Spiegel Family, 2005 in review


Greetings friends and neighbors! Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa.


Here's wishing you a safe, happy and healthy 2006!!

Spiegel Manor

A rare moment of relaxing for Miss Kelly

Kelly continues her work with Landmark Education. She has now successfully led two seminars in Indianapolis. I have to say it’s pretty impressive to watch her stand in front of 100 people and command the kind of attention it takes to lead personal transformation. She becomes something akin to a corporate CEO leading an investors meeting. Everyone wants to believe what she says but comes in with that “human” skepticism. She’s great at punching through doubt and the “whiny’s!”


She’s now set her sights on illustrating children’s books and is at work compiling a portfolio. She's also been organizing and decorating friends' homes – I think she should start a business!

I’m still working for the Indianapolis Center for Congregations. Each year sets a new record – it’s now seven years working for one organization (I can feel the heads shaking!). In addition, my strategic planning work with Synagogue 2000 morphed into a position on the board of Synagogue 3000 – the change is more than +1000 years! I’m also still the rabbi for Butler University and Butler Hillel, although now it’s the third year of trying to figure out what that means?! And I’m still in school (I know, a glutton for punishment) working on my D.Min. at Hartford Seminary. This is my last year of monthly trips to Hartford. After May I’ll almost be ABD (all but dissertation).

Three generations: Hannah with Grandma Glo and Great Grandmother Mema

Hannah is growing up – in more ways than one! Many commented at her bat mitzvah in 2004 how grown up she looked and acted. Well, the transformation continues. She’s even taller (she passed me a couple years ago, what a surprise!) and without braces she easily passes for a 25-year-old. When she and I are out together I often sense some wondering glances from folks who think I’m out with my younger girlfriend. Hannah continues her commitment to Tae Kwan Do. She received her black belt about a year and a half ago and will be eligible to test for the next level in the coming months. She now has the added responsibility of helping teach classes. I pity the fool that messes with Hannah!! She'll be starting high school next year - oy!


Eli also continues to grow. I think he’ll make a great linebacker although if he continues growing it might be a lineman! He’s enamored with all things dangerous – skateboarding, roller blading, motorcycles – all the X-Game stuff. As a matter of fact, he’s currently walking about with his left arm in a sling after falling from his snow skate (like a skateboard but with no wheels for the snow). He’s scheduled for MRI number 2 next week.



Elijah Kai


Gabe is no longer the little “peanut head” – my loving euphemism for his skinny body and head. He’s filling out and growing. People no longer ask if Eli and Gabe are twins – they look nothing alike. Like Eli, he loves skateboarding and video games. Gabe is also really into all things Japanese, particularly Yugioh and Japanese Anime. His artistic inclination definitely leans towards the fantastic. He takes after his Uncle Jerry, both in ability and taste.




I finally brought my sailboat to Indianapolis from Michigan. While Indy isn’t a sailing Mecca, it’s great to have it close by.


Hannah is now a regular at Camp Palawopec (this was her second year) and this year brother Eli joined her. Gabe’s not interested. Like his dad he took one look at the toilets and said “no thanks!”


Kelly also went to camp – her annual trip to Oxbow. She gets to spend a week with her artist friends in Saugatuck, Michigan and I get to spend a week at home with the kids. Don’t tell her but it’s a fair trade!!

Hannah & Eli at Palawopec

Brother Dan is still wiling away in Leysin Switzerland at the Leysin American School. We just saw him in Knoxville and he was also back to the states this last summer. Come to think of it I probably see him now more that he lives in Switzerland than when he lived in Atlanta. Brother Jerry’s still in Nashville living the bachelor life with Gus (his dog). Kelly’s sister Allison and husband Tyler had their first baby – Barrett Burchyett.


Kelly’s dad is back on chemo but doing pretty well. Although slowing down a bit he’s still going strong. My dad’s doing pretty well considering it’s been over two years since they gave him seven months to live!

Skiing in Michigan

Our home is wonderful, although keeping a 50+ year old house running is starting to be more “fun” then I’d like. A new air conditioner, a new roof, it needs paint, it needs new windows, the wonderful wood floors have 50 years of wear – it needs an owner with more time and money! But, it’s sort of like the family that lives in it – well worn but comfortable and friendly.