Blitstein Institute Happenings!

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Your link to current news and events at the College.  

Adar 5772March  2012
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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Featured Article
Fantastic Photos
Upcoming Events

Blitstein Institute 
invites you to a magnificent evening at
Alhambra Palace
1240 W.Randolph St

Please join us for a Tribute to Mrs. Philip (Rebecca) Esformes
Recipient of the Avigayil Award 

Sun. Mar. 25
5:30pm Dinner & Tribute
7:30pm Game Show Entertainment & Silent Auction

RSVP 773-973-0241 

Click here to view flyer


Women of the Community are invited

to attend

Rabbi Gershon Schaffel discussing 

Preparations For Pesach

March 26, 8:30pm

9:45pm - Mechiras Chometz

TI Library

Hatzalah will be 
coming to the Health & Safety class on Mon. March 19th to demonstate CPR, Heimlich & first aid procedures. 



At the end of this month, Rachel Zimmerman will speak to the residents about how to be happy. This event will take place at the residence of Keren Klein, resident supervisor  



Recent Events:


Student Government planned a skiing trip to Wilmot, Wisconsin on Sunday, February 26. The girls enjoyed skiing and snow tubing.


Once a week, Sunny Siegel provides a kickboxing class for students 

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Welcome to our March/Adar issue of Happenings!  In this issue you will find a Purim inspired D'var Torah by a student, a biography highlighting the recipient of the Avigayil Award, Mrs. Rebecca Esformes, and an article describing the Blitstein Institute Business Major.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions and ideas we can incorporate into the newsletter. If you know of anyone who would like to receive Happenings! please use the "Join our Mailing List" link to provide their email address.

Blitstein Institute Annual Dinner

Honoring Mrs. Philip (Rebecca) Esformes


We are proud to honor Mrs. Rebecca Esformes at the Annual Blitstein Institute Dinner to be held on Sunday evening, March 25 at Alhambra Palace.  The Alhambra Palace is a unique and elegant venue, named after the 13th century fortress in Granada, Spain.   Every architectural detail, from the chandeliers to the tiniest mosaic tiles was imported from the Mediterranean and Middle East.


Game Show America, the leading game show production company in the United States will present an exciting and amazing "Community Challenge" as the evening's entertainment.  To add to the mystery and adventure, a silent auction featuring magnificent jewelry will be part of the evening's fun. This exciting evening will be beautiful and entertaining.


5:30 Dinner and Tribute to Mrs. Esformes 

7:30 Entertainment           

Complimentary Valet Parking

For information and reservations, please call 773-973-0241

Mrs. Philip (Rebecca) Esformes


Born April 15, 1922 in New Jersey, Rebecca Esformes is a descendent of a proud line of Sephardi Jews hailing from Salonika (Thessaloniki, Greece). She was educated at the McDowell School of Design in New York, achieving her Instructor's Degree and launching a career in fashion.  She married Philip, a Captain in the U.S. Army, 67 years ago, and with him moved to and from Missouri, then to New Jersey, and finally, upon his discharge, settled in California where Philip established a successful leather business. They had two children, Rabbi Morris and Flora.


A pillar of Rebecca's spiritual life from an early age was chesed. Paramount in her life was her work on behalf of Jewish immigrants, particularly the survivors arriving in America from a devastated Salonika, hosting these refugees from Greece, as well as those arriving from Israel and Hungary (in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956). Many of these refugees lived in her home, where she supplied them with money and clothing, until she was able to find them housing and initial employment...



Click here for the full article.  



Simcha in Adar:
An Instrument of Truth and Completion
Shira Galston



On Rosh ChodeshAdar, I attended a funeral. It was an odd experience, trying to reconcile the simcha of this happiest of months with the necessary sadness of mourning. The officiating Rabbi said that on Rosh Chodesh we do not say a traditional hesped/eulogy. Instead, we say divrei shevach, words of praise about the person. The family members did just that; they spoke of a man who lived his life happily, showing his love through his "silliness" and light-hearted pranks, singing to his children and grandchildren in public places, building organizations and structures intended to help klal yisrael. They described a truly happy life, and it felt fitting to the day. As I sat in the last row, I contemplated my mixed feelings. Adar is the happiest month of the year, and as a woman, Rosh Chodesh holds even more sanctity and joy. I normally wear pearls to mark any new month, but it felt inappropriate to wear them to the funeral - even getting dressed was a philosophical exercise. What was I meant to feel? How was I meant to be marbim b'simcha in a situation like that?


The Torah has much to say about what simcha truly means. "Simcha" is not the same thing as "happiness." In fact, they are almost exact opposites. The root of the English word "happiness" is "hap," which means chance or luck, as in happenstance. Thus, the Western understanding of happiness is that it is something to be stumbled upon, or even pursued, but that comes with no depth or weight of meaning. It is an enjoyable emotion, a worthwhile feeling to have. Even if it is considered the main goal in life it carries no real significance in the end; this is why so many who pursue it for its own sake end up miserable.


Not so in Judaism; the very idea of "luck" or "happenstance" does not exist in our worldview.  So what is the Jewish view of simcha, and how does one increase it in Adar? I will address three central aspects of simcha: using it as a means to an end, its relationship to Truth, and its connection to shleimus or completion...

Click here for full article.
 The Value of a Major in Business

The media has - since the downturn of the economy - called to question the value of an undergraduate education, both in the liberal arts and in the pragmatic majors such as business.  Despite irrefutable evidence over the last century, indicating the monetary value of a college education (not to mention the human and intellectual value), high unemployment, the transfer of manufacturing and technology to the Far East, and the rise of tuition have combined to alter  the calculations and perceptions of the value of a college education.  US News and World Report had long argued that large universities - both public and private - have raised tuition far beyond the recoverable value in jobs ultimately attained by their graduates, and urged its readers to consider smaller, cost-effective schools that developed thinking and communication skills. 


Blitstein Institute of Hebrew Theological College prides itself on containing tuition costs, maintaining a high faculty-student ratio, focusing on developing written and oral eloquence along with critical thinking skills through a rigorous curriculum in Judaic and General Studies.  As a result, TI graduates compete ably not only in admission to top graduate schools, but also in the post-BA job market...


Click here for the full article

Student & Alumnae News

Please send us your news - your simchas and accomplishments - so we can share your good news with everyone.

Mazal Tov:

Mazi Moria to Elisha Karan
Raizy Weldler to Pinchas Oustatcher
Shayna Miriam Segal to Dovid Rosenberg
Sarah Osina  to Shloime Schwartz
Chaya Graff to Aharon Maline
Laura Klibanow to Jonathan Erlich

Student & Alumnae Accomplishments

Tamar (Lipshitz) Lev received a B.A from TI and a BSN from North Park University. She recently received a nursing position at an Oncology Clinic in Skokie.


Zahava (Shulman) Sheinbaum graduated with a BSN and was awarded a position at the Cleveland Clinic.


Fantastic Photos from TI
TI Students Snow Tubing Feb 26
TI Students Snow Tubing Feb 26

Snow Tubing Trip, Organized by Student Government
Snow Tubing Trip, Organized by Student Government

Thank you for being part of our TI family.

Blitstein Institute