Funeral Details

Rabbi Shlomo D. Levine

March 1, 1938 - March 16, 2024


Date and Time

Monday, March 18, 2024 at 1:30 PM


Chicago Jewish Funerals
Skokie Chapel
8851 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, Illinois 60077
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Rabbi Jeffrey Weill
Ezra Habonim The Niles Township Jewish Congregation
Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
Cantor Benjamin Warschawski


New Light Cemetery
6807 North East Prairie
Lincolnwood, Illinois 60712
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Geva/Strauss Residence
1116 Michigan Avenue
Evanston, Illinois 60202
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Monday following the burial until 9PM
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 7PM to 9:30PM
Friday from 3PM to 6PM
Sunday from 2PM to 6PM

Shiva Coordinator: Deborah Hamilton - 847.207.0946

Memorial Contributions

Chicago Jewish Day School
3730 North California Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60618
Ezra-Habonim the Niles Township Jewish Congregation
4500 Dempster Street
Skokie, Illinois 60076


Rabbi Shlomo Levine passed away on Shabbat, March 16, 2024 at the age of 86 after a long illness. His parents were Benjamin and Lena Levine. Shlomo was born on March 1, 1938 in Brooklyn, NY where he spent his formative years and where he was actively involved with a committed group of Jewish teens in early 1950s New York. This teen group evolved over time, and eventually morphed into the United Synagogue Youth (USY). At age 15, he was the first representative of USY to attend the Youth Leaders Training Institute from Abroad (Machon LeMadrichei Chutz La-Aretz), spending a year living and studying in Israel. This experience shaped his commitment to the Jewish people and played a significant role in his subsequent decision to become a Rabbi. Prior to Shlomo's Rabbinic career and before he attended the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), Shlomo was a youth director at large congregations in Chicago and White Plains, NY. He spent his junior year, 1966-67, in Israel and was in Jerusalem with his first wife Ellen and two-year old daughter Devorah when the '67 war began. After sending his family home on the first flight out, Shlomo remained in Israel as a volunteer until the end of the war. He had the privilege of walking in rubble to the Kotel the day after it was liberated. After returning from Israel for his senior year at JTS, Shlomo, not yet ordained, was permitted to become the Assistant Rabbi to Dr. Joachim Prinz at Congregation B'nai Abraham in Newark, NJ. Dr. Prinz, the former Chief Liberal Rabbi of Berlin and a President of the World Jewish Congress, had a profound influence on Shlomo's professional life. After ordination, Rabbi Levine served four congregations during his career: in Hampton, VA; Chicago, IL; West Palm Beach, FL; and Knoxville, TN. During his seven-year tenure as Rabbi at Rodef Shalom in Hampton, Shlomo earned a doctorate in Educational Psychology at the College of William and Mary, and he then taught part time at Hampton University. During this period, Shlomo was also President of the Tidewater Board of Rabbis. Most of his career was spent in Chicago at Congregation Ezra-Habonim, and during the course of his tenure, he served briefly on the National Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly. Shlomo also rose to become the President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis. While in Chicago, he wrote two monographs, one about single parenting and the other about blended families; both of which were published by United Synagogue. Following retirement, Shlomo continued to lead a monthly service at the Lieberman Geriatric Center in Skokie, IL until 2018, and he studied Talmud weekly. You could often find Shlomo surrounded by stacks of periodicals, magazines, and newspapers that delved into a vast array of subjects, including Religion, Education, Psychology, Philosophy, and Politics. Shlomo and his wife Annabel, the love of his life, enjoyed 45 years of marriage and traveled the world together. Above all, nothing brought more joy to Shlomo than spending time with his family. He was a devoted husband, father, and Zeyde, and he cherished any opportunity to visit with his children and grandchildren. He had a generous heart and a warm smile.
Rabbi Levine is survived by his children: Devorah Levine (Mike Hinckley) and Joshua Levine (Rachel); his step-children: Adam Strauss (Celia z”l) and Joshua Strauss (Anat Geva); and his grandchildren: Daniel &Jonah Hinckley, Sam & Sophie Levine, Kalman Strauss, and Avital & Toren Strauss.
FUNERAL Monday, March 18 at 1:30 PM Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL 60077. Service will also be live streamed and available after the event on the Chicago Jewish Funerals website.
BURIAL New Light Cemetery, 6807 E. Prairie Road, Lincolnwood, IL 60712.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: Chicago Jewish Day School, 3730 N. California Ave., Chicago IL 60618 ( or Ezra-Habonim, The Niles Township Jewish Congregation , 4500 Dempster Street, Skokie, IL 60076 (


We encourage you to share your personal condolences and stories of Rabbi Shlomo D. Levine below and we will share them with the family.
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A colleague and dear friend from the time that I worked for Slomo as a youth leader in White Plains in 1961. Devoted to the Jewish people and to his family and Annabel. His memory is a blessing

Yaacov Rone
March 17, 2024
Shlomo was one of the most welcoming people in our building. He was so happy to see everyone and chat a little bit. My heartfelt condolences for your loss.

