What Is the Chai Dinner?

Did you ever wonder, what is the Chai Dinner?   Here is a little history. Temple Beth El of Huntington was founded in 1952.  In 1977, Charlie Mayer (z”l), a member at the time, organized and held a dinner to honor those families who had been members of Temple Beth El for 18 (chai) years or more.  We have continued to honor these members (partners) with a dinner each year, thus becoming the long-standing tradition of the Chai Dinner. We also recognize those families who are reaching certain other milestones of membership/partnership – 25, 36, 45 and 50 years. Once a family has achieved 60 years of membership, we honor them each year and each household being recognized receives a certificate of appreciation. Isn’t this wonderful?  Through Charlie’s thoughtfulness and the establishment of the Chai Dinner, the Chai Club was created and is still active and strong.

Here are a few statistics: we currently have four families who fall into the 60+ years of membership/partnership category. Also currently, 168 families have been members for 18 years or more, which is 42 percent of our partner households.  After a two year hiatus due to the challenges of the COVID-19 virus, Temple Beth El will once again recognize our households who have reached 18 or more years of membership/partnership, a little differently but certainly with just as much gratitude and love for our long-time temple families.  We hope you will join us for Friday night Shabbat services (either in person or live-stream) on Friday, June 3rd at 7:00 p.m. as we show our “Chai” appreciation and recognition for the years 2020, 2021, and 2022 with a special blessing given by Rabbi Jeff and Cantor Alison.  L’Chaim – to life!