Temple Israel to honor retiring Rabbi Shook


The community is invited to join Congregation Temple Israel June 4-5 for “A ReMarkable Weekend: Celebrating the Rabbinate of Mark L. Shook.” The weekend will honor Rabbi Shook, who is retiring after serving the congregation for a total of 31 years, the past 23 as its Senior Rabbi. Congregants Joyce and Gary Follman and Judy and Dr. Jerry Levy are serving as co-chairs for the weekend.

The festivities will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 4, with a special Shabbat service and celebratory oneg reception. At that service Shook will receive the “Temple Israel Malachi Award for Interfaith Relations and Understanding.” 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 Temple Israel. 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.


Shook has been active in the interfaith community throughout his rabbinate. He is a co-leader, along with Dr. Mohammed Waheed-Uz-Zaman Rana, the 2007 Malachi Award recipient, of an interfaith dialogue group between Temple Israel and the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. He also co-leads a rabbi-priest dialogue with a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese. He has served on the board and chaired the Cabinet of the Interfaith Partnership of Metropolitan St. Louis and was a co-founder of Faith Beyond Walls. From 1988-1998 he was the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now Union for Reform Judaism) representative to Pathways to Promise: Interfaith Ministries and Prolonged Mental Illness. Leaders from throughout the St. Louis interfaith community will be joining the Temple Israel members and the greater St. Louis Jewish community in paying tribute to Rabbi Shook at this special service.

On Saturday evening, June 5, the celebration will continue at a gala dinner honoring Rabbi Mark and Carol Shook at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac Hotel. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Rabbi David Saperstein, director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Saperstein was ranked as the most influential rabbi in the country by Newsweek Magazine in 2009 “because of his role as Washington insider and political powerbroker and friend of Obama.” Dinner reservations are $125 per person. The RSVP deadline is Monday, May 24. Benefactor and tribute book advertising opportunities are available.

For more information or to make reservations to attend the gala dinner on June 5, contact Carol Wolf Solomon, director of development and communications, 314-432-8050 or [email protected]