Spreading Light and Joy: B'nai Israel Synagogue Hanukkah Celebration

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Written by Gina Dewink Photography by Alex Lupu

Traditional songs, community gathered together, candlelight—these are some of the major elements of the annual Hanukkah celebration at B'nai Israel Synagogue (BIS), Dan Abraham Jewish Cultural Center In Rochester.

Rabbi Michelle Werner defines Hanukkah as a “minor holiday in the cycle of the Jewish year.” So, why all the fanfare and festivities? Congregation member Ana Folpe explains, “Hanukkah falls into the time of other solstice and 'light holidays' and has become popular as a result.” This year the annual Festival of Lights celebration runs from December 24 to January 1, the eight days and nights of Hanukkah.


Hanukkah, which means “rededication” in Hebrew, is a celebration of the Maccabees regaining control of Jerusalem and rededicating the Second Temple. Despite having only enough altar oil for one day, the Temple's flame continued to burn for eight days. 



Girls' Night Out: Sharing the Essentials Friendship and Health with Essential Oils

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Written by Kim Zabel Photography by Kim Zabel

Sitting in a semi-circle with two diffusers sending sweet scents of lavender and peppermint into the air, each person passes around small, dark bottles of essential oils. Several women in the class rub a drop between their hands and then cup their hands to their faces to experience each oil.


Jaime Smoody and Angel Hutchins work together to lead the class on dōTERRA essential oils at Empowered Wellness, a fitness studio in Rochester.  Jaime and Angel have a friendship rooted in education and essential oils. Both are employed at Willow Creek Middle School: Jaime teaches 6th- and 7th-grade pre-algebra, and Angel works as a 6th-grade guidance counselor. Both Angel and Jaime are business partners with essential oils. “I’ve been using the oils for three years and building my business for two and a half years,” Jaime says. 



Staying Faithful in Love & Music: Country Music Singer Debbie Anthony

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Written by Kim Zabel Photography by Fagan Studios

Over 27 years ago, Debbie Anthony met the man who would become her greatest fan and her greatest supporter—her husband, Mitch. Introduced to one another by her brother, Debbie and Mitch started their relationship by talking on the phone, and three days later, they met at a local restaurant.

“We stayed there all night and talked. In fact, we were so focused on each other that we didn’t even touch our food!” she says. Debbie and Mitch eloped 13 days later and have been together ever since. Today, Debbie’s life is still centered on what touches her heart the most—her love for music and her husband, Mitch.


Debbie has always loved to sing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from North Central University, in addition to a degree in psychology from Winona State University and two-thirds of a master’s degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. 



Sparkles from Ruthie: One Woman's Journey Through Depression

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Written by Terri Allred Photography by Fagan Studios

The concept is so simple, even a child can do it. Every time you see a sparkly object, take a moment to do a self-assessment. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling today?” Ruth Braun Tibesar hopes that this daily prompt and reflection will become a regular practice for all of us.


Ruth is a survivor of depression and is a mental health wellness speaker who shares her story in the hope that she can make a difference for someone else. Ruth’s journey began about seven years ago when she was making weekly trips to Mankato to take care of her ill mother. Despite having a loving husband and supportive coworkers and family, she shouldered much of the burden of managing her mother’s care. She was working full time as a laboratory technologist at Mayo Clinic during the week and acting as her mother’s full-time caregiver on the weekends.


Since its formation 126 years ago, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) has admitted nearly one million members through its state, local and international chapters. DAR describes itself as “a womEn’s organization dedicated to promoting historical preservation, education and patriotism and honoring the patriots of the Revolutionary War.” The Rochester Chapter of DAR has strived to emulate this mission since its creation in 1903.


The Rochester Chapter sponsors American history and good citizen essay contests in local schools, organizes Rochester’s Memorial Day program, publishes an award-winning Veteran Day publication filled with veterans’ personal stories, participates in Olmsted County’s naturalization ceremony, collects books for local literacy programs, hosts public educational programs and maintains the History Center of Olmsted County’s historic William Dee Log Cabin. The group also sponsors the Pipestone Society of the Children of the American Revolution (CAR). Members of CAR, all under age 22, learn about American history and participate in community events, including dressing in patriotic costumes (made by DAR members) for local parades. 


