Kessler family blog....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

anniversary party update!

UPDATE!!! the nim and cranzo 30th anniversary party is on the 20th not the 27th!!!
rsvp to

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm Pregnant!

Well I'm not convinced that anyone has been checking this lately, but nevertheless, I have news to share! I am pregnant, due July 26th :-D I don't know if it's a girl or boy yet, but I'll keep y'all posted.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Charlotte video

Here's a new video of Charlotte. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Zoe and David's wedding montage

I've posted the video that we showed at Zoe and David's wedding this weekend. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Hey all. I'm missing around 100 RSVPs mostly from the Kesslers :-x Please get back to me ASAP, if you haven't already. They were due last Friday and I need to get final headcounts in to the caterer, etc.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Make Sure to Write Your Names on the Response Card

I got my very first response card today! Very exciting, except that there was no name written on it and no return address. Make sure to write the names of those attending or not attending on the line provided pretty pretty pleeeeeeez.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New video

It's been a while since anyone posted here, but here's the latest video of Charlotte, singing some of her favorite numbers:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Purim

Zoe's right. It's been too long. And speaking of too long, here is the script of the Purim spiel I wrote for Temple Israel:

The Long Hamantaschen Goodbye

Chapter One: A Scandal in Shushan

Call me Shell. Shell Shlemiel. I’m a private eye. Shushan is my town. That’s right, I’m Shell Shlemiel, the Shushan Shamus. I’m also shomer shabbos, but that’s another story. The story I’m here to tell is about a dame called Queen Esther.

It all started back in Shushan. Now Shushan was the capital of the Medes and Persians. Ask me “What’s the difference between a Mede and a Persian?”

[Chorus: ]“What’s the difference between a Mede and a Persian?”]

It depends: One man’s Mede is another man’s Persian.

But I’m losing track of the story. Shushan was a tough town.

[Chorus:] “How tough was it?”

Shushan was so tough that you could go from one side of town to the other and never leave the scene of the crime. One of the toughest people in town was Queen Vashti.
[“How tough was Queen Vashti?”]
Why don’t I let her tell you herself:

[Vashti tells her story:]

“It’s not easy being Queen. You have to be tough. I’m pretty tough. When the King tells people to jump, they say, “How high.” When I tell people to jump, I say: “I never told you you could come back down.” That’s tough. I’m a tough Queen. But things got really tough the night the King decided to throw a party.
The King and his pals drank a lot.”

[Narrator and chorus:] “How much did they drink?”

[King and cronies:]
Yeah, we drink a lot. We drink to forget. We drink to forget that we drink too much.

[Optional: King and cronies sing (to tune of Adon Olam):]

We drink all day. We drink all night.
We’ll have a beer. And we’ll get tight.
Instead of one. We might have ten.
We’ll be crude and we’ll be rude
And then we’ll start again.

Unfortunately, that night was typical. The King invited Vashti to the party, but she wouldn’t come. The King, though, was a lot like a five watt light bulb
– not too bright. So instead of sobering up, he got into an argument.

The King told Vashti he was mad. He wanted her to come to the party so that he and his friends could act stupid. [Vashti enters dressed as Hillary Clinton]. Vashti tried to interest the King in her universal health care plan, but had no luck. The King couldn’t think of a snappy comeback, and exiled Vashti to the New World. Vashti said, “You can’t fire me, I quit!” and told the harem the news.
The harem told Vashti stupid King jokes: The King is so stupid that:
o He spent a week trying to put a pack of M&Ms in alphabetical order.
o He finally gave up because he found too many ‘W’s
o He couldn’t count to one…even using the fingers of both hands
o He stared at a can of juice for a whole day because it said ‘concentrate’
o He thinks he can trust Haman
o [Add your favorite “stupid” joke here.]
Vashti thanked the harem and went off to run for President.

Chapter Two: A Contest for a Queen

Now it happened that my old friend Mordecai lived in Shushan with his niece Esther. Now remember that the King was out looking for a new Queen. He put out word over all of Shushan that he wanted the finest singers in the land, male and female, to come to the capital to audition for a contest to find Shushan’s best looking and most talented pop singing idol. After he thought about it for a while, he decided to drop the men and the singing.

Morty was a pretty clever guy. When he heard about the King’s contest, he told his niece Esther to go for it. After that, it was no contest. Esther wasn’t the most beautiful Jewish dame in Shushan for nothing. And – she was a nice person. After Vashti, she looked really good to King Ahaseuerus..