Cissy Lacks
March 17, 2024
From Jerusalem Bryna and I send our condolences to Annabel and the family. I came to Chicago from JTS in 1976 and served in 2 pulpits there until 2019. Shlomo was a good friend, a mentor and wonderful colleague. He continually offered words of encouragement to me in my work in the pulpit, in the Chicago Jewish community and in the world-wide Jewish community in which I held a number of positions. He always gave good advice and counsel and I knew it came from a point of caring and concern for me, for the Jewish people and for the State of Israel. He made his mark and will be missed.
May his memory be for a blessing.

Vernon Kurtz
March 19, 2024
Dear Annabel:

I am Jerry Felsenthal. My parents, German-Jewish refugees Robert and Edith Felsenthal, helped found Temple Ezra, as it was known then. I was born in 1948 and I grew up in the Synagogue. Rabbi Levine, obm, was the first American born Rabbi for our congregation. I still remember Rabbi Levine doing the funeral service for the previous Rabbi, Rabbi Sud, obm. I remember Shlomo's last line on that day, "Goodbye Ira, my old friend". (forgive me for using the name Shlomo, sometimes). Rabbi Levine, as you know, was a social worker before being a Rabbi. I once asked him why he became a Rabbi and he said, "Because I wanted to run my own show". Shlomo was a terrific Rabbi and made everyone feel special. His warmth was palpable. He was a real mensch. Yet, in no way was he a pushover. I grew up in a German-Jewish home that had no kashrut. That was the way my parents grew up in Germany and that's the way the lived here. However, they were proud Jews. The Temple was much like it was in Germany, with a choir and an organ player. When I met my wife and we came to Shlomo for a pre-wedding meeting, the Rabbi told us that the wedding luncheon had to be kosher. We were shocked. Neither one of us had grown up in a home that observed Kashrut. My wife's parents had grown up in Hungary and were survivors of the Holocaust there. My mother-in law and my father in law had numbers tattooed on their arms. My mother in law, whom I know the most about, survived the cattle cars, slave labor and a 200 mile Death March near the end of the war. They both had grown up in strictly Orthodox homes, but were not as observant in Chicago. I understood. My wife was born in Budapest in 1953. But the Rabbi held his ground. If the wedding luncheon was not kashrut, he would not do the wedding ceremony. So, we ordered kashrut for the luncheon. We moved, eventually, to Wilmette where our first child, Adam, was born. I was on the Board of Ezra-Habonim for a year or two and Howard Hoffman was then the President of the shul. As you may remember, Howard and the Rabbi butted heads. While on the Board, I believe that the Rabbi told me, he was not under contract with the Congregation. I was shocked and brought up the matter with the Board, which was also shocked, except for Howard. I also requested the Board show financial transparency by listing all expenses, like condominium associations do. I remember the Rabbi saying, "I have no problem with that. Let them know how little I make, compared to other Rabbis". When Rabbi Levine announced he was leaving Ezra-Habonim for Florida, that was the death knell of the synagogue. The Rabbi was the one holding us together. I still remember visiting him after that announcement, and seeing him in an all white suit, which made him look like a true Southerner. I also remember visiting you in your home, with my wife, for lunch once. Your son, I remember, had been attacked and beaten by a Moslem student at his high school. You and the Rabbi visited with the parents of the Moslem student, to express your outrage. That memory is so poignant for me in light of all the Jewish students in high schools and colleges today, who are attacked for wearing a Star of David, or defending Israel. I also remember talking to your son, at the table, and bringing out something that he was unhappy with. I remember the Rabbi saying, "It took an outsider to bring out something in our family", or words to that effect. I do remember playing tennis with the Rabbi once, in the park near our house in Wilmette. I remember him being better than me. But he was nice about it. He also said, "I believe I can do anything on a Saturday, except carry money". Then we left Wilmette for Highland Park, and raised our children Orthodox, in a Chabad Synagogue that I have been in for over 30 years. However, when our children left our home, for the East Coast and the West Coast, we became not so observant. My son, Adam, received smicha at Yeshiva University but is making a living as a lawyer. We did not have contact with Shlomo until one time I saw him at New Light, I believe it was with you. I briefly spoke to the Rabbi, but it seemed to me that he did not remember me, so I excused myself.

I want to express my condolences to you, your children and your grandchildren. The Jewish world has lost a great Rabbi, father and grandfather, and you have lost your beloved husband. I hope that your years together were mostly sweet and enjoyable and that you had many simchas together. Your husband, as I said before, was a mensch, and a man who moved people. He was a force to be reckoned with and a force for good. I will always remember your husband, and I am so happy that I, and my wife, met him. I remember that he penned a note to me, and my wife, that I still have, congratulating us on the birth of Adam, our first child. If I can be of any help or assistance to you, please feel free to call or email me. My phone number is 224-639-2231 and my email is I wish you, and your children and grandchildren, only good things in the coming years.

jerry felsenthal
March 24, 2024
Dear Annabel: I had forgotten, in my previous email, to tell you why I am writing to you today, March 24, 2024, and why I didn't attend the shiva. My wife was looking through the Tribune obits from March 17, 2024, today. We are both a little behind in our reading of the Chicago Tribune. She told me that she saw Rabbi Levine's obituary notice, I then read it and then sent you an email. Again, sorry I was not able to attend the funeral and shiva. I am sorrier still for the loss of the Rabbi. He touched me deeply.

Jerry Felsenthal

jerry felsenthal
March 24, 2024