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New cantor begins singing at Fairmount Temple; Cain Park to hold virtual Arts Festival; more: Press Run

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 7/3/2020 By Jeff Piorkowski,

BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- New cantor: Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, in Beachwood, is set to welcome its new cantor, Vladimir Lapin, at Shabbat service at 6:15 p.m. July 3, and at services to follow.

Lapin was chosen by a temple search committee in January to replace Cantor Sarah Sager, who is now cantor laureate.

“We are enthusiastic to begin our work together, and we look forward to the congregation coming to know Cantor Lapin, his wife Rabbi Elle Muhlbaum (who will have a new part-time role as the lower-school director in the religious school), and their son, Judah. Won’t you help us to convey to them the warmth and kindness for which Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple is known?” wrote Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk in his July 2 email update to the congregation.

Fairmount Temple’s services are carried live on Zoom, and on its website.

A few days ago, in remarks concluding her final Shabbat service as full-time cantor, Sager charged the congregation to “continue the sacred work” of Judaism by welcoming Cantor Lapin. “You have chosen a worthy individual,” she said, “who will sing a new song and engage this sacred community.”

Also, the temple invites you to join in at 3 p.m. July 12 in a Zoom event featuring Cantor Lapin. The event will allow for you to meet him. The temple is asking you to send in questions so that the new cantor can give you answers that let you learn something about him. To send a question or RSVP to receive Zoom log-in info., send an email to

Get planting: The Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District is selling native plant kits. And, who better to do it than people who regularly deal in soil and water?

There are seven native plant kits available -- Butterfly/Bird, Prairie, Prairie Grass, Pollinator, Shade, Rain Garden and Wetland kits. Each kit contains 50 native plugs and is suitable for covering about 100 square feet. Kits are $140 each and are shipped directly to the address on the order.

Order deadline is July 17, with kits being shipped the week after Labor Day. Planting in the fall is recommended as it gives the plants nine months to establish their root system.

Did you know that native plants are important to incorporate into your landscape? It turns out that they provide food and shelter for our important pollinators and other beneficial bugs. They are adapted to our local climate, so they don’t need excess watering (beyond their initial planting) or any fertilizing. Native plants can have root systems up to 15 feet, which is great for the soil in preventing erosion and holding in stormwater.

To order, visit, then click on “Native Seeds” and “Plant Kit Sales.”

The Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District’s mission, in case you’re wondering, is to implement programs and practices that protect and restore healthy soil and water resources.

College news: Here is our weekly roundup of local students and their collegiate activities.

We start with Hiram College, right here in Ohio, where Cleveland Heights resident Aliyah Benson made the dean’s list for the spring semester.

Over in Newark, Del., at the University of Delaware, Shaker Heights’ own Muizz Hassanali and Elise LaFramboise earned dean’s list honors.

And, from Lexington, Ky., we get word that Shaker Heights’ Nahjae Doucet, a psychology major, made the University of Kentucky’s spring semester dean’s list.

Making permitting easier: The city of Cleveland Heights has added a 24-7 drop-off option on the circular drive in front of city hall to help keep people safe, and to make doing business with the city a little easier.

The Building and Planning departments will accept in this box applications for the Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission, Landmark Commission, Architectural Board of Review, and applications for other permits that the city issues.

Heritage Home presentations: Also from Cleveland Heights, it has been made known that summer virtual presentations by the Heritage Home Program will continue in July. Each presentation begins at 6 p.m. Click here to participate in HHP Information sessions on July 15 and 28; “Rehab 101 1/4 u2033 on July 22; and “Wood Windows: Repair or Replace,” on July 29.

Tops in recycling: A release from the city of Cleveland Heights relates that the city is number one in the county in recycling.

It seems that Cleveland Heights, in the recent 2019 Residential Recycling Report from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, had the highest percentage of its waste stream, 69 percent, diverted from landfills through recycling (8 percent) and composting activities (61 percent) in comparison with other communities. “We appreciate our environmentally conscientious community,” the release states. But, the pressure of being number one can be a heavy burden and it takes work to remain on top.

Thus, the release concludes by telling residents, “Let’s keep it up.”

Cain Park Arts Festival: Every year at this time, Press Run is giving you details about the annual Cain Park Arts Festival. Well, in this year in which nothing is the same, we’re not really doing such an announcement. But, then again, we are.

Due to our friend who never wants to leave us, the coronavirus, the Arts Festival has been cancelled from actually taking place at Cain Park. But, you guessed it, it can still be held virtually.

No, it won’t be the same. There will be no music to hear or sights to take in, but a virtual festival of artists juried to this year’s festival will be made available for viewing on the Cain Park website as of July 10. So, as the city of Cleveland Heights tells us, “Stay tuned for details and happy shopping!”

All-star debaters: Beachwood resident and Shaker Heights Laurel School student Ria Raj, Class of ’21, recently participated alongside three of her speech and debate teammates in the Speech and Debate Association National Tournament. Of course, it took place this year virtually.

Ria was a member of a North Coast district “all star” team that competed in World Schools Debate, a team-based parliamentary debate style where three speakers in proposition of the round’s motion face three speakers in opposition to the motion in a series of four speeches. This was the first year Laurel students competed on the North Coast District Teams. Ria’s team, North Coast Blue, competed in the final round, finishing the tournament in second place. Quite a nice accomplishment.

And, there’s more. Sarah Hatem, another member of the Class of ’21, and a Shaker Heights resident, also competed in the national competition alongside her teammate Abby McGowan, of Bay Village. The two went on to become North Coast District Champions in Public Forum Debate, a style of debate where two speakers use empirical evidence to support their side of a resolution. They advanced to round 10, which placed them in the top 40 in the United States for their event. 

Eating at EDWINS: EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, 13101 Shaker Square, has made a few seasonal changes to its menu.

Starting on Saturday, July 11, and lasting throughout the summer on Saturdays, EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, will offer a “Catch of the (Satur)day” special. “Fresh, fired up and seasoned to perfection,” EDWINS tells us, “from walleye to wahoo, the offering will constantly change and pricing will vary.” For more information, visit and watch for updates on EDWINS’s social media, @EdwinsCLE.

In addition, EDWINS diners will now also be able to bring in their own fresh fish catch to be prepared and plated during dinner service in the restaurant at a cost of $20 per person. Now that’s something a little different.

Rapid service disruption: The city of Shaker Heights has put out the word that eastbound and westbound rapid service between Shaker Square and Tower City will be replaced by 67-R Blue/Green line buses through Aug. 8, so that Greater Cleveland RTA can perform track work. Learn more about the service disruption here. Work on the Blue Line will include nighttime hours from July 19 through August 2. Learn more about the project here.

Mask drive: Also from Shaker, we hear that the city is working to improve access to free masks by organizing a weekly face mask donation drive.

Residents are invited to donate homemade or store-bought masks between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Fridays outside the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building, 3450 Lee Road. The Community Building remains closed, but there will be a bin near the main doors where you can drop off masks. Masks will be distributed to residents who need them.

If you are interested in making masks at home, you can find easy-to-follow instructions at the CDC website. If you have questions or need fabric, contact Colin Compton.

Give blood in Cleveland Heights: The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations. You can donate during daytime hours at the Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road, on July 7, 14 and 21, and Aug. 1, 5, 11, 18, and 25.

Those who give blood in July are automatically entered for a chance to win the Wonder Woman 1984 movie prop replica package. Appointments are needed and can be scheduled online or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

If you would like to see an item appear in Press Run, send me an email, at least 12 days prior to an event, at

See more Sun Press news here.


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