Remembering Joan Shepard Lustig
It is with profound sadness that we mark the death of our congregation president, Joan Shepard Lustig. Joan passed away early on the morning of August 21, 2014 surrounded by her loved ones. Our hearts go out to Jim and the entire family.
Last fall (2014) in her president’s column in the Achshav, Joan wrote that, when she and Jim moved to Wisconsin nearly 10 years ago, she found our congregation and in particular, the services led by Rabbi Feingold so inviting, that she actively supported the idea of she and Jim becoming members. How fortunate we are that she and Jim made this choice as they have eached served our congregation with skill and selflessness.
In her beautiful eulogy, Rabbi Feingold observed that, “It is no secret to those who knew Joan well that she did not know how to be idle. From her years as a young psychological social worker in an inner city children’s hospital in Chicago to her leadership within the Illinois Kidney Foundation and then with the National Kidney Foundation; from her consulting work that took her to serve YWCAs and Public Television, among many other non-profits, and ultimately to be recognized as the right person at the right time to serve as president of our synagogue, Joan was someone who loved to be busy, to give of herself and help others with her enormous skills. This may help to explain to some why the seriousness of her illness over these past months was not apparent.
Joan wanted to keep doing what she always did and was very insistent on wanting to keep serving her clients and to remain president of our congregation in spite of an incredibly tough treatment regimen and considerable discomfort. … She had a special talent for guiding organizations through transitions and advising those who led those organizations. Beth Hillel benefited from her shepherding and support and the forthright, tactful and clear-sighted way in which it was delivered–always combined with good humor. Our temple community was very fortunate to have her at the helm during a time of challenging opportunities.”
Joan Shepard Lustig’s Torat Chayim Fund
This fund has been established with the donations received in memory of Joan by Jim Lustig as approved by the Leadership Council. Torat Chayim means Torah of Life. The principle of the fund will provide funding for guest speakers and performers and for special enhancements to the communal observance of Jewish holidays and Shabbat at Beth Hillel Temple. It is anticipated that programming initiated by the Adult Education, Religious School, Events, and Ritual committees will all be enhanced by the availability of these funds.
We encourage donations to this fund. To do so, you may donate on-line or you may download a form and mail your donation with a note designating the purpose of your donation to the Temple office.
Thank you to Jim and to Joan, z”l. As Rabbi Feingold noted, as in the words of the Proverbs, sometimes recited at the Shabbat table, Joan was “a woman of valor, ..[whose] worth is far above jewels. “