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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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Crystal Clear
Some days stand out, crystal-clear, in my mind. Like this one, three years ago: We went to the park. It was a newish park, and new-to-us. It was a beautiful, slightly chilly spring day, as you can see by the hoodies and jackets. It was Passover, and I remem...
Some days stand out, crystal-clear, in my mind. Like this one, three years ago: We went to the park. It was a newish park, and new-to-us. It was a beautiful, slightly chilly spring day, as you can see by the hoodies and...
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Older
When Sammy was 8 years and 35 days old, he died. Now Yael is 8 years and 35 days old. Everyone has gotten older. David was always older, so his advancement in years didn't seem out of place. Solly was always so much younger... But Yael? Always the 15-months...
When Sammy was 8 years and 35 days old, he died. Now Yael is 8 years and 35 days old. Everyone has gotten older. David was always older, so his advancement in years didn't seem out of place. Solly was always so much younger...
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#blogExodus: Begin
sometimes it's so hard just to take the first step i want to be like Nachshon .... brave bold daring the first but i'm held back restrained unready unprepared enslaved by the thoughts and worries and pressures let's roll here goes get moving yalla! how did ...
sometimes it's so hard just to take the first step i want to be like Nachshon.... brave bold daring the first but i'm held back restrained unready unprepared enslaved by the thoughts and worries and pressures let's roll here ...
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Oh my. Yes, Passover is actually almost here. It seems that the period between Purim and Pesach gets shorter every year....but I know that isn't true! Rosh Chodesh Nisan is just about a week away, and that means it's time for...
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Etched in Memory {Morocco Trip}
by Denise Hoeflich, Am Shalom member and Morocco trip participant It is a difficult task to isolate one moment from this remarkable trip to Morocco. I came on the trip to open my self and sprit to a new world and experience. I came to communicate with new s...
by Denise Hoeflich, Am Shalom member and Morocco trip participant It is a difficult task to isolate one moment from this remarkable trip to Morocco. I came on the trip to open my self and sprit to a new world and experience. ...
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Shaving Again
6 Reasons I’m Shaving My Head on March 1st by Yael Sommer 1. Because my brother had cancer. It was upsetting and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my mom or my dad or my brother. It was hard. I really miss Sammy. 2. To help other kids with cancer. It...
6 Reasons I’m Shaving My Head on March 1st by Yael Sommer 1. Because my brother had cancer. It was upsetting and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my mom or my dad or my brother. It was hard. I really miss Sammy...
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Have her in circles
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Phyllis Sommer

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Snippets
Snippets of the last couple of weeks... The last Passover we spent with Sammy... The way he loved the frogs and the silliness, how he really didn't like matzah at all... Remembering him and knowing there's always an empty seat at our table. We gathered toge...
Snippets of the last couple of weeks... The last Passover we spent with Sammy... The way he loved the frogs and the silliness, how he really didn't like matzah at all... Remembering him and knowing there's always an empty sea...
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#blogExodus: Bless
What is a blessing, anyway? benediction invocation supplication favor grace sanctification.... The dictionary says: a special favor, mercy, or benefit.... praise, devotion, worship approval good wishes And what is it to bless? how do we, mere humans, invoke...
What is a blessing, anyway? benediction invocation supplication favor grace sanctification.... The dictionary says: a special favor, mercy, or benefit.... praise, devotion, worship approval good wishes And what is it to bless...
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Springtime
Sam relapsed at the very end of March in 2013. Today I spoke at a St. Baldrick's event , and I stumbled a bit. I said, "last March," and then I realized that it's now TWO YEARS ago that he relapsed. I corrected myself and I almost lost it. Two years. I am s...
Sam relapsed at the very end of March in 2013. Today I spoke at a St. Baldrick's event, and I stumbled a bit. I said, "last March," and then I realized that it's now TWO YEARS ago that he relapsed. I corrected myself and I al...
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On the holiday of Purim, we talk a lot about that which is hidden. Esther is hidden, even in her very name. Her identity, her true self, her origins....all hidden. God is hidden, the Holy Name not mentioned in the story even ...
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Magical Thinking
Sometimes it feels like Sam was just here.  And sometimes it feels like maybe it was all a dream... He's always on my mind, of course, in that way that all of my children are on my mind. Even if they're not with me, I have a pretty good sense of where they ...
Sometimes it feels like Sam was just here.  And sometimes it feels like maybe it was all a dream... He's always on my mind, of course, in that way that all of my children are on my mind. Even if they're not with me, I have a ...
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Last year, I made these rainbow hamantaschen. (I wasn't in the mood to blog.) One of the coolest parts of this recipe (besides how they look!) was the way in which the dough circles were created. It was basically a slic...
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People
Have her in circles
244 people
Lee Baker's profile photo
Marina Tecktiel's profile photo
Adrienne Leeds's profile photo
Dan Medwin's profile photo
Betsy Forester's profile photo
Michelle Stern's profile photo
Sahsa Krahi's profile photo
Ira Wise's profile photo
le hong manh'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