Kalman Resnick

Profile Updated: January 19, 2021
Kalman Resnick
Residing In Chicago, IL USA
Spouse/Partner Benetta Mansfield
Occupation Attorney
Children Daughter: Sarah Resnick
Son: Jonah Resnick
Stepdaughter: Briana Nichols
Stepson: Adam Nichols
Grandsons: More…Abraham Garza Resnick Miller and Ezekiel Holden Resnick Miller
Yes! Attending Reunion

I have been working as a lawyer in Chicago since 1973. I practice immigration, labor, employment, and civil rights law. I am pleased that as a lawyer I have been able to defend the least powerful members of our society.

My wife, Benetta Mansfield, and I are progressive activists involved in political campaigns and many efforts to make our society more just and less unequal.

We enjoy living in a condo on the Chicago River and being close to many arts and music venues we enjoy.

My daughter Sarah and my son Jonah are both ETHS graduates where I am pleased to report they had a terrific educational experience. Sarah lives in Chicago, is also an attorney, and currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for David Orr, the Cook County Clerk. Jonah is an executive chef at Carbone at the Aria in Las Vegas. Sarah and her husband Paul are the parents of Abraham. Their second son is due in May. Benetta and I greatly enjoy being grandparents.

School Story

I am most proud to have been a member of the NAACP Youth Council while at ETHS and to have had the opportunity to support the struggles of our African American classmates to end racism and discrimination in our high school and our community. My experience at ETHS gave me the foundation for my career as a progressive lawyer and for my activism.

Kalman's Latest Interactions

Hide Comments
Kalman Resnick posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 25, 2021 at 4:16 PM

Posted on: Jan 18, 2021 at 10:31 AM

This Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday I want to honor Collete Hill (now Allen), my African American friend of 59 years, and her parents, Dr. Avery and Eleanor Hill, by telling the story of my New Year’s Day dinner at the Hill home on January 1, 1965. Colette was a classmate at Skiles Junior High School, Evanston Township High School, and later at Oberlin College. In 1965, I was a high school junior and Colette a sophomore. Evanston was still a largely segregated community with two YMCAs (one white and another, far inferior, African American), substantially segregated elementary schools and hospitals, rampant discrimination in housing, and a high school which officially restricted socializing between whites and African Americans and denied most African Americans access to college track clases. I was one of two whites in the NAACP Youth Council, the only youth organization fighting racism in the high school and the community. This Jewish boy had probably never eaten ham, let alone the black eyed peas and ham hocks Eleanor Hill served with dinner that night. Whites and African Americans rarely visited each other’s homes or socialized in 1965. During and after dinner Eleanor Hill told me the story of the lynching of her grandfather, Anthony Crawford, a successful cotton planter who in 1916 was lynched by the white people of Abbeville, South Carolina, because he demanded to be treated equally to white cotton planters in his business dealings. I learned that Anthony Crawford was lynched to deny him his success as a cotton planter and to terrorize other African Americans from seeking success and equality. Eleanor Hill explained to me that following the lynching her family and many other African American families fled the terror of Abbeville with many moving to Evanston. Eleanor Hill and Colette told me about all my high classmates whose families had also fled Abbeville. I learned that evening about how much more racist Evanston was when Eleanor Hill was a high school student and restaurants, movie theaters and even the high school locker and lunch rooms were segregated.

That New Year’s Day dinner changed my life forever. It motivated me to deepen my involvement in the civil rights movement, to attend the Martin Luther King Jr. rally for freedom on the Winnetka Green in the summer of 1965, volunteer with Martin Luther King’s Vietnam Summer campaign against the war during the summer of 1967, and become an anti-war activist at Oberlin, to campaign for Carl Stokes to become the mayor of Cleveland, the first African American Mayor of a major American city, and for Harold Washington to become the first American American mayor of Chicago. That evening taught me how connected all justice struggles are and led to my involvement in many other justice struggles, including the struggles for worker and immigrant rights.

Dr. Hill died many years ago but Eleanor Hill at 93 is still teaching about the lynching of her grandfather and the racism her family experienced in Abbeville and Evanston and Colette as the director of Family Focus is struggling for equality for African Americans and Latinos in Evanston. This Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday I want to salute my friend Colette and her parents for opening their home and their history to me and helping make me the justice advocate I try to be every day of my life. I urge all of you to rededicate yourselves to the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream for a just America. Take the time to review this Equal Justice Initiative link and watch the video about Anthony Crawford’s life and lynching: https://eji.org/news/abbeville/?fbclid=IwAR0wCABNcQZwXLFSLxn0xW61TAq8u2Ei-y2GerSxmUaF11kNTEdB98O_gig

Kalman Resnick has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Jan 15, 2021 at 12:03 PM

Mary Pettigree  (on the far right in both photographs) in the summer of our 50th reunion. 
I will miss her energy and enthusiasm.
May her memory be for a blessing for all of us and 
all who experienced her life.



