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Recollections of Ruth Riemer

I was looking forward to retirement and to all of the mental images that retirement conjures up. Staying in bed until 10:00 a.m. or p.m. Meeting girlfriends for lunch. Going to matinees in the afternoon. Attending a Shaare Zedek luncheon.

That was before Cantor Sherwood Goffin suggested -- no, requested, no, implored me -- to volunteer to be the school psychologist for the Lincoln Square Synagogue Hebrew School. I am known to be quite a strong woman so I adamantly indicated to him in no uncertain terms absolutely positively NO.

A week later, I entered the portals of our illustrious shul. I was assured that I would have little to do, all was in place, just smile and say welcome after introducing myself. The now common lingo response to this job description is LOL.

Not too much time elapsed before the smile turned into curricula for four grades, prospective teacher interviews, parent meetings, staff meetings, ordering supplies, field trip arrangements, etc. The "just smile" evolved into teaching, educational director, and availability whenever needed. Luncheons and matinees were exchanged for seeing Jewish growth, bar mitzvahs where in some cases they might never have occurred, entrances by unaffiliated Jews into yeshivot, and at least one student making aliya.

How gratifying it is to say Shabbat shalom to members who had nothing to do with any shul before Lincoln Square Hebrew School. So, I thank Cantor Goffin for convincing an unreceptive future retiree not to retire.

Fri, July 10 2020 18 Tammuz 5780