Morty was not only clever, he was smart. He used to sit outside the gates of the city, because he learned a lot about what was going on and because that’s where he got the best cell phone reception. One day he overheard two guys plotting to kill the King. He passed the word to the King’s guard and he saved the King’s life, which was good. Mordecai knew the King was such a dim bulb that he would never figure out that he was in danger, so he warned the King’s guards about the bad guys. The guards arrested the bad guys and wrote down in the King’s official record that Mordecai had saved the King’s life.

Chapter Three: Haman’s Evil Plot

Now, you remember the King, King Ahaseuerus? You’ve probably figured out that he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.
· His elevator didn’t go to the top floor.
· He was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
· If you held your ear up next to his head, you could hear the ocean.
Every now and then, he would do something smart like picking Esther out of a crowd, but most of the time, he didn’t have a clue. And in a particularly clueless moment, he appointed a guy named Haman as his Vizier. Haman was a really bad guy. People really hated him. They used to hate him in installments so it would last longer. Haman looked down on everybody he saw, even when he was looking in the mirror. He made everyone in Shushan bow down to him. When Mordecai wouldn’t bow down, Haman was so mad that he wasn’t satisfied just being mean to Mordecai. Haman talked King Ahaseuerus and asked the King if he could borrow the royal signet ring for a while just to do one or two evil things. He said: “I’ll just use your ring to order all of the Jews in Shushan to be killed and then I’ll give it right back” The King, who was, of course, not paying attention, said: “Sure! Whatever! I have some drinking to do anyhow.”
I told you the King was a few cheerios shy of a bowl.

Chapter Four: Esther Takes a Chance

Well, when the Jews of Shushan heard about the how Haman had talked the King into letting Haman issue the order to kill all the Jews in Shushan they were pretty upset. They mourned and prayed and dressed themselves in sackcloth and ashes. It looked like the only chance they had to save themselves was if Esther went to the King to talk him out of Haman’s awful plan. The problem was that anyone who went to see the King without being invited would be killed, unless the King raised his golden scepter to greet them. Esther decided to take a chance.

Chapter Five: Top Chef

Esther decided that she would invite the King to a special dinner. She told him to bring Haman along. But first she had to invite the King…and that meant going to see him without an invitation. If the King didn’t raise his golden scepter to welcome her, she would be killed!… What a mess…Esther was stressed: would she pass the test? Would the King be impressed? Would her best be less than she guessed? Would the scepter best her? Poor Esther….If the King wasn’t happy to see her--- Let’s put it this way: if the King wasn’t happy to see her, tonight’s story would be called the Book of Vashti, because Vashti was the runner up. But the King lifted his scepter, and accepted Esther’s invitation to dinner.

The King came to dinner as he had promised, and the party was a big success. The King was so pleased that he offered Esther anything she wished, even up to half the kingdom. If Esther had wanted, she could have asked for the half of the kingdom that went from the ground to halfway up in the air, and this would be a short story instead of a whole megillah. Esther didn’t ask for half of anything, but asked the King to come back for another feast the next night… and to bring Haman.

Chapter Six: I Love a Parade

During this time, it happened that King Ahaseuerus couldn’t sleep, and there was nothing on cable except “According to Jim” reruns. Which is sort of what you’re all getting right now. So the King asked someone to read to him from the official records of the King’s court. Which is about as interesting as most TV reruns, but the King was trying to get back to sleep. It so happened that they read the King the story of how Mordecai had saved his life. He asked what had been done to reward Morty…and he found out nothing had been done! So the King called Haman into see him and said “I’m thinking of doing something special for someone…What would you suggest as a big reward?”
Well remember that Haman’s favorite person in the whole world was …. Haman. So he thought that HE was the man the King wanted to reward. So he told the King…”Give this special guy a suit of your own clothes, and put him on one of your own royal horses, and have some very important guy lead him through the streets of the city, saying, ‘ Thus shall be done to the man the King delights to honor!’ That would do for a start.” So the king told Haman to do all those things for Mordecai!

So Haman had to lead Mordecai through the city in a little parade. Haman was not happy.

Chapter Seven: The Second Banquet

Well if you were paying attention, you’ll remember that Esther had invented the King and Haman back for a second banquet. She was having goose. She was hoping it was Haman’s goose that would be cooked. Esther could cook as good as she looked, which was saying something. The King was so happy that he offered Esther anything he wanted, even half the kingdom. I don’t want to tell the joke about the half the kingdom offer again, but I’ll tell half of it again if you want.

