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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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Inspiration
It's been a busy month around here. Today I was honored for "vision and inspiration," by the American Committee for the Weitzman Institute for Science . This is an incredible research facility in Israel that is engaged in cutting-edge medical and scientific...
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Dear Sammy
Dear Sammy, Have I mentioned lately how much I miss you? Yep. I meet people all the time who tell me how inspirational you have been to them. I nod, I smile. I don't cry, usually. But what do I really want to say? I want to ask them to imagine how much more...
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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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Have her in circles
248 people
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Josh Mason-Barkin's profile photo
Patricia Makin's profile photo
Sam Preminger's profile photo
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Laura Hegfield's profile photo
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Phyllis Sommer

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Unwelcome
Dear Ed and Nadia and Olivia, I ever-so-much wish that I wasn't welcoming you to this awful club, this community of those left behind in the terrible backwash of childhood cancer. So we'll call this an "unwelcome letter." Emily's face on the front page of t...
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Dead is Dead: Euphemism and the Power of Words
So...this happened last month:  https://youtu.be/UUqr4P7P3gM (You have to click over to help increase my "views" on YouTube!) There have been so many things that this blog has allowed me to say, and so many ways that it has allowed me to write and teach abo...
So...this happened last month: https://youtu.be/UUqr4P7P3gM (You have to click over to help increase my "views" on YouTube!) There have been so many things that this blog has allowed me to say, and so many ways that it has al...
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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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People
Have her in circles
248 people
Rabbi Jason Miller's profile photo
Josh Mason-Barkin's profile photo
Patricia Makin's profile photo
Sam Preminger's profile photo
Mike Alex's profile photo
joseph salome's profile photo
Laura Hegfield's profile photo
Deborah Harris's profile photo
Marilyn Black'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