Remembering Roz Schulte

Corey Rosenberg, flanked by his sisters Jamie, left, and Laura, all of whom were (or are, in Corey’s case) presidents of USY for  Shaare Zedek.

By Ellen Futterman, Editor

News is fickle. One day what seems like THE BIGGEST STORY IN AMERICA winds up as birdcage liner two weeks later. Case in point: When was the last time you read about Monica Lewinsky?

Some stories though shouldn’t be forgotten. Roz Shulte is one of them. 

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By all accounts — and we’ve spoken to dozens of her family and friends — the Ladue native and John Burroughs graduate was an amazing young woman who positively affected the lives of so many. She continued on to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. where she became a group commander, one of the Academy’s highest positions on campus, and was responsible for overseeing 1,000 cadets.

In May 2009, just a few days shy of Memorial Day, Air Force 1st Lt. Roslyn Schulte was killed at the age of 25 in Afghanistan. A roadside bomb struck her vehicle as she was on her way to an intelligence-sharing meeting. She was the first female graduate of the Air Force Academy to be killed by an enemy combatant.

In January 2010, Lt. Schulte achieved an impressive first posthumously, in becoming the first woman to be awarded the National Intelligence Medal for Valor. Only four others received this honor before her.

At 10 a.m. Monday, Memorial Day, Lt. Schulte will be honored once again. A memorial plaque by the flagpole in front of the Arts and Education Building at the Jewish Community Center will be dedicated in her honor. The effort is being spearheaded by Steve and Andi Schankman, who are close friends with Lt. Schulte’s parents and watched her grow up. Andi Schankman designed the plaque.

She says the dedication will be short and “very “informal. Temple Israel Rabbi Emeritus Mark Shook – Lt. Schulte and her family belonged to TI – will likely say a few words and vocalist Charles Glenn is expected to sing the National Anthem. An official from the Air Force is also scheduled to speak.

“We want everyone to remember Roz. She continues to inspire us and serve as a role model,” said Andi Schankman. “We want to celebrate her life and also pay tribute to the fact that there are so many Jewish veterans.”

A Sher thing

Lois Sher has a tradition when seeing her son, Jeremy, perform. “I always see his plays twice,” said Lois, who will do just that when Jeremy Sher opens in the world-premiere of “Crow,” the one-man show he wrote and stars in. It officially opens Friday, June 1 in Chicago (previews are May 30-31) at the Victory Gardens Theater and runs through June 17.

However, Lois won’t be seeing Jeremy on opening night or even opening weekend. That honor goes to Jeremy’s sister, Laura Sher. Lois will go the following week. And during week three, Jeremy’s brother, Joel Sher, will be in attendance.

“That way we have it all covered,” joked Lois, adding that her daughter and son don’t have the same tradition with Jeremy that she does, “so they will probably just see the show once.”

According to Walkabout Theater, the show’s presenter, “Crow combines intensive movement, layered text, and 1,200 feet of rope to tell a tale of adventure and heartbreak as an ambitious man sets out at sea in 1969 to attempt a record-breaking solo race around the globe. It asks the questions: What separates hope from delusion? And what is the transformative power of ambition?

For his part Jeremy Sher, 43, who graduated from Parkway Central High School and celebrated his bar mitzvah at Congregation Shaare Emeth, has been a professional actor for over two decades. He has founded several performance ensembles and performed and trained in disciplines ranging from classical theater to Japanese dance. He also has taught improvisation and movement workshops at several universities and currently teaches movement at ChiArts, Chicago High School for the Arts.

“I was taught not to brag but this is a pretty big deal,” said Lois Sher, who fully supports her son’s choice of career. “Jeremy was raised to know he was suppose to have a good job and acting didn’t necessarily fall into that category,” she said. “But this is really what he is supposed to be doing. He’s making a living. He’s a natural at it.”

For more information about the play and tickets, which range from $10 to $28, go to www.walkabouttheater.org 

Simcha sharing

Every so often I get an email from a reader wanting to tell of the triumphs of a family member or close friend. Recently, Kathi Rosenberg wrote: “Do you think it’s Jewish Light newsworthy that my son Corey is the new Shaare Zedek USY President, following in the footsteps of both his sisters, was just awarded his Eagle Scout, named President of the International Thespian Society at Ladue (Horton Watkins) High School and still finds time to maintain his status in the National Honor Society, varsity golf team, etc.?  The biggies are the USY President and his Eagle Scout at the same time.  His project was to build four bookcases for the religious school at Shaare Zedek (Shaare Shalom).”

Well the answer, Kathi, is a resounding “yes,” it is newsworthy. Part of the mission of the Light is to publicize simchas that celebrate the achievements of our community members. Corey’s accomplishments go above and beyond, so it was no surprise that when I called to chat about them his voice message said he was probably busy doing something else. With all he does, who has time to talk?

No question the Rosenbergs should be proud. I appreciate Kathi taking the time to email and I encourage the rest of you to do so, too. When space allows, I’d love to share your good news.