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Sofia & Michael Klayn - Chesed Award

After two children and several years of living in Brooklyn, Michael and Sofia realized that it was time for a change. They began their search for a new, warm, and welcoming community; somewhere that prioritized the warmth and affection they valued most. One of Sofia’s friends recommended West Hempstead and they started looking for houses. It took two years and two possible Oceanside purchases to finally end up in West Hempstead. While knowing a few families in town helped, attending Anshei services and becoming members of the shul opened a whole new world of possibilities and friendships for Michael and Sofia.

Having their third child in West Hempstead and making a Shabbos bris confirmed for Michael and Sofia the true nature of the community they had joined. Over two hundred people attended the bris and Sofia had more people offering to prepare meals than she could’ve ever needed. These acts of kindness solidified for Michael and Sofia that Anshei was the embodiment of inclusion and comfort. They knew what their role in community should be. No longer content to simply be included but inspired to be proactive.

Seeing a need in the community for party planning services, Michael quickly became a fixture for anyone in need of catering or party planning, besides working a 9 to 5 in Medical supplies sales. With the help of Zalman Hagler, Michael also began providing food for the eight o’clock minyan, continuing the job his own father does in his Brooklyn shul. As a result of his keen eye for detail and innate jovial personality, Michael has participated in and enhanced so many special occasions throughout the neighborhood, often sacrificing his own time for the happiness of others.

From the day she moved into the community, Sofia made it her goal to ensure that new members of the community felt welcome. Whenever new families moved in, Sofia was insistent on meeting them and inviting them over for Shabbat meals. She made it her mission to make others feel as included and welcomed as she felt after she first moved in. Over the years, Sofia has been an incredible representative of Anshei and their values, reaching out to people from all walks of life. While only recently did Sofia officially become part of the Anshei Welcoming Committee, anyone who knows Sofia knows that she has held that title for years.

After seven years, three children, and countless friendships, Michael and Sofia confidently tell people that moving to West Hempstead and becoming members of Anshei were two of the best decisions they ever made. Anshei and the West Hempstead community are certainly a warmer and more welcoming place because of them.

 

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Sat, July 4 2020 12 Tammuz 5780