Dr. Renate Justin met antisemitism with compassion, commitment to ease others’ pain

By Ken Turetzky

Following an early life of hardship, on the run from Nazis and then facing antisemitism in her adopted home of the United States, Dr. Renate Gabriele Lieberg Justin determined that she would heretofore treat others only with respect and compassion.

While Justin eventually rejected religious faith as insufficient to relieve the burden of tragic experience, she embodied Hillel’s Golden Rule: That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.

Justin wrote, “It is the pain I have experienced because of antisemitism that makes me wary of prejudging other people’s belief, of being intolerant, and thereby inflicting pain.”

Throughout her long career as a family medical practitioner and essayist — including a period from 1959-87 in Terre Haute — Justin observed, considered and wrote thoughtfully about her childhood, her family, her patients and life passages that ranged from gentle to nearly unbearable.

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UHC community agrees: Terry Fear helped forge an extended family in the congregation

On the first Shabbat following Terry Fear’s passing — one week after Terry had lit candles to begin the Temple’s virtual service — UHC members shared remembrances of their friend and colleague, who died suddenly Dec. 13 at age 66.

Among her many contributions to the congregation and community, Terry served as UHC vice president and secretary, led the Temple’s restoration efforts, coordinated special events in the sanctuary, served on the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center board and worked widely for social justice.

Most satisfying of all for Terry, friends agreed, were her efforts to introduce people she admired and appreciated to each other, to foster knowledge, understanding and personal growth.

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Terry Fear brought people together — this time, to honor her memory

Terry Fear brought people together to share friendship and perspective on faith. She worked diligently to improve her community and the wider world around her, and to preserve life. She softly sang Shabbat prayers to a close friend facing a quiet and peaceful death, only days before Terry herself passed away suddenly. She made her best effort to repair the world.

We learned these things as family, friends, fellow congregants and colleagues shared their remembrances of Terry during an Inter-Faith Council of the Wabash Valley virtual memorial and following United Hebrew Congregation’s regular Friday night Shabbat service. Only a week before, Terry had lit the Shabbat candles to begin this same event.

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Nancy Sommers celebrates centenarian Walter Sommers: To my father on his 100th birthday

Walter Sommers has remained engaged in life throughout his 100 years, and that is a key to his longevity.

He looks back in time not so much for nostalgia’s sake, although he enjoys telling the old stories, but for purpose of relating society’s tragic mistakes to new generations whom he can only hope will learn, and do better with their time on earth.

Here, Walter’s daughter Nancy Sommers offers birthday greetings to her father, who celebrates his centennial on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020.

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