Instead of asking for half the kingdom, Esther told the King about Haman’s evil plot to kill all the Jews. As dumb as King Ahaseuerus was, he was smart enough to figure out what everybody else in the Kingdom already knew: Haman was a creep. So here’s what Haman said: It’s a knock knock joke:

[Haman (to audience):]
Knock knock
Who’s there?
Haman who?
Haman biiiiiiig trouble.

Chapter Eight: The Long Hamantaschen Goodbye

Well, Haman was done for. Let’s sing a song about that:

Na na na na
Na na na na
Hey Haman, good bye….

[Haman takes off his jewelry and hat and leaves the stage, while everyone waves goodbye.]

But the Jews were still in trouble, too. The King’s order to carry out Haman’s plan and kill all the Jews couldn’t be taken back because it had been sealed with the King’s ring. Oy. But Esther and Mordecai had a few ideas.

The King gave Esther all of Haman’s properrty, and gave Mordecai his ring to see if Mordecai could figure out what to do. Morty gave out an order that the Jews were allowed to defend themselves. And that’s exactly what they did…

Chapter Nine: Party On, Jewish Dudes

The Jews defended themselves and were so happy that they had been saved that they declared that Purim would be a holiday for Jews forever. The drinking and the hamantaschen came later.

Chapter Ten: Mordecai Gets a Job

Mordecai was smart and the King needed all the help he could get. So Mordecai became the King’s vizier. And our old pal Haman? Here’s another joke:

Where’s Haman?
Who’s he?
He’s the King’s vizier
He vizier a while ago! …… but now he’s gone and we’re not!

So three cheers for Mordecai [cheer for Mordecai] and three more for Queen Esther! [Cheer for Esther] And happy Purim to everyone!

Everyone sings “Hag Purim” and marches around…

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's been too long!

Come on people. January was the last post?! There are a billion of us. We can do better than that. To provide a little inspiration, here are some super cute pictures of Charlotte from their visit!

Of course, I would never dream of forgetting to post pictures of my equally adorable other nieces, Dovi and Gabi :-D

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Long time, no see

I apologize to all for my long absence from Kesslerville. It's been a little crazy, but that's no excuse. When even Zoe's engagement news and Charlotte pictures didn't rouse me, I knew things were bad. the problem is that I'm not spending time on the right things. For example, I have given no thought whatsoever to the fact that I know nothing about druidry. Just at the crucial moment, though, the Shelburne Falls Yoga Center came through to help out:

Intro to Druidry Workshop ($50)
Sunday Feb 17th, 11.30am - 5pm at Shelburne Falls Yoga Studio
What is a Druid? How do we find our true path on our individual and shared earthwalks? How do we find the health and happiness that is our birthright? How do we become wise human beings, capable of making a difference, as Caretakers of the Earth? All this will be discussed and techniques shared, as Fearn and Ivan introduce the life and magical world of the modern Druid.

For more info and workshop registration please contact Fearn at or 802-505-8011

Then again, maybe I just need the football season to be over.

If I get really ambitious, I'll send out an email to try to rally the Kesslerville faithful and bring back the blog. Until then, ciao!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Conversation

As you can see, Charlotte doesn't really speak English yet. But she thinks she does!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm Engaged!

I turned 25 this last Sunday, a big birthday! As it turned out, it was a bigger than just a birthday. Sunday, David and I went to my favorite place for breakfast, then to an afternoon showing of "Lars and the Real Girl" which I highly recommend, and then to our favorite State Park Pedernales Falls. After a beautiful walk, we settled at our favorite picnic spot: a giant bath-tub shaped hole in the rock overlooking a cave at the water's edge. I have been expecting this sometime soon, but nevertheless David caught me by total surprise as he distracted me while setting up the camera and pulling out the beautifully custom crafted ring. He captured this complete surprise on camera, which will forever make me laugh. On top of all this, his present to me at my birthday party the night before was a temperpedic mattress topper. I've been sleeping like a log the past few days :-D Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Commodore Ari

Commodore Ari's blog of his triumphant tour of the Far East can be found on Have a great time, good luck and Godspeed Ari!!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Josh may have sent this to you already, but if not, here's a chance to put democracy to work.

