The Shankmans Hang with the Almadanis

The Shankmans Hang with the Almadanis

March 2017 The Shankmans (Stew, Alex, Jonah (9) and Serena (6)) visited the Almadni family for a few hours on Saturday afternoon and mostly discussed St. Patrick’s Day and ate soda bread and corn on the cob. We talked to Nawar and Talal about Mohammed and...

Help Build the Wildlife Corridor

Help Build the Wildlife Corridor Restoring nature is no longer relegated to preserves and national parks. The average home gardener or landowner can now participate in this vital activity through the use of native plants in their landscapes. If enough neighbors and...

Alex, Stew and Crew Visit the Almadani’s

Guest Post by Alexandra Levit It was Saturday afternoon, time for another visit with our Syrian friends, the Almadanis. After texting with Talal, we headed up to their neighborhood in Rogers Park about 3PM.  Everyone was very happy to see each other. We started by...
Guest Blog: Joy Aaronson

Guest Blog: Joy Aaronson

[Editor’s note: Joy Aaronson is our first guest blogger. I very much hope that other OPT community members will follow Joy’s lead and write about your own experiences with the Almadani family.] During our Saturday mentoring time with the Almadani family, Debbie...
Presenting the Almadani Family

Presenting the Almadani Family

January 28, 2017 In the wake of an executive order halting the admission of any Syrian refugees into this country in the name of national security, we share with you the Almadani Family. This is the family of six the Oak Park Temple community is sponsoring, helping...
Is This the Beginning or the End?

Is This the Beginning or the End?

It is hard to be handed a 508 million year old fossil from the Burgess Shale and not realize that our problems and ideas are fairly small and short-lived. Read Oak Park Temple congregant Marta Segal Block’s entry on the Sinai and Synapses...

Arrival!

In my last blog post, we were roughly two weeks out from our sponsored Arab-Sunni-Muslim-Syrian-refugee family of six arriving to Chicago. We knew very little about the family. But what we did know meant it was going to be a tough transition for them even under the...

We Asked…and Oak Park Temple Delivered

We called you to action. And the Oak Park Temple community delivered. We asked for monetary donations; you gave generously. We asked you to buy and donate household necessities; almost every request has been accounted for on the sign-up genius. We asked for mentors...

An Inspiring Opportunity for Oak Park Temple

One of the best books I’ve read in the last several years is by my former colleague, Cornell University Professor Joseph Margulies. The book is called What Changed When Everything Changed: 9/11 and the Making of National Identity (2013). The book was an eye-opener for...

New Leader of RAC Long-Standing Advocate for Social Justice

I never thought we would find someone whose social justice bonafides could match those of Rabbi David Saperstein, who forcefully spoke truth to power as the leader of the RAC for 40 years. Well, we have. He is Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner. A passionate advocate and...
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