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8501 Ridge Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

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James & Lori Reidel

As lifelong members, our Rockdale Temple has always played an important role in the life of our family. Lori’s parents, Sue and Skip Richard, set the example especially with Sue becoming Rockdale’s first woman President. As young girls, Sally and Lori would almost look forward to Religious School at “Old” Rockdale as mom usually picked us up with a bag of White Castles! Those were the very early days when we sang in the choir with Student Rabbi Mark Goldman as our choir leader. 
From “Old” Rockdale to “New” Rockdale, we have enjoyed seeing our family photos along the photo hallway. Observing the Women of Rockdale create, taste test, and publish the 
In the Beginning cookbooks brought a sense of pride in what Rockdale could make happen. Jim’s devotion to Judaism led to conversion study with the celebration ceremony in New York City by Rabbi Richard S. Chapin, fellow alumnus of Lori’s Hamilton/Kirkland College. Through our NYC travels and Jersey life, it always brought us joy to find previous Rockdale Religious School teachers—now Rabbis—at each town we chose as home until we returned to Cincinnati. 
Shortly after we returned to Cincinnati, sadness entered our family when Lori’s brother Eddie was killed in an automobile accident. Rabbi Mark Goldman came to Cincinnati prior to his installation to officiate at Eddie’s funeral—a somber, meaningful memory for us all that was blessed with kindness. And who lived on the same street as us at our first Cincinnati home but Rabbi Randi Musnitsky, one of Rockdale’s rabbinic interns and then Assistant Rabbi! Our second Cincinnati home also brought a great rabbinic connection. The boys’ favorite babysitter was Shena—now Rabbi Shena Potter Jaffee. I remember well the moment when teenage Shena shared her future hopes and dreams and knowing that the rabbinate would likely be a part of her path. Those were great early years. 
Becoming involved with Rockdale seemed obvious! Involvement was key through participation on various Rockdale committees including elementary, high school, and adult education, social action (yes, Rabbi Sissy Coran, z”l, and Lori came up with the ongoing annual event of Mitzvahpalooza!), and our Board of Directors. We raised all three of our sons at Rockdale. Lifecycle events including weddings (Rabbi Norman Cohen married us), Bar Mitzvahs (and Lori an adult B’nai Mitzvah with Rabbi Coran’s, z”l, first group in 2008), Confirmations, and so on. Sharing the observance of Shabbat and the practice of yoga with our Shal-OM yoga circle brought a sense of community for those who sought an alternative spiritual connection under our Rockdale roof or by Zoom in our sacred homes. K.K. Bene Israel/Rockdale Temple is a community of history, tradition, newness, and comfort. With that, we are proud to be members of the Rockdale Bene Israel Society, our legacy society. 

With devotion,
James and Lori Reidel

Fri, June 14 2024 8 Sivan 5784