BEACHWOOD, Ohio — There are some silver linings in the challenges brought by the past year.

What You Need To Know

  • Lessons can be learned from the challenges of 2020

  • Vladimir Lapin leads the congregation musically and spiritually as a cantor at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple

  • The strength of the community and creativity in challenging times have shown through during the pandemic

Vladimir Lapin likes to sing a song of hope in Hebrew. He said he’s been turning to the words a lot lately.

“God is my strength and my salvation,” he said.

As a cantor, Lapin guides the congregation musically and spiritually at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple.

“It’s something that’s been a part of my soul, basically since I was little,” he said.

It’s a job he’s had since July when he moved to Beachwood with his wife and young son from New York.

“Even in a pandemic, I think it’s been incredible to see the power of community,” he said.

Lapin said enduring turbulent times, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can bring out the best in people.

“People want to do something, people want to help others,” he said. “Even if people aren’t able, sometimes they can’t help themselves, they want to be able to help others.”

While he’s not surprised at the strength of the community’s support, he said he’s learned people’s creativity can be boundless when faced with challenges. In 2020, people have tuned to technology to stay connected with people in new ways.

“Places are important and structures are important, but I think what this has taught us we can continue,” Lapin said. “We can thrive. Even if we don’t’ have a structure.”

Right now, services for the temple are still ongoing, just online. He said more people are attending them virtually than ever did in person.

“People are more comfortable tuning in,” Lapin said. “They don’t have to travel; they don’t have to worry about the weather.”

The virtual connectivity is giving people a sense of being together while staying separate, and letting them know they’re not alone.

“If there’s anything this last year has shown us is we need people, we need relationships, we need one another,” said Lapin. “More now than ever before.”