Here is the info that Josh sent to me:

Hello All,
Recently, I entered the Alternative Pick, Alt Pick Awards Contest. There are two types of awards for the contest; one juried and one people’s choice. The images I entered are selected from a ten part series I did for AARP. Photographed in ten cities over two weeks, from Alaska to Puerto Rico, fifteen planes, eight rental cars, king crab to chili relleno, countless cups of coffee, amazing people and amazing stories. For this assignment a parka shared space in my backpack with flip flops and produced some of the best photographs of my career.

The voting is open to anyone so vote for me, tell all of your friends to vote for me and coerce your friends and neighbors to do the same.

head to:

Some helpful hints (from Nim), based on my effort to cast a vote:

When you go to the website, in order to vote, you have to *register*. Go to the link that says "register to judge." There will be a login form (with blanks for user name and password). Below the login, on the same page, you should see a form to register. The form makes it seem that you are registering to enter the contest, but the registration is really for voting only.

When you log in, go to the "Judging" section. The entries are divided by category. You want the "photography" "series" section. Also, Josh has discovered that the entries are reshuffled each time someone votes, so his entry could be anywhere from #1 to # 157. Look for the title, "Financial makeover," and a photo thumbnail of two people standing in front of some western mountain scenery. :

To vote: after you have found Josh's photo series in the "Judging" section, click on the thumbnail photo, then click on "nominate this entry". Go back to the judging section and it should say "1 nomination" next to "Photo" "Series". Click on the "Voting" link, and give Josh "first place". Submit your vote, and Voila! the voice of the people will be heard.

Go Josh!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

L'Shana Tovah

L'Shana Tovah to everyone! This year promises to be one of new beginnings for a lot of us - Ms. Shoshie goes to Washington, Ari bringing new meaning to the Love Boat, Jonah (Rev Tuviah) and Julia, maybe even a Figure Ground tour. Wishing all of you a year of health, happiness and peace and unbridled success in all the new endeavors.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


This is Ari performing at the luna lounge in brooklyn:

and here is josh in figure ground:

and here is Henry after performing in the band:

and these are all of their fans:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Family Fantasy Football


I am trying to get a family fantasy football league started. At the moment, my father (Sandy), Ari, Jonah, myself, possibly Seth, and Dan Geffen are all already signed up. We are looking for at least two more people but, would love to expand to as many as possible. The league is not for money it is merely for pride and a way to truly show your dominance over your other cousins (football dominance that is).

We are hoping to have th draft on Labor Day or sometime close to that so please if your interested email me as soon as possible:

I'm really sorry this post does not have any posts of Charlotte or any baby related material but, I guess that is just part of football.

Also, Booker has already declined repeated invitations to be in this league so he is hereby banned forever....


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Charlotte is 1!

Well, not technically. Not until July 20th. But that didn't stop us from already having a birthday party for her! In the traditional Derrow family way, she had her first experience with cake at her first birthday party. And in the traditional Derrow family way, the results are super-cute:

"This party is lame..."

"What's this?"


"Sorry, did you want a bite?"

"Maybe I can get more if I lick the table..."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

one of the four questions:

Booker, was it just your birthday?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Blog Activity

It appears that the level of activity on Kesslerville has plummeted. Has anyone else noticed that the once vibrant blog has ground to a halt since the publication of numerous pictures of Oren? Coincidence??? I think not.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Susie's Honor

I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to report in on the Carlebach Shul's banquet honoring Susie. The dinner was held at an event space on the Hudson River. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres were in a spectacular glass-enclosed room that looked out over the water in three directions. The remarks made on Susie's behalf were very genuine and hear-felt and it appeared that they appreciate her almost as much as we all do. Her speech was beautiful, especially when she spoke of her joy that Aunt Mollie was able to be there. The Geffens were resplendent - Peter was surrounded by his colleagues and students of years past, toasts were made to Jonah and Julia, Nessa made a triumphant return, and Dan Geffen (Man of Distinction) was every bit as distinctive as always. It was wonderful to see Susie finally get some recognition for taking care of all of us all of these years.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Baruch Dayan Emet

For those of you who may not have heard, I'm sorry to report that Linda's Mother, Shu, died last Friday. Services were yesterday and the family is sitting Shiva at Mac's house this week. Our condolences go out to the entire Schloss family.

