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Liesl M. Blockstein Annual Memorial Program at Temple Beth El
February 2007

Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi will be the speaker at the annual Liesl M. Blockstein Memorial Lecture on Sunday, February 11 at 11 AM, at Temple Beth El, 2702 Arbor Drive. Judge Sumi will be speaking about “Judicial Decision Making: Activism or Accountability?”  She will begin with a brief overview of what a circuit court judge does, and then discuss decision making and the values associated with it--including Jewish values. Temple Beth El and Jewish Social Services of Madison affectionately host and co-sponsor this event. A light brunch follows the lecture.

Judge Maryann Sumi is a Dane County Circuit Judge, having been appointed in 1998, elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2005.  She currently presides over civil cases, but has also served as a criminal court judge and as presiding judge of juvenile court from 2000-2004.  In September 2003 Judge Sumi taught principles of American civil law to judges in Shanghai, China, through the University of Wisconsin Law School.  In 2006, she was selected to represent the Dane County judiciary at the Simon Weisenthal Center’s National Institutes Against Hate Crimes and Terrorism.
Judge Sumi is a 1976 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School.  Prior to her judicial appointment she served as an Assistant Attorney General at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.  She, her husband Carl Sinderbrand, and children Molly and Jacob are members of Temple Beth El. 

A brunch in Judge Sumi’s honor will be held at 11 a.m. in the Social Hall. Her formal remarks will take place at 11:30 a.m.  The entire community is invited for this lecture which is presented free of charge.  RSVP to Stefanie at 238-3123 or

Following her untimely death in a 1986 car accident, a fund was established by the family of Liesl M. Blockstein to preserve her memory.  That fund goes to support two purposes.  Wisconsin women who choose to study at the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion to become a rabbi, cantor or educator are eligible for scholarship support.  In addition an annual lecture takes place at Temple Beth El on the Sunday closest to Liesl’s birthday.  That lecture invites a Wisconsin woman involved in politics, academics, the arts and/or cultural affairs to address our community.  This lecture is co-sponsored by Temple Beth El and the Jewish Social Services in which Liesl was actively involved.