September is a double-simcha month in the Entous household as Wise founding generation members Karen and Allan Entous both celebrate their 80th birthdays (September 1 and 13, respectively). On this milestone occasion, Karen and Allan took some time to reflect on their wonderful history with Wise (now spanning three generations) and their most beloved memories, including getting married in the home of Rabbi Isaiah and Florence Zeldin in 1965.
One of the best things that happened in Karen Entous’ life was meeting Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin and his wife Florence in 1959 (they shared a common relative). It was a pivotal moment. Karen and Allan Entous were later married by Rabbi Zeldin in his home in 1965 — the Zeldins’ sons Michael and Joel held up the chuppah.
“Participating in Jewish life was important to us. It became a part of our weekly calendar,” Karen said. “The original temple started in the fall of 1964 utilizing two churches in Westwood for Friday night services and the Leo Baeck Temple site for religious school. I taught in the initial program under Principal Mary Zwerin.”
Karen and Allan were part of the first Mommy and Me classes in 1976. Their sons Dan, Robert, and Marc all attended summer camp programs, religious school, and each became Bar Mitzvah at Wise.
Karen and Allan have traveled with the Wise community on many occasions. Two trips with the temple stand out. Together, they helped celebrate Rabbi’s Zeldin 85th birthday in Israel in 2005. Recently they were part of the 2016 trip to Spain with Cantor Nathan Lam and the Cantors Assembly.
The Wise connection has been passed down to the next two generations. Marc and Robert attended Wise School. Marc is an intricate part of daily operations at Wise, serving as the Director of Information Technology. He and his wife Tonia (married in 2007 by Rabbi Eli Herscher and Cantor Lam) proudly send their children Jonah, Jayden, and Jordan to Wise School and Camp Wise in the summer.
“Now that we are turning 80, we reflect on all the years our family has been involved with Stephen Wise Temple and see how the leadership from the clergy has enriched our lives,” said Karen and Allan. “Many of the congregants have become part of our extended family. We have built relationships that have become meaningful.”
Karen added that “one of our greatest joys is observing Marc and Tonia’s children at Wise School. Where else can one find a renewal of spirit in times that have become too stressful? Where else can one gain courage and strength to lead? What better place than Stephen Wise Temple to celebrate life by coming together as a community and being concerned for one another.”