Dr. Nancy Sommers to honor her mother, Louise, as Yom HaShoah keynote speaker at UHC

By Terry Fear

Dr. Nancy Sommers, a native of Terre Haute and former member of United Hebrew Congregation, will be keynote speaker for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at UHC.

Nancy Sommers

Her subject will be “My Mother’s Story — Creating Light from Darkness and Optimism out of Tragedy”. Dr. Sommers’s mother is longtime UHC member Louise Levite Sommers, a Holocaust survivor and resident of Terre Haute.

The program is sponsored by UHC and CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

Events will begin with a candle-lighting ceremony in the sanctuary and continue with Dr. Sommers’s talk in the Vestry Room downstairs. Dr. Sommers’s father Walter Sommers will attend.

A reception will follow, hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dr. Sommers is a prize-winning author of four college writing handbooks, blogger for the Huffington Post, essayist and internationally-recognized leader in the field of writing studies.

Dr. Sommers is a prize-winning author of four college writing handbooks, blogger for the Huffington Post, essayist and internationally-recognized leader in the field of writing studies.

She directed the Harvard College Writing Program for 20 years and now teaches in the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Louise and Walter Sommers recently celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.

The Levites arrive in America

Louise Levite Sommers was born Liselotte Levite to Max and Irma Levite in 1924, in Straubing, Bavaria, Germany.

After leaving Nazi Germany, the Levites made their home in New York City, where Mr. Levite became business partners with Julius Sommer and Lisel, now Louise, met Julius’s son, Walter. They married March 30, 1947, and Louise and Walter recently celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.

Louise’s life exemplifies perseverance and tikkun olam. She has been an active member of United Hebrew Congregation since 1948, co-chair of the Clothes Closet Project, president of the Temple Women’s Organization and a religious school teacher.

Her greatest joy remains her family, including daughter Nancy and son Ron, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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