Friday, May 25, 2007

New Charlotte Video

I also have a youtube video to share! Here's the most recent in the Charlotte series you all have come to know and love. She doesn't look as good as Oren, but who does? Just hit play:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Hopeless Detective

i made this over the summer and i just now figured out how to put it online! anyway, i hope you enjoy :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

The day I was a SuperMOdel

Hi everyone,
Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. But, after my experience in the SuperMOdeling world I figured it was about time to give everyone a sample of... The day I was a SuperMOdel!

Alright, so let's start from the beginning. My girlfriend, Michelle, is a fabulous fashion designer from far away France (Cincinnati, Ohio). She has been working her trade now for about 35 year (actually 3 years or so). And she is swelled with wealth and fortune (we will leave that as it is). Anyways, she had to do a project for some small art institute to show her superior abilities (she was working on a school project) and she decided to make yours truly (her muse) a suit... Not any suit... A SUPER Suit. But, we will get to that a little later. So as the story goes the amazing Michelle constructed a suit out of gold (wool) and diamonds (silk).

It took years to make... many years (about 2 months) and when it was finished there was whispers that it gave eternal life. Because of these amazing suit abilities it was dubbed the SUPER Suit or SS for short. She carried said suit all the way to the French American Kentucky Chamber of Commerce fashion show. Where her muse (ME) gave a fabulous performance in suit wearing techniques... yes I am now full of eternal life... and gas. I swayed and wobbled my way up and down the run way for about a minute and a half and later received a fabulous check for $50!!! That's right you know those stories that don't go anywhere and have no pertinent information but, end with finding $5. Well this is nothing like that. I got a suit and $50!! Whoohoo. Check out these pictures

Michelle hand painted the design on the green silk lining. Just to dispel all the myths that might come from this post:
1) No I am not actually the King of the World
2) Yes I do look really really good
3) No I can't grant wishes
4) Yes I do look really really good
5) Amythest still rocks
6) Yes I do look really really good

Hope my next blog comes sooner than the last.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Where is Nim?

Certainly the spotlight in Kesslerville belongs on Jonah and Julia's engagement. Mazel tov to the happy couple, especially to Jonah, who has found a woman who still loves him even after she's met the mishpachah.

But that's not why I'm posting this. Take a moment, if you will, to read the preceding posts on Kesslerville. My own daughter has shamed me in front of the multitudes (although I'm kind of used to being in that position). My own brother (et tu, Bookie?) has compared me with Marie Antoinette, even though I look nothing like Kirsten Dunst (although I can see the resemblance if I look in the mirror just right.)

As the photo to the left demonstrates, even though a man may be treated as a king by others, yet may he be brought low by those he loves.

Which reminds me of a tale told by the Rabbis, of Moses at the Red Sea. The Egyptians were close behind the Children of Israel, and Moses just needed to make the waters part -- in a hurry! Unfortunately, he had left his mystic rod with his irresponsible brother Aaron, who was hanging out way in the back of the assembled Israelites. Moses thought quickly and said "Throw it to me, brother," and Aaron, with a mighty heave threw Moses' staff across the entire nation of Israel. Moses caught it, parted the Red Sea, and thus (as you have probably guessed) created the first forward passover. And to this day, every football coach will tell you that you can't get anywhere without the help of your staff.

And yet...Booker wanted to know why I was reluctant to share my Passover story....I think you can see why I hesitated...which reminds me of another story, but I'll save it.

Thanks to Rosa and Booker for prompting me back into action. No good deed goes unpunished, and to prove it, here is a photo of Rosa that I just came across:

She hasn't changed a bit...

Geffens on the Move

Susie and I are overjoyed to inform you that our son, Jonah
and Julia Mannes
are engaged to be married.
Jonah gave Julia a beautiful ring on erev shabbat, friday night.
Mazal Tov!,

Friday, May 11, 2007

where is my father!!??

Monday, April 16, 2007

Passover Greetings

Hello to all -

It is now April 16, 2007 and Kesslerville is remarkably silent of any posts by Mr. James Kessler presenting his annual Passover D'Var Torah. Well, Mr. Kessler, you know what happened to Marie Antoinette when she ignored the demands of the great unwashed rabble (or Rebel) for Chumitz!!!! Do not dare to keep us waiting any longer!

Monday, February 26, 2007

More of Avi and Ginger's Silly Char-latte :-D

So Avi, with his busy schedule, has failed to post this latest video for all the family to see. It's quite ridiculous!
Bath fun!

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