Posted by: Neil Glick, Associate Director of Development on 7/28/2008 5:00:00 PM
On July 14, 2008, my dad, Richard Glick, 60, passed away after a long bout with cancer. He died in San Diego, California. It has been 20 years since I called San Diego home. When I arrived in San Diego the full force of the loss hit me. I needed our Jewish mourning rituals. However, my parents were not members of an organized Jewish community. Then I reached out to our Hillel family.
I called the local Hillel at San Diego State University and found our Hillels of San Diego Executive Director Rabbi Lisa Goldstein. I could hardly speak on the phone. Through my tears I was able to say that I needed some pastoral counseling. She spoke to me like an old friend, and offered to assist my family and me in any way. She comforted me and helped me sort out my thoughts.
My sister and I organized a time of remembrance and reflection for my dad. Lisa offered to attend and lead what I thought would be a small service. I asked Lisa to bring 10 siddurim – just enough for a minyan.
Toward the end of the time of remembrance, we gathered in the backyard garden. I told guests we needed a minyan, and every single guest came out back. I should have asked Lisa for more siddurs, since we had about 75 people for our service. Lisa led us in the mincha service, and brought it to a very relevant level for this occasion. After the Amidah, several people spoke about my father and about supporting my Mom in the future. Then Lisa led us in El Malei Rachamim, and we the family – with the much-needed help of the guests -- said Kaddish. My mom, sister and I could hardly whisper the prayer through our tears. We relied on the kindness of everyone else stepping up and speaking out.
When my small Jewish family felt pain, our Hillel family was there to help us through this difficult time. So many of you from all parts of the country expressed your condolences, and I am deeply touched. Thank you Hillel family, and especially my Development siblings.
At Hillel we provide meaningful Jewish experiences, tzedek and Klal Yisroel to Jewish students around the world. I had those experiences when I was an undergraduate; I have those experiences here at the SIC; and my family experienced it in our very own home. I am grateful to Rabbi Lisa Goldstein for bringing a most important and meaningful Jewish experience to my family and me.
Thank you Lisa, “Her value is far beyond pearls… She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the lesson of kindness is on her tongue.”
RE: In Praise of My Hillel Family
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