Blitstein Institute Happenings!

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Your link to current news and events at the College.  

Sivan 5772May  2012
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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Dvar Torah
Fantastic Photos
Upcoming Events

High Tea & Torah:

 Fuel for the Stomach & Food for the Soul


Dr. Esther Shkop will present  
"Theodicy in Tehillim: Why Good People Suffer"


Mon. June 18, 11:30am  
Shallots Bistro 
7016 Carpenter Rd Skokie


Couvert: $18  
RSVP 773-973-0241



Recent Events:


Student Government planned a school-wide Shabbaton at the TI Dormitory. The speakers were inspirational and the motzei Shabbos event at Sky High Sports was very exciting. See photos below.


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Wishing you a happy Shavuos!

Welcome to our May issue of Happenings!  
In this issue, the Dvar Torah highlights the importance of kindness; we reflect on the Annual Dinner; describe the excitement of the school-wide shabbaton, and look forward to graduation next month.

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Megillas Ruth - The Ultimate Kindness

Rabbi Shmuel Kurtz*


*  Drawn from his introduction to the English translation of the Malbim on the Book of Ruth.


In pondering the purpose of including Megillas Ruth into the canon, R. Zeira remarked, "This megillah does not contain any laws about impurity or purity, not about what is permitted or forbidden.  Why then was it written?  It was written to make known how great is the reward for those who bestow kindness (chesed).


If the story of Megillas Ruth contains a profound message about the significance of kindness and its ultimate realization in the establishment of the royal House of David, this transformation must occur through successive stages of chesed.  What are the origins of chesed?  And why did the Almighty deem the circuitous path that Ruth takes toward establishing the House of David the right one?


The paragon of chesed in Judaism is Avraham Avinu.  Throughout his life, in a myriad of ways, Avraham demonstrated his insatiable desire to give to others, risking his life to save his nephew, challenging G-d on behalf of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gemora, etc.  Even Avraham's wayward nephew, Lot, practiced hachnasas orchim amidst the depravity of Sodom.  Though he risked his own life for the sake of chesed, as demonstrated by the hospitality and protection he extended to the angels, Lot's kindness was deemed the very antithesis of everything Avraham Avinu stood for.  Lot's kindness is described by the kabbalists as chesed d'klipa, a beneficence which emanates from a source lacking holiness and genuineness.  

Click here for full article.

Blitstein Institute Annual Dinner 2012

Honored  Mrs. Philip (Rebecca) Esformes


At a gala affair at the fabulous Alhambra Palace, a broad segment of the Chicago's Jewish community joined the faculty and administration of Blitstein Institute for Women of Hebrew Theological College in paying tribute to Mrs. Rebecca Esformes.  Mrs. Esformes received the coveted Avigayil Award  on Sunday, March 25th  in recognition of her lifelong commitment to service of the community and her dedication to Jewish Education. Her daughter, Mrs. Flora Weiss presented a moving paean to her mother which brought tears and smiles to the audience, which boasted community and Rabbinic leaders as well as her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Rabbi Morris Esformes shared beautiful memories of his youth and the dedication of his parents to enabling his education at the Yeshiva (Hebrew Theological College).  Mr. Avrumi Weinfeld, representing the grandchildren, spoke lovingly about his Nona.


The buffet dinner, organized and chaired by Honorary Chairs Flora and Marty Weiss and Chairs Aveeshi and Tami Lev, Mark and Penina Hartman, and Chana Malka (Polstein) Schultz, featured a delectable array of middle-eastern delicacies.  Guests, young and old, participated in a silent auction of fine jewelry courtesy of "3 Hearts Boutique." Guests were entertained by Game Show America that presented a game called "Community Challenge," in which members of the audience served on teams and displayed their acumen and good humor.  Guests from the different communities of Chicagoland cheered them on, culminating in the triumph of the Lincolnwood-Peterson Park team, who were rewarded with a large trophy to the applause and laughter of the audience.
  Being in the Driver's Seat
TI Shabbaton 2012
Keren Klein, Resident Supervisor


The theme for the TI Shabbaton, over the weekend of May 18, was "Being in the Driver's Seat", but at the same time understanding how Hashem ultimately steers us through our journey. 


In life, we are constantly faced with choices, challenges, and successes. There are times when we find ourselves trying to make a difficult decision; hesitant to make the 'wrong choice'. Sometimes, we have great accomplishments which we perceive as completely our own. Conversely, we see obstacles as punishment from Hashem. As Jews, we believe that we have free will; however Hashem is ultimately in charge of our lives and therefore we are not the only one making the decisions. 


Rabbi Tzvi Zimmerman and his family joined us Friday night in the TI Library for a beautiful dinner. Rabbi Zimmerman inspired us to find the balance of bitachon, faith in Hashem, and hishtadlus, the effort we put in, to take advantage of the opportunities provided. He reminded us to create a mindset that even when the situation itself seems bitter, Hashem ultimately provides the groundwork and directs us to our successes.


Rabbi Schumen with his detailed knowledge of each student was able to put into perspective our uniqueness. He spoke about how each person has strengths and interests, given to us by Hashem. If we focus on increasing those strengths while striving to lead a fulfilling Torah oriented life, we will see our ability to succeed improve. It is then, that we should notice how Hashem bestows upon us our strengths and guides us to situations which will reveal the truly beautiful individual tapestry that we become.

The focus of the Shabbaton helped each girl realize how to use the wonderful abilities we are given to take full advantage of the opportunities Hashem provides for us.


Taking the lessons they learned on the Shabbaton, twenty girls went practiced jumping to their full potential on Motzei Shabbos at Sky High Zone, an indoor trampoline park with a foam pit and trampoline dodge ball.


May we continue to grow from strength to strength and have many more successes in our journeys.

Student & Alumnae News

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

Mazal Tov:

Alumnae Engagements:     
Sara Ruchama Krystal to Moshe Schneider
Chaya Baruch to Yosef Dov Weisenfeld
Mazal tov to Chaya Sarah Singer on the birth of a boy 
Fantastic Photos from TI
Audience at Health Care Panel
Audience at Health Care Panel

TI Library set up for the Shabbaton
Concentration Zone - TI Library set up for the Shabbaton

Girls playing Dodgeball at Sky High Zone
Girls playing Dodgeball at Sky High Zone

Group Photo at Sky High Zone
Group Photo at Sky High Zone
Melave Malka at EJ's Pizzeria
Melave Malka at EJ's Pizzeria

Thank you for being part of our TI family.

Blitstein Institute