Picture this: A young college graduate, the ink still drying on her diploma, assigned to work on a project alongside a 62-year-old seasoned employee. Sure, they may both be working for the same company, but you can bet their views of the world and the workplace couldn’t be more different. 

For the first time in history, we’re facing a time when employers could have employees from an unprecedented five different, very diverse generations working side-by-side in the office.

And while the generational boundaries for these groups—the Traditionalists (or the Silent Generation), the Baby Boomers, Generation X, the Millennials (or Generation Y) and Generation Z—are not exactly clearly defined, understanding the differences among them remains critical for employers and employees alike.


Let’s just say times are a-changin’ for the Rochester Rotary clubs. It was only in 1987 when women were admitted into Rotary, based on a Supreme Court ruling, and since then, they’ve all but taken over local leadership and membership.

Each of Rochester’s three Rotary clubs has or will soon have a female president. In addition, membership in Rotary’s largest local club is 38 percent women, says Stacey Vanden Heuvel, the current and seventh female president of Rochester’s largest Rotary club, named The Rotary Club of Rochester, which meets Thursdays at noon. The Rotary Club of Rochester will have had three female presidents in a row, starting with Vanden Heuvel. The other two Rotary clubs operating locally are Greater Rochester Rotary, which meets Wednesdays at noon, and the Rotary Risers Club, which meets Tuesdays at 7 a.m. Combined, they have 275 members.

“The real impact of Rotary comes from our local clubs,” Vanden Heuvel says, “and collectively we make a difference. In teaming up with other clubs, we are able to leverage support for big projects from Rotary International globally. We do a lot locally, and we do a great deal globally.”



Final Four: I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

In the fall of 2015, we received the nominations for I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman. We selected them in October, and last winter, Tracey McGuire, Dawn Sanborn and I took each of them to lunch at Casablanca Creative Cuisine & Wine to get to know them. Over the Past year, it has been a joy getting to know these women and helping them see their beauty. The final four—Dee Dee Jorgenson, Judy Clayton, Janet Stevenson and Barb Butturff—are featured in the following pages of Rochester Women magazine.


According to Judy Clayton, 75, the day she got her hair styled and makeup done for I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman was one of the best days of her life. This comment made me realize what an impact the I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman program has on women. These four women have forgone taking care of themselves to take care of others for most of their lives. For one of the women, it was her first makeover and opportunity to have a photographer capture her beauty. After getting all dressed up, having their hair cut, colored and styled and getting their makeup done and their pictures taken, these beautiful Rochester women went out for a toast at Casablanca with the photographers and their new friends. These women have waited a long time to feel beautiful. 


Whether you’re hosting a party in the comfort of Your home or you’re planning a party at a local establishment, fill the air with the scents of sugar and spice with a soul-warming blend of mulled wine. Wrap your mitts around goblets and fill them with a bit of holiday cheer. 


Depending on which recipe you find, there are a variety of mulling spices, wine, liquor, juice and garnishes to create the perfect winter cordial. Basic mulling spices include cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. You can purchase a pre-made mulling spice mixture at Post Town Winery. Bonita Patton, co-owner, says, “We have a basic mixture of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon and orange for sale at the winery for $3.95. We also sell mugs of mulled wine through the winter months using our First Embrace and Prairie Cougar red wines.”  



At Home for the Holidays: Fill your Plate with Love and Happiness

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Starting at a young age, many of us learn that food can make us feel better. Throughout our lives, we equate food with positive feelings like happiness and satisfaction, and we turn to food for comfort. It makes sense—who doesn’t feel happy, satisfied and even a bit sleepy after a big turkey dinner? 


All cultures have customs and traditions around food. For me, birthdays meant choosing a special meal and a type of cake and ice cream. We all have memories of happy times, and by eating foods that remind us of those times, we symbolically consume that past happiness. 

Comfort foods can also be linked to specific people in our lives: Eating a specific food that a loved one favored can produce happy thoughts by triggering fond memories or associations of that person.


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