Rabbi Shook to retire in June

Rabbi Mark L. Shook will retire as the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Temple Israel at the end of June. He has served the congregation for 31 years, the past 23 as its Senior Rabbi. Temple Israel will honor Rabbi Shook during a special celebratory weekend planned for June 4-5. Titled “A reMarkable Weekend: Celebrating the Rabbinate of Mark L. Shook,” is co-chaired by congregants Joyce and Gary Follman and Judy and Jerry Levy.

The festivities will begin with a special Friday evening Shabbat service and oneg reception on June 4. At that service Rabbi Shook will be presented with the congregation’s Malachi Award for Interfaith Relations.

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Anat Cohen at The Sheldon


The festivities will begin with a special Friday evening Shabbat service and Oneg


Shabbat reception on June 4. At that service Rabbi Shook will be presented with Temple Israel members Jack and Ellen Deutsch established and endowed the Malachi Award in 1986 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the congregation in 1886. The award “showcases persons, programs and acts of outstanding excellence in the pursuit of interfaith cooperation.” It has been presented just 11 times since its inception, and was last awarded in 2007 to Dr .

Mohammed Waheed-Uz-Zaman Rana, a leader in the Islamic community. Leaders from throughout the St. Louis interfaith community will be joining the congregation in paying tribute to Rabbi Shook at this special service.

On Saturday evening, June 5, the celebration will continue at a dinner honoring Rabbi Mark and Carol Shook at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac Hotel. The keynote speaker will be Rabbi David Saperstein, director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Designated in Newsweek’s 2009 list as the most influential rabbi in the country and described in a Washington Post profile as “the quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill, ” Rabbi David Saperstein represents the national Reform Jewish Movement to Congress.

Rabbi Shook received his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters degree and rabbinic

ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972. He spent the first eight years of his rabbinate at Temple Israel, serving first as assistant and then associate rabbi. He left Temple Israel in 1980 to lead Congregation Beth Israel in Atlantic City, N.J. Upon the retirement of Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin in 1987, Rabbi Shook returned to Temple Israel, becoming just the sixth senior rabbi in the 124 -year history of the congregation. Temple Israel is nearing the end of an 18-month national search to identify a successor to Rabbi Shook and expects to announce the appointment of its next senior Rabbi in the very near future. All events will be open to the community.

For more information, contact Victoria Siegel, director of communications, 314-432-8050 or [email protected]