Tribune Print Share Text

A faith connection

Jewish couple feels right at home at Eagle's Trace

Created date

June 21st, 2011

When Sandy and Ruth Herman went to the theater with close friends in early 2005, they didn t have any idea that the evening s discussion would soon take them in a new direction. Our friends, Jim and Evelyn Haring, told us that night they were planning to move to Eagle s Trace when it opened in the fall, says Sandy. I knew that Jim was very meticulous in his research, and if he said this place was going to be good, I believed him. We signed up the next day. As it turned out, the Harings weren t their only friends moving to Eagle s Trace, an Erickson Living community in west Houston. Soon after we put down our deposit, I learned that Dorothy Davison, one of my friends from our synagogue, was moving to Eagle s Trace a few weeks after us, says Ruth. In fact, she let me store my frozen foods in her freezer while we moved.

Finding a place of worship

As soon as the couple was settled in their new apartment home, their top priority was finding a nearby synagogue. We lived in our house in Fondren Southwest for 24 years, and we were longtime members of the Congregation Beth Israel, Ruth says. When we moved to Eagle s Trace, we discovered that Temple Sinai was only five minutes away. We kept our membership at Beth Israel and still go back there occasionally, but it s been wonderful to be so close to Temple Sinai. In fact, the couple has enjoyed entertaining members of the Temple Sinai congregation at Eagle s Trace. We recently invited Rabbi Annie Belford and her family to join us for lunch and a swim in the community pool, says Mrs. Herman. They loved it and want to come back again. In addition to nurturing their relationships from the synagogue, the Hermans have been instrumental in bringing elements of Judaism to Eagle s Trace. Between 20 and 30 Jewish residents gather in the Audubon Clubhouse to celebrate Shabbat each Friday night, and the entire community is invited to the annual Seder meal. This year we had 70 residents participate in the Seder meal, says Ruth. The kitchen has been marvelous to us, even preparing special meals for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We ve gained so much independence by moving here, Sandy adds. We don t have the responsibilities of being attached to a house. Our lives are enhanced because we were able to blend our previous activities with new opportunities at Eagle s Trace.

The good life beckons

As a testament to their freedom, this summer the couple will lock their door and jet off on three separate vacations to Las Vegas, Edmonton, Alberta, and Aruba. When they touch back down in Houston, they will have plenty to do with old and new friends alike, particularly since they ve expanded their circle of theater-goers. We have 22 residents with subscriptions to Main Street Theater, says Ruth. We take the Eagle s Trace shuttle bus and go to the show together. It s like we have one big family, she adds. [For my birthday] on April 14, Dorothy ordered three huge sheet cakes. Over 200 people celebrated with me in the clubhouse living room. We ve made so many connections since we moved here, Sandy says. I can t imagine living anywhere else.