Louise Sommers’s life ‘an important Holocaust story about survival, continuity’

Safely settled in 1941 with her father and sister in the U.S., 16-year-old Louise Sommers wrote, “The day after my seventh birthday, my mother suddenly died. Since then, things have never been the same.

“It seems that with my mother’s death, a chain of misfortune started. Hitler came to power and my uncle was beaten up, put into prison by the Nazis and later fled to France….Terrible things happened in Germany.”

Louise’s daughter Nancy Sommers found Louise’s youthful autobiography a few years ago and shared this excerpt as guest speaker for “Creating Light From Darkness and Optimism out of Tragedy”, the third annual Yom HaShoah event May 5 at UHC to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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Parents, teachers and students are getting things done at religious school

By Patty Lewis

I am going to start out by bragging about our religious school.

About 11:30 a.m. one Sunday, I went down to the Temple to get a few things done, and listened and watched the students during their class.

I was so impressed with the parents, teachers and older children who were helping. As the class came to an end, everyone gathered in a circle and sang a song together and it was beautiful.

There are larger congregations with more children in religious school but you would not find a school run as well as ours.

If you ever question the future of our religious school, please visit and watch the students in action.

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Student Rabbi Jonathan Falco bids farewell to ‘community of longtime friends’

By Student Rabbi Jonathan Falco

We presently find ourselves in a period where we are literally counting the days until our next holiday.

Jews are always looking ahead, planning for the next occasion where the pulse of our calendar year brings us together in joyous or somber moments.

During these intervening days between Passover and Shavuot, we are commanded to count the omer of 49 days.

I’ve counted my year in monthly visits, trips to the “Enterprise” in Cincinnati and drives across the beautiful Indiana countryside.

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Students set an example as they work toward ideal of peace and reconciliation

By Betsy Frank

On April 7, United Hebrew Congregation welcomed the Terre Haute South Vigo High School STAND club, whose members commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide with a program entitled, Together We Remember.

Rwandan genocide survivor Emmanuel Habimana served as the event’s main speaker. He recounted how as a 9-year-old, after witnessing his father’s murder, he escaped through the jungle with another child of similar age.

The local students who planned this moving program under the direction of THS teacher Peggy Grabowski understand their generation must work toward peace and reconciliation amongst all peoples.

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