Kalman Resnick has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Jan 15, 2021 at 12:03 PM

Mary Ann Pettigree  (on the far right in both photographs) in the summer of our 50th reunion. 
I will miss her energy and enthusiasm.
May her memory be for a blessing for all of us and 
all who experienced her life.



Kalman Resnick has a birthday today.
Oct 04, 2020 at 4:33 AM
Sep 27, 2020 at 1:08 PM

Dear Kal,

Happy blessed birthday wishes to you. Also, happy Yom Kippur! I hope and trust that you will have time to appreciate the value of both of these occasions. All the best to you. Have a great day of celebration and joy. Much love and blessings!


Kalman Resnick has a birthday today. New comment added.
Oct 30, 2019 at 1:40 PM

Posted on: Oct 04, 2019 at 4:34 AM

Sep 27, 2019 at 10:02 PM

Dear Kal,

Happy blessed birthday wishes my friend. I hope that your day and year will provide for you all of the joys and desires of your heart. All the best to you and your family.. Much love and blessings.


Kalman Resnick posted a message. New comment added.
Oct 18, 2018 at 10:41 PM

Posted on: Oct 14, 2018 at 11:45 PM

I wanted to share with my classmates the eulogy I gave today in East Lansing, Michigan, for our friend Steven Charles Jackson who died on September 16, 2018:


As Jews we imagine that every human being is created in G-d’s image and that we have within us the capacity to use that power to be best version of ourselves at every moment of our lives. If that is true, then I hope G-d has all the qualities that made my friend Steve the kind, loving, and caring man he was for seventy years.

Steve and I met at Lee Street Beach in Evanston in July 1962, just a month and half before we started Evanston Township High School. Back then Steve was known as “Charlie”; and I was known as “Kal.” We came from different worlds. Steve lived in a beautiful home near Lake Michigan in what my family politely called the Waspy part of town. I lived in a mostly Jewish neighborhood in Southwest Evanston where Jews who wanted to send their children to Evanston schools began moving in the 1950s. Our worlds came together that July and we were friends for the next 56 years.

After freshman year, Steve’s parents, Lois and Graham, invited me to join him at Big Star Lake near Baldwin, Michigan, where Steve’s maternal grandfather had built a summer home in the early 1900s. For the next four years, I spent several weeks each summer at Big Star Lake with Steve’s family. At Big Star I met Steve’s brothers, Graham and Andy. I think it is safe to say that Steve was seen by his parents as a challenging adolescent whose behavior was often at the boundary of what was considered acceptable. Steve’s parents knew that I was a conscientious student who they hoped might have a moderating influence on him. I am not sure who influenced each other more. One thing I know is that I learned at Big Star Lake how to enjoy life a lot more than I had ever imagined. Steve and I treasured our memories of our Big Star adventures.

As adolescent boys and as adult men, Steve and I had an amazing friendship. We were never rivals, never jealous of each other, and always on the same team.

We ended high school double dating on prom night. After high school, life took us on different journeys. I went off to Oberlin College where I became a leader of the campus anti-war movement. Steve ended up in the US Navy where he discovered the secret to staying out of combat was to keep volunteering for more ever more dangerous training until his enlistment was over. The best thing that came out of Steve’s Navy experience was being stationed in Hawaii where he met the love of his life, Barbara. Barb was teaching in Hawaii after college. Quite remarkable that two people from the northern suburbs of Chicago found each other in Honolulu. Not long after meeting, Barb and Steve ended up sitting next to each other on the same flight home for the winter holidays, and the rest is history. I stood up at Barb and Steve’s wedding with my parents proud to be sitting on the Jackson side.
Steve and Barb moved to East Lansing so that Steve could finish college and Barb found a job teaching special education in the Lansing public schools. I came back to Chicago after law school and eventually moved to Evanston with my family.

The challenges of midlife distanced Steve and me for a while but when Beth was in junior high school she met a friend of my son’s and found a way to bring Steve and I together again.

Steve, Barb, Benetta and I shared so many blessings: my marriage, Steve’s Bar Mitzvah, the weddings of Aaron and Erika, Beth and Donny, Sarah and Paul, Briana, Benetta’s daughter, and Jose, and Heather, Steve’s niece and Graham and Susan’s daughter, and our friend Ashraf, and the births of seven grandchildren. There were long weekends in Chicago, Big Star, and Scottsdale and always time for music, the Blues, Jazz, and the Chicago Symphony.

There are many lessons we can learn from Steve’s life. I want to share three:

1. Live life like Steve did, directed by the best of your values. One of my favorite Steve stories was how in 1957 he threatened to cancel his 10th birthday party if one of his African American classmates wasn’t going to be welcome. Steve never compromised his essential beliefs.

