Rain began falling Friday morning as dozens of people gathered at a synagogue in this Chicago suburb to remember the life of one of the seven people fatally shot at a Fourth of July parade in neighboring Highland Park.
Couples and families dressed in suits, blazers, and dresses walked into North Shore Congregation Israel, where the late Jacquelyn “Jacki” Lovi Sundheim, 63, had taught preschool and helped organize events.
“We are horrified. We are enraged,” Rabbi Wendi Geffen told the community gathered in the bright, spacious temple as light streamed through the windows.
Geffen added: “Jacki died because she was murdered. And in that, there is no comfort for us to take away as we mourn Jacki’s death — no silver lining, no light in the darkness.”
As Geffen shared memories of Sundheim’s life, many shed tears. At times, the crowd chuckled when speakers recalled how Sundheim, ever meticulous, used to manage staff at events, work the High Holidays and fiercely defend her loved ones. They described a teacher, traveler, baker, knitter, and lifelong congregant who was the glue of her community and the historian of her large family.
She was a protective older sister, a devoted wife, and her daughter’s best friend, Geffen said. The longtime Highland Park resident leaves a legacy of “kindness and devotion,” Geffen said.
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