Posted on May 1, 2018
If you attended Temple Beth-El’s recent 65th anniversary gala, you may have sampled the delicious tray of chocolate 65s that added an extra note of sweetness to the festivities. Those tasty morsels were compliments of Susan Steinfeld, who, with her husband Ed, is one of our newest congregants.
Susan and Ed moved to Somerset Run in Somerset, after living in Edison for 34 years. Ed, a retired systems analyst, developed Parkinson’s and needed living arrangements that he could more easily negotiate. “Every day I wake up so grateful to be here,” says Susan. When the Steinfelds were unable to go on a planned cruise last Thanksgiving, they posted a message on Somerset Run’s community bulletin board, offering to host other community members who would otherwise be alone on Thanksgiving. They ended up with 14 people at their table that Thanksgiving, eight of whom they hadn’t met yet. “It was a lot of work,” recalls Susan, “but I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world. It was marvelous!”
The couple were also seeking a change of scenery from their prior synagogue. Susan explains, “We were very active for 35 years and made wonderful friends, but we felt that since we’d moved to a new area, it would be good for us to join a new temple family and establish a new sense of community.”
The Steinfelds found what they were looking for at TBE. “We were very happy with Temple Beth-El from the start. We just love it here,” Susan enthuses, and Ed agrees that he feels very comfortable at TBE. “Everyone we’ve met has been so warm and welcoming. We are so grateful to have found this incredible community where we can have a true spiritual home.” What is most important to them is this strong sense of community and support, and having people around them who care, during life’s happy and sad moments, they add.
Ed and Susan have been married for 48 years and have one daughter, Michelle, who lives in Falls Church, Virginia, with her husband and children, ages three and five. Ed enjoys watching Rachel Maddow and listening to various genres of music. He also loves to create mosaic tile artworks, and Susan shares a similar interest in tiles, working on pixel mosaics, tiny mosaic pieces that she mounts in various designs on plates. On the sports front, Susan plays pickleball and bocce ball, something Ed is planning to try out this summer. Susan also bowls with the Somerset Run Senior Bowling League, and is learning canasta and mah jongg. She sings in the Makhelat HaMercaz Jewish Choir of Central NJ, under the direction of Cantors Anna West Ott of Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, and Sheldon Levin of Congregation Neve Shalom in Metuchen.
So, what about that chocolate we were just talking about? That comes from Susan’s chocolatier enterprise, a small business she runs from her home. With more than 700 chocolate molds to work with, she enjoys catering for birthdays, anniversaries, b’nei mitzvah, holidays, and other simchas. At Passover, she offers a large selection of chocolate-covered matzohs with various toppings, as well as chocolate frogs.
Welcome, Susan and Ed! We are so glad to have you as part of our TBE family.
Originally published in the May-June 2018 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.