Silver anniversary music to Northbrook cantor’s ears
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:10AM
NORTHBROOK — Achieving a silver anniversary is a milestone for sure, especially when it is at a job you care passionately about.
To celebrate a silver anniversary — 25 years — that is quite a blessing, says Steven Stoehr of Northbrook.
Stoehr is being honored for his service as cantor at Northbrook Congregation Beth Shalom the first weekend in December.
Stoehr’s wife Susan, a Jewish educator, artist and private Hebrew teacher, will also be recognized.
“We at Beth Shalom in Northbrook extend our heartfelt congratulations to Cantor Steve and Susan Stoehr for 25 years of dedicated service to our synagogue,” said Tami Rokni, Congregation Beth Shalom president.
The Stoehrs are parents of three children, Jacob, a University of Maryland (business degree) senior, Talia, a University of Wisconsin (psychology/philosophy) junior and Alana, 17, a senior at Chicagoland Jewish High School in Deerfield.
“We are sincerely grateful for their devotion to our Beth Shalom mission to celebrate Torah, worship and acts of loving kindness in our community as it has allowed them to touch so many of our members’ lives in the very best of ways, Rokni added.”
Stoehr, who performed at the Nov. 21 Interfaith Service hosted this year at Beth Shalom at 3433 Walters Avenue, chatted about his 25 years before taking the introductory podium at a well-attended Thanksgiving Eve turnout.
Of his anniversary: “It’s rather surreal,” said Stoehr, who gave Pioneer Press cameras (view the webisode at www.northbrook.suntimes.com) a private concert.
“You know, you don’t have that many sections of twenty fives of life and to imagine that I have been here already for 25 of those years is rewarding.”
Cantor Stoehr, who is penning a book, resides a short distance from Temple Beth Shalom.
His office is “eclectic,” he says proudly, complete with puppets, artwork and family photos.
“Silver is a precious commodity,” said Stoehr. “And I think the price just keeps going up.
“We have developed from a small community, a very small synagogue that began in somebody’s home, many years ago…
“And we’ve developed almost a 1,300-family congregation, so that jewel, if you will, or that precious metal, is something that I am glad to be a part of.”
He is also proud of Northbrook being a diverse faith-based community. “It‘s a powerful thing.
“When St. Norbert (Catholic Church/Northbrook) had this terrible summer of loss, “ he said, referring to the recent wave of young adult deaths, “and they were looking for ways to heal, we had sessions here in our community to try to help people heal, we felt their pain.”
A weekend-long celebration is planned to honor the Stoehrs.
Friday, Nov. 30 will include a Festive ShabbaTone with guest cantors Alisa Pomerantz-Boro and David Propis.
Saturday, Dec. 1., will be a traditional cantorial Shabbat featuring the Chai-Five Ensemble and a Kiddush luncheon.
Sun. Dec. 2 will include a brunch and musical toast/roast.
If his colorful office could sum up his career, Stoehr said with a laugh, “There’s no pot of gold, but maybe that pot of gold is actually silver, and I do feel as if I’ve hit the jackpot.”
For more information, call the synagogue office at 847-498-4100 or visit Facebook.com/stoehrcelebration.