As Hurricane Dorian roars on, Federation opens relief fund

Even as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the eastern seaboard, and the scope of the devastation in the Bahamas is just beginning to be known, the Jewish Federation of Chicago has launched an emergency relief fund to aid recovery efforts. Donations to the Jewish Federation Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund can be made at donatenow.juf.org/disaster , by calling (312) 444-2869, or by sending …

Rabbi Conover Reflects on her trip to Poland

Our town is burning, brother, burning, Our poor little town is burning, Angry winds are fanning higher The leaping tongues of flame and fire, The evil winds are roaring! Our whole town burns! And you stand looking on with folded arms, And shake your heads. You stand looking on with folded arms, While the fire spreads! –from “Our Town is …

This Summer at OSRUI

“OSRUI is a great place to meet new friends and get closer to old friends. Tubing, waterskiing, sailing – so much fun!” -Sam Bayer, Gesher camper This summer at URJ Camp OSRUI, I spent June 30-July 14 on segel (faculty) for my fourth summer with Tiferet Aleph, a program for budding artists. I wish I had gone when I was a kid! Our middle …

Rabbi Conover’s Trip to Israel

Temple Sholom’s Associate Rabbi, Rabbi Shoshanah Conover, just returned from a two-week trip to Israel as part of her role as a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. Read about the amazing experience she and her family had and its impact on 2019-20 Temple Sholom programming. “A person is recognized by their conversaion.” –Chaim Nachman Bialik The way that …

Or Chadash

Known in the social justice and personal equality arena, Temple Sholom of Chicago did it once again in 2016 by becoming the first Reform Synagogue in Chicago to integrate an LGBTQ-focused congregation into its general congregation. It’s been an incredible success! Or Chadash has dedicated events, programming and services as part of the Temple Sholom family. Each June, during PRIDE …

Reflecting on B’yachad, our Havdalah Family Learning Club Pilot

Based on a recommendation from Temple Sholom’s Strategic Planning initiative, we recently piloted a new family education model called “B’yachad: Family Learning Club” for a small group of families with 4- and 5-year-olds not yet enrolled in Religious School. B’yachad means “together” and this program was based around best practices from our Yom Horim (Parent’s Day) events, Shabbat Mishpacha and …

Our Teens Speak Truth To Power

Eleven of our amazing high school students attended the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar at the Religious Action Center in D.C. in February to learn about the Reform Jewish perspective on contemporary issues and prepare to lobby our representatives on Capitol Hill regarding issues they are passionate about! In a democracy like the United States, all rights begin with the right to vote. As …

Building Community with Dinosaurs?

I wasn’t sure how the dinosaur theme was going to work out. Each year we empower our 8th grade Religious School class with the task of selecting the theme for our fall 5th-8th grade youth retreat URJ Camp OSRUI. Over the past few years they’ve picked fun, normal themes like food, movies and music, and we’ve made connections to Jewish …

Reflections on Pittsburgh by Eli Perlin

In the past week our country has seen the hate that lives within it. On Wednesday a man shot and killed two people in a Kroger store because they were African-American. During this time, bombs were being mailed to Democratic officials by a man who had spewed hate online towards minorities. Then on Saturday morning a gunman shouting antisemitic slurs …

Pittsburgh Reflections by Sophie Rhodes

It is hard to imagine terrible things happening in our own community. Temple Sholom is, for myself and many others, a second home. We consider it a safe place to be. We would never expect something tragic to happen in a place like this, with such a large community and so much security. When the seventh graders that I help …