As I matured “Grandpa’s Temple” was still a large part of my life. When I was a little girl, my mother put my brother and me on a bus to go to Sunday School each week, and she told the bus driver to let us off on Diversey. Either my Grandpa Benesch or my Uncle Elmer Benesch would meet the bus and take us to Temple. If we were quiet during services, my brother and I would have the honor of collecting the prayer books used at the service. We always sat in row F and at the High Holidays, my Father, Fred Gilford, would have the honor of closing the doors. I was confirmed at Washington Boulevard Temple. On July 29, 1942, with only three days notice that my fiancé was to be “shipped off to war”, Rabbi Schwartz, the Rabbi at “Grandpa’s Temple” married me to David Hessell, my beloved husband of 64 years. The temple was truly a family affair since my aunt, Be a Benesch was president of the Sisterhod, and my uncle, Elmer was President of the Temple. Although I am 91 yard old, I still remember with great fondness the pride I had that I was a part of my “Grandpa’s Temple.”
And so when my granddaughter Jill told me that she and her husband, Daniel Denneqitz, had joined Oak Park Temple, I could not believe it She had no idea that she was joining a Temple which her Great, Great Grandfather had founded. My Great Grandchildren Isabel, Joshua, and Benjamin Dennewitz have become part of our family’s tradition. Oak Park Temple has become an important part of their lives; they lover their new friends and really love the services. How proud my Grandpa Benesch would be to know that the Temple he helped to establish had enriched the lives of five generations, and how proud I am to have been part of it also Washington Boulevard Temple/Ook Park Temple has been a sacred tradition in my family.
Elaine Gilford Hessell
Le Worth, FL 33467