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Phyllis Sommer
Works at Am Shalom
Attends Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Lives in Highwood, IL
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Phyllis Sommer

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Solly is a preschool graduate. It's such a mini-milestone, really. It's not like we weren't planning on kindergarten. And yet....it's really the last time that I have an "end of the thing" milestone that all four of my children have done. There are still a ...
Solly is a preschool graduate. It's such a mini-milestone, really. It's not like we weren't planning on kindergarten. And yet....it's really the last time that I have an "end of the thing" milestone that all four of my childr...
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Phyllis Sommer

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Stuff I've Saved - Week of 5/5
Did you know that you can "save" links, videos, pictures, and even posts on Facebook in order to read or share later? It's one of my favorite new-ish features of Facebook, and helps me to keep track of what I'm reading and what I want to save/share/use late...
Did you know that you can "save" links, videos, pictures, and even posts on Facebook in order to read or share later? It's one of my favorite new-ish features of Facebook, and helps me to keep track of what I'm reading and wh...
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#BlogExodus 4: Grow
"Said Rabbi Simon: 'Every single blade of grass has a corresponding mazal (star) in the sky which strikes it and tells it to grow." Midrash Rabba, Bereshit 10:6 Usually this quote appears with a sweeter tone, something like "every blade of grass has an ange...
"Said Rabbi Simon: 'Every single blade of grass has a corresponding mazal (star) in the sky which strikes it and tells it to grow." Midrash Rabba, Bereshit 10:6 Usually this quote appears with a sweeter tone, something lik...
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#blogExodus: Honor
There are so many ways to celebrate Passover. More, perhaps, than any other of our holidays. It is more subject to personal traditions and preferences, it is more subject to different cultures and customs. We read in Pirke Avot: "Hold the honor of another a...
There are so many ways to celebrate Passover. More, perhaps, than any other of our holidays. It is more subject to personal traditions and preferences, it is more subject to different cultures and customs. We read in Pirke Av...
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Yes, We Still Need an Orange
This week, my colleague, Rabbi Steven Fuchs, wrote a lovely essay on the ReformJudaism.org site  about the inclusion of an orange on the Seder plate. To quote him in order to explain this custom: In addition to the traditional symbols,  many families and co...
This week, my colleague, Rabbi Steven Fuchs, wrote a lovely essay on the ReformJudaism.org site about the inclusion of an orange on the Seder plate. To quote him in order to explain this custom: In addition to the traditiona...
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TorahMama: Shemini
This is a particularly hard Torah portion for me. Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, are in some way misbehaving. It's really not clear what they do wrong, but God is displeased. A fire consumes them.  The whole community mourns for Nadav and Avihu. But Aa...
This is a particularly hard Torah portion for me. Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, are in some way misbehaving. It's really not clear what they do wrong, but God is displeased. A fire consumes them. The whole community mo...
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Have her in circles
375 people
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Phyllis Sommer

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Stuff I've Saved This Week (5/13)
Did you know that you can "save" links, videos, pictures, and even posts on Facebook in order to read or share later? It's one of my favorite new-ish features of Facebook, and helps me to keep track of what I'm reading and what I want to save/share/use late...
Did you know that you can "save" links, videos, pictures, and even posts on Facebook in order to read or share later? It's one of my favorite new-ish features of Facebook, and helps me to keep track of what I'm reading and wh...
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Count Up: The Omer
Countdown: three two one blastoff! Taking one away as we move forward. Counting up, we add: plus one plus two plus three building increasing improving growing Filling our lives our hearts our selves with the blessing of Torah. The second day of Pesach begin...
Countdown: three two one blastoff! Taking one away as we move forward. Counting up, we add: plus one plus two plus three building increasing improving growing Filling our lives our hearts our selves wi...
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#BlogExodus: Purify
At the Seder we wash our hands twice.  It's not about a overly- developed sense of cleanliness, although that does seem to pervade the Pesach holiday.  But it's about a kind of holiness that comes in a ritual purification. What does it take to make ourselve...
At the Seder we wash our hands twice. It's not about a overly- developed sense of cleanliness, although that does seem to pervade the Pesach holiday. But it's about a kind of holiness that comes in a ritual purification. Wh...
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#BlogExodus: Start
Dawn Kickoff Onset Inception Inauguration Takeoff Start... Ready, get set, go! We're so good at the beginning, aren't we? Good intentions, ready to get started. This is the year that I'm going to clean all the crevices. This is the year that I'm going to wr...
Dawn Kickoff Onset Inception Inauguration Takeoff Start... Ready, get set, go! We're so good at the beginning, aren't we? Good intentions, ready to get started. This is the year that I'm going to clean all the crevices. This ...
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#BlogExodus and #Exodusgram 5776
I can't keep a secret -- Passover is almost here! Rosh Chodesh Nisan is just one week away, which means that it's almost time for the annual #BlogExodus and #ExodusGram prompt list! Feel free to grab this image and share it, use it, post it....add it to you...
I can't keep a secret -- Passover is almost here! Rosh Chodesh Nisan is just one week away, which means that it's almost time for the annual #BlogExodus and #ExodusGram prompt list! Feel free to grab this image and share ...
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Stretching
I read obituaries. Nearly every day, I scan through the obituaries. Mostly, it's a professional thing. I tend to jump to the ones with the Star of David on them, checking my little community. Sometimes things catch my eye. Today, there was an obituary for a...
I read obituaries. Nearly every day, I scan through the obituaries. Mostly, it's a professional thing. I tend to jump to the ones with the Star of David on them, checking my little community. Sometimes things catch my eye. To...
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People
Have her in circles
375 people
Hebrica Judaica's profile photo
Eric Linder's profile photo
Charley Bucher's profile photo
Ray Layne's profile photo
Gregg Kalman's profile photo
joseph salome's profile photo
Stacey Robinson's profile photo
Laura Weisskopf Bleill's profile photo
Louise Dede's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Rabbi Mama
Employment
  • Am Shalom
    Associate Rabbi, 2003 - present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Highwood, IL
Previously
Brown Deer, WI - Cincinnati, OH - Jerusalem
Story
Tagline
rabbi-mama
Introduction
I am a mama of 4 beautiful children and married to a wonderful man. I am blessed to work as a rabbi at a wonderful congregation on the northshore of Chicago, Am Shalom in Glencoe. I teach Torah and share life-events with my congregants and my family, and I blog about my escapades in real-life Jewish parenting and living.

I firmly believe that Jewish life, like all life, is not "all or nothing" and I try to demonstrate this in my own actions and teaching.

Education
  • Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
    Certificate in Jewish Education, present
  • Hebrew Union College
    Rabbinics, 1998 - 2003
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Journalism, 1994 - 1998
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Other names
Sklar