May 19, 2007
Beth-El Temple
Monroe, NY

The celebrant,
Eliana Meili Drier

Eliana with mom Cecille,
stepfather David Jone and
stepsister Bianca
Eliana's cake


Lighting Bat Mitzvah candles.

Eliana and her paternal grandparents, Eugene
and Ethel Drier

Aunt Darla and
Uncle Marc Drier

Cousins Danny, Lou
and Justin Canlas

first cousins Madigan and Josie
Drier from Pennsylvania

Great Uncle Niel and and Great
Aunt Edith Jonas from Florida

Bianca & Alexis
Cecille's childhood friend, Vyv
Tenorio Miller, and husband
Matt from New Jersey 

Pat and Stu Simons, day
care providers since
Eliana was 4 y/o

family friend Fran
Sontag from St. Louis

close family of friends,
the Sander
Browne clan

Dad David, stepmom
Dair, mom Cecille and
stepdad David Jones

Eliana's many friends
joining in lighting the
last of the candles.

Dancing the Horah





After the Horah circle
dance it is customary to
lift the girls in a chair;
here's Eliana

Cecille's turn



Eliana with dad David Drier
and stepmother Dair

Cecille's cousins - front: Justin
Canlas, Danny Canlas, David
Jones; standing: Lou Canlas,
Bobbi Canlas Portofee,
Mary Canlas Gabel, Cecille
& Christina Gabel

Cecille & David,
Bianca & Eliana, with David's
brother Judge Perry Jones (top right)
and Perry's wife Michelle (top left)

Eliana & Bianca

Presentation to Eliana:
Good afternoon Eliana:

How did we get to the desert? We came to the desert from a country across the water. I think that today’s Torah portion was an appropriate one for you because you came to us from a country across the water. How blessed we are today to be here to hear you chant so beautifully and deliver such an excellent d’var torah.  Eliana, one day when I am in charge, I am going to shorten those Haftorah portions.

Since all your biographical information is in the Bulletin, I have asked your parents to tell me something special they want people to know about you.

Both of your parents mentioned your baby naming, and how you have grown up since day one in our Temple. Your mother hoped that evening that you would grow in the House of Israel, and you have indeed done that. You are very comfortable in your Judaism, and consider it to be very much a fabric of your life.

She has often asked you, after attending a B’nai Mitzvah reception, if you wanted to use this or that particular catering house. You have always replied that you wanted your reception in the Social Hall of our Temple, because that is where all the happy and memorable celebrations in your life have taken place. That is a tribute to our Temple, and we are very blessed that you feel this way. It is my hope that you will always be here with us, and we will always be there for you, as you grow and mature in your life and in your Judaism.

They both agree that you are bright, a ray of sunshine that exudes a happy, friendly energy, and you are a joy. Your father commented that you have a poise about you that was there from day one – an old soul, he calls it. As you continue to grow in knowledge and maturity, it is my hope that you will remain that ray of sunshine, and that you will continue to be friendly and full of energy. We need positive thinking individuals in this ever maddening world of ours, individuals who are warm and caring, individuals like you who will move us forward.

You say that you have six parents – two birth parents, two parents, and two step-parents. Your father commented that you understand how all of them have helped one another to become the persons they were meant to be. And, having met four of your parents and been involved with your mother in our Adult Bn’ai Mitzvah class, I understand how they have helped you to become the person you are. Not every adopted child has such wisdom and understanding; please continue to grow in such wisdom, for it will help you all your life to work with people, to understand people, and to be accepting of people.

Your mother, in her infinite wisdom, wanted to know what I had to say about my experience watching you grow over the years. I am privileged to be here on the bimah to let the congregation know something special about you.

I was there the night of your baby naming, and I remember thinking what a beautiful name you had been given, and was touched by the story of your journey from your birthplace to our Temple. I have watched you over the years attend more services than were required of you by the Torah School, beginning even as a Mentsch Maker. You always had crayons, paper and a coloring book to keep you occupied until you learned how to read and began to participate actively in our services. I think that you and Skylar Hill share the record for the most time spent in our Temple as you have grown up.

You have impeccably good manners and I share with your father that you have a poise about you that I too noticed from the very beginning. If, indeed, it is an old soul, then I, as an old person, am glad to have you in our ranks.

And finally, I note about you a gentle beauty which is within. I am not sure that I can offer a concrete piece of evidence to prove this; rather it is an all encompassing way you deal with people of all ages. It is a way you have of relating to people, of maintaining your own individuality while acknowledging the individuality of others. It is something that comes from within the human spirit, an attribute of the human psyche.  I dearly hope that you will continue to grow in this inner gentle beauty and that it will bring you peace and comfort as your life progresses.

The book I am presenting you with is the story of our people, with all the faults and all the good. It contains wisdom, and is to be studied all your life. May it bring you that peace and comfort.  Mazel Tov.

Glorya Covel Smith
May 19, 2007