High Holiday leader
For 35 years, Richard Green led the Conservative service for the first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation. A student rabbi from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles conducted the Reform service.
Growing up in Omaha, Green received his religious education and leadership training skills at Beth El Synagogue. By day, he is an astronomer, the assistant director of government relations at the Steward Observatory on the UA campus. As a full-time administrator, he is expected to do scholarship and service. He feels that he is fulfilling his service responsibility as well as “giving back” to the Jewish community by conducting High Holiday services.
Green has fond memories of student involvement. In order to get a taste of the holiday, students who had an hour or so between classes could walk in, put down their backpacks, participate in the service, and then go on their way. He remembers that Jewish sororities and fraternities encouraged their Jewish members to attend services as a group for erev Rosh Hashanah with a dinner afterward and for Kol Nidre. Often, one of the Greek houses would host a break-fast meal following Yom Kippur.
When Green began at Hillel in 1980, services were held in the old building, which was at the same address as the current building. During construction of the new building and later during the erection of the new wing, the Latter-Day Saints Institute of Religion across the street hosted the High Holiday services.
Green has served with executive directors Rabbi Mort Levine, Rabbi Harley Karz-Wagman, Rabbi Mitchell Smith and Michelle Blumenberg, who is celebrating 25 years in her position this year, the same year the UA Hillel Foundation turns 75.
Officially, Green “retired” from this volunteer gig two years ago. In 2015, he and his wife, Joan, spent Rosh Hashanah with their son Nathaniel and his family in Washington, D.C. When they returned, Blumenberg called, as due to a death in the student rabbi’s family, she needed him to fill in at the last minute for Yom Kippur. Green did an encore performance as shaliach tzibbur (“messenger of the congregation”). Last year, Hillel offered one Reform service for the High Holidays and the Greens were back at their home shul, Congregation Anshei Israel, for the holidays.
World Series mania
Former Chicagoans and Clevelanders flocked to the World Series to see their Cubs and Indians compete. The attendees below had the thrill of a lifetime.
Three generations of Feders — Ed, Mike, and Nate (Phoenix) attended the World Series games at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Mike has been affiliated with local minor league baseball teams and the Arizona Diamondbacks and is currently executive director of the upcoming Arizona Bowl. In his early teens, he helped clean Wrigley Field in exchange for tickets to the next day’s game. After cleaning, he collected autographs on his scorecard and saved all of the programs. The senior Feder, Ed, celebrated his 90th birthday in the stands on Sunday, Oct. 30, Game 5, when the Cubs beat the Indians, 3 to 2. It doesn’t get much better than that! His celebration continued back in Tucson over the weekend of Nov. 11 with family from near and far converging to honor the newly-minted nonagenarian.
Hailing from Cleveland, Richard Feldman flew back to join his three sons, Gary (Cleveland), Jamie (Livingston, N.J.) and Marc (Houston), for this long-awaited moment for both teams! When they arrived at the will-call window at Progressive Field, there were no tickets for them for Game 1, but rather for the next night’s game. As a consolation, they were offered seats to that evening’s Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks basketball game. That night, they witnessed the Cavs receive their rings and raise the 2016 NBA Championship banner at Quicken Loans Arena. The foursome adjusted their schedules and on Wednesday, Oct. 26, attended Game 2 when the Indians lost 5 to 1 to the Cubs. Seated in the last row of the upper deck in left field, Richard felt the cold — the temperature was in the 40s with wind blowing off Lake Erie. Though wearing four layers of clothing, he spent a quarter of the game in the heated men’s room and another quarter in front of the warm concession stand, watching on overhead TV screens.
Native Tucsonan Neil Katz says his sons, Aaron (Boston) and Brandon, grew up watching WGN-TV, the Chicago cable network that broadcasts Cubs baseball. The boys treated Neil to Game 6 in Cleveland where the Cubs bested the Indians, 9 to 3. The boys said they were repaying him for all of the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball games he had taken them to. Neil notes that there was tight security outside Progressive Field with police on horseback, as at the outset, the Indians were ahead of the Cubs, 3 games to 2, and the team and city were prepared for a World Series victory in this best-of-seven matchup.
Time to share
When this monthly column reappears, it will be 2017. Happy Hanukkah and secular New Year. Keep me posted — 319-1112. L’shalom.