2. Steve was always an empathetic listener. He made time to hear everyone’s story with caring ears, be it a family member, a neighbor, a friend or the stranger he just met. We should have such caring ears.

3. Steve never gave in to illness. MS didn’t conquer Steve; Steve conquered MS by kayaking, carpentry, biking with his recumbent bike, dancing, and more. He conquered it by roleplaying patients at the medical school so that medical students could learn how to become caring, empathetic physicians. Every time I want to feel sorry for myself because of some ache, pain or loss, Steve whispers to me to stop whining. Steve modeled how we should deal with aging and illness.

For most Jews, our only afterlife is the spin on our lives in the world we leave behind. Let’s keep Steve alive by learning from his life and living life fully committed to the best of our values. May our memory of Steve be a blessing for all of us. L’Chaim.

Kalman Resnick posted a message. New comment added.
Oct 13, 2018 at 11:13 PM

Posted on: Oct 13, 2018 at 5:51 AM

Tomorrow we will celebrate the life of Steve Jackson, a close friend for 56 years since shortly before we started Evanston Township High Schoo together. Steve died on September 16, 2018, at his home in Haslett, Michigan. His death makes the blues we enjoyed listening even bluer. May Steve’s love of life and affection for every human being he met live on in all of us. May his courage in the face of life’s challenge empower us to live life more fully. May his memory be a blessing for us all.

Kalman Resnick has a birthday today. New comment added.
Oct 07, 2018 at 12:48 PM

Posted on: Oct 04, 2018 at 4:33 AM

Kalman Resnick posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 19, 2018 at 8:45 PM

Posted on: Sep 18, 2018 at 11:54 PM

It’s with great sadness that I write this post to advise my classmates of the death of Steve Jackson this past Sunday, September 16, 2018. On Sunday I posted this notice about Steve’s death on Facebook:

“Today my friend for 56 years, Steve Jackson, died suddenly at his home in Michigan. We met at Lee Street Beach in July 1962 a few months before we started freshman year at Evanston Township High School. I stood up at his wedding to Barbara, attended the weddings of his son Aaron and his daughter Beth, and enjoyed many visits to his family’s summer home on Big Star Lake near Baldwin, Michigan. Barb and Steve attended my wedding to Benetta, and we shared many visits with them. Steve lived life with dignity, embracing all that was good in every human being he met. He never let life’s challenges get in the way of his enthusiasm for life and his joy in his family and friends. Steve was planning to take the train this coming Friday to Chicago for a mini-reunion with several of our high school classmates and a night at the symphony with me on Saturday. Steve will live on within me and and in the lives of my wife, my children, Sarah and Jonah, and my grandchildren. May our memory of Steve motivate us to embrace all the goodness that defined his life.”

As we enter our 70s and face the challenges of aging and loss, let’s remember Steve who saw each day as an opportunity to live life fully and to embrace his family, his friends, indeed every human being he encountered, with exuberant affection and kindness.

Kalman Resnick added a comment on his Profile.
Jul 29, 2018 at 10:08 AM
Kalman Resnick has a birthday today. New comment added.
Oct 10, 2017 at 10:53 AM

Posted on: Oct 04, 2017 at 4:34 AM

Oliver A. Ruff posted a message on Kalman Resnick's Profile. New comment added.
Oct 01, 2017 at 12:57 AM

Posted on: Sep 30, 2017 at 11:56 PM

Dear Kal,

It was such a joy seeing you during the 50th class reunion. I hope that you are enjoying your retirement. I think that I heard correctly that you semi-retired. Happy early blessed birthday wishes to you. Happy Yum Kippur also. Take care and enjoy your special day.


Kalman Resnick added a comment on his Profile.
Feb 19, 2017 at 8:17 AM
Kalman Resnick has a birthday today.
Oct 04, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Kalman Resnick has left an In Memory comment for Martha Beck.
Sep 04, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Martha Beck and I attended Dawes School.  Martha went with the half of our Dawes sixth grade class that lived south of Oakton to Nicholas and i went with the half of the class that lived north of Oakton to Skiles.  We met back up at ETHS freshman year.  Martha was a brilliant and creative student.  Unlike many of us, Martha was by choice or nature a  non-conformist.   I remember reading her obituary during the spring of my frehman year at Oberlin after she died in a dormitory fire at Corenell University. When spring arrives each year, I remember Martha.  I marvel at the gifts life has given me and consider how tragic it was that Martha's life ended when she was so young and before she had a chance to fulfill the promise of her brilliance and creativity. May her memory be a blessing.   

Kalman Resnick updated his profile. View.
Sep 03, 2016 at 9:03 PM
Kalman Resnick added a comment on his Profile.
Feb 12, 2016 at 9:33 AM