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Phyllis Sommer
Works at Am Shalom
Attends Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Lives in Highwood, IL
257 followers|24,481,153 views
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Phyllis Sommer

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Not Forgetting
Remember, we talk about Sam all the time. And every so often, when it feels like we've gone several days without talking about Sam, Solly will pipe up with, "I think I'm forgetting Sammy." I think he means, "hey, folks, you haven't talked about him in the l...
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June, Again
June is the beginning of summer. June is moving onto the next grade and saying goodbye to teachers and packing up the locker. June is popsicles on the porch and the sandbox open and the hoses spraying. June is finding the sandals and hats and sunscreen. Jun...
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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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Have her in circles
257 people
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Phyllis Sommer

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#StepUp for Sammy
Two summers ago, we were living in the Ronald McDonald House and Sam had a morning bone marrow biopsy scheduled. These required that Sam be "NPO," which is hospital-speak for "starve your kid." His NPO started at 5:30am, I believe. Anyway, the point of this...
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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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People
Have her in circles
257 people
Jennifer Levine's profile photo
Rabbi Jason Miller's profile photo
Marina Tecktiel's profile photo
Stacey Robinson's profile photo
joseph salome's profile photo
Brian Stoller's profile photo
Shankar Nepal's profile photo
Lynda Dresher's profile photo
ibrahim al jafreh'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