ALBANY – The new Bethlehem Chabad knitting circle and its new crochet club met for recently for their first times. Novice and experienced crochet workers and knitters will be welcomed by both groups. Members will work together to provide comfort shawls and blankets to those who are in need in the Jewish community.

Bethlehem Chabad’s new knitting circle at its recent first meeting. From left, Millie Peckman, Susie Rosenberg, Chanie Simon and Sylvia Kaminsky.

The next knitting meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 26, at 1:30 p.m. The group is facilitated by Helen Ernst, an experienced knitter and teacher. Members have chosen the motto “Join the Circle to Spread the Warmth.”

The crochet club, led by crochet teacher Stephanie Fisher, will meet again on Wednesday, Jan 18, at 7:15 p.m. 

“These groups are part of Bethlehem Chabad’s hakhel year initiatives, said Channie Simon, co-director of the Bethlehem Chabad. She explained, “The biblical hakhel year took place every seventh year following the shmitta, or sabbatical year. When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the entire Jewish nation—men, women and children—gathered to hear the Torah read by the king. Chabad is taking inspiration from this and hopes to provide opportunities for Jews to gather together and do good in the world.”

These new endeavors join Bethlehem Chabad’s Soulful Kitchen group, which makes meals for those who are ill, or in need of support after childbirth.