ariella Shaffren

According to Shaffren, the community of YIOS has been connecting through WhatsApp and other virtual programming, such as a recent virtual bingo game organized by the sisterhood.

“This pandemic has brought us even closer together,” Shaffren said. “I’m meeting people now who were unable to go to shul in person.”

Royal Oak Chabad

In keeping with the tradition to eat dairy foods on Shavuot, prior to the holiday, Royal Oak Chabad Jewish Center distributed kosher ice cream along with a holiday activity package to 100 families, home delivered in an ice cream truck.

Milo and Remy Dresser sit on their porch enjoying their cold treats in Royal Oak.
Milo and Remy Dresser sit on their porch enjoying their cold treats in Royal Oak. Mushky Glitsenstein

“We wanted to enable the the community to celebrate the holiday commemorating the giving of the Torah,” said Mushky Glitsenstein, who runs the center with her husband, Rabbi Moishie.

As the ice cream truck pulled up to each home it was greeted by children running towards it with huge smiles and excitement. As one mother said: “For almost three months we didn’t have the chance to celebrate with others with a physical connection. Thanks for bringing the happiness and meaning of the holiday in this tough time in such a special way.”

The project was done in adherence to all the social distancing health precautions and was made possible by the support of individuals in the local community. For more information and for future contact visit www.jewishroyaloak.com.

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