Oak Park Temple has been a home to me and to my family since the mid-1980s, and we have observed not only the holidays, for instance, but also life-cycle and other significant events such as these:  my children’s naming ceremonies; my parents’ funerals and Shiva observances; my children’s each becoming B’nai Mitzvah; my own (rather late) Bat Mitzvah; and my own later-in-life remarriage.  My children, Emily and David, attended the Glasser Preschool as soon as they were old enough after “Moms and Tots.” (And, in fact, David was one of only three children in the first class for two-year-olds while Emily was enjoying the class for three-year-olds.) They continued in the preschool until it was time to attend Whittier school and then began religious school with Gan Katan, continuing all the way through. 

As do many of you, I try to contribute to our community in a variety of ways–some big, some small. My first major stint as a volunteer came about when I became a member of what was then called the Beatrice Glasser Nursery School Board; I then served twice as secretary to the Board of Directors (during the presidency of Michael Cooper and then again during the presidency of Jeff Blaine); and, for a number of years, I was a fixture just about every Sunday morning as a librarian in the Shure Memorial Library, working alongside the wonderful Eileen Matthies, Margot Hamburger, and others.   

I am deeply honored to be assuming the Presidency and to be working with you and our outstanding clergy, staff, and Board as together we sustain and continue to build our wonderful community.  In the next months, I may be calling on a number of you–and I hope to meet with members of our committees, as well–to better understand your own commitments to the congregation and to hear your thoughts.  Please do feel free to call on me, as well: president@oakparktemple.org

I have been privileged to work with Sheri, our clergy, staff, and an excellent Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the past two years. Sheri Gilley is a remarkably dedicated, smart, generous, and gracious person who has served us and our congregation well; I am very pleased that she has to stay on as Immediate Past President, as there is much to learn.  There is much to learn from all of you, as well.


Deborah Holdstein

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