January 6, 2015
Judaism is a faith, culture and tradition that recognizes there are many ways to celebrate being Jewish. And since his arrival almost six years ago, Rabbi Max Weiss has allowed for a wealth of avenues to participate in life at Oak Park Temple.
His high energy, willingness to experiment and try different ways to maximize the involvement of the congregation have been important to his spiritual leadership of the synagogue, which this year is observing its 150th year. The congregation has seen a stable membership, young families are joining, in part because of the community’s demographics.
“My connection to the community has deepened. I know and appreciate and love many of the members. I’ve learned about what people do with their lives, how they lead their Jewish lives and conduct themselves in their families’ lives. My appreciation for individuals has deepened as well as the community they’ve built,” said the 46-year-old native of Durham, NC.
Rabbi Gary Gerson, a resident of River Forest, who had been with the temple for 30 years before retiring, said Weiss has worked to try different ways of organizing Friday evening services, other religious services and programming.