WANTED: Music Lovers; Your Voices; You — to join us!

Sure I’m a musician, and yep I’m biased, but I can’t imagine anything more rewarding, more fulfilling, more spiritually uplifting and more fun than “making” music together. Most of my greatest memories are of singing or playing with friends who are dearest to my heart. Joining in the grandeur and mystery of human voices raised in song is truly one of the Devine’s most humbling gifts. But we need you! Cantor Katzman, Shir Shalom’s choristers and I have great plans for Temple Sholom’s music world, but none of it can happen without you. Plain and simple, we want to draft you!! We know that with nearly 1,000 families in our congregation that there are scores of talented individuals currently singing in the shower; or in the car along with the radio; or whistling happy tunes. Regardless of the category into which you fit, we want you to help us to grow our music program.

On account of it’s June – LGBT Pride!

For me this is one of the most exciting times in the LGBT Community because June is Pride Month. Beginning June 1, the LGBT community will contemplate our accomplishments over the past year and look to the next year and think about what are our next steps we need to take towards taking a seat at the table of equality; we are going to cast a sharp and at times a critical eye at ourselves as individuals and as community as well as compare ourselves to the ally community. Pride Month is not all about contemplation because the LGBT community loves having fun and Pride provides an opportunity for us to celebrate with our families, friends, allies, business and spiritual associates the positive changes that have occurred in the community over the past year. All the above, is just run up to biggest celebration party, the Pride Parade.

Are you a kosher culture vulture?

While Temple Sholom takes a Summer break from our Adult Ed and Religious School,
Saturday morning Minyan and Spirituality groups as well as our busy affiliates sponsor events year round. www.sholomchicago.org

But while we have longer days and warmer temps, let’s explore the greater Chicago Jewish experiences.

Check out some of the Jewish themed events happening now…

Mel Brooks documentary on PBS: Retrospective on his career.


The Pianist of Willesden Lane: Royal George Theatre, memoir of Lisa Yura as portrayed by her daughter.


The Invasion of Skokie: Mayer Kaplan JCC 5050 W. Dempster, Skokie. Drama explores the Nazi petition to march in Skokie in 1978


Shalom Chicago: Chicago History Museum, Clark Street at North Avenue*


Chicago Jewish Festival: June 10 Niles*


*family friendly

Support A Moratorium on Fracking in Illinois

Many of you may have heard about fracking but not be aware of what it is and the controversy surrounding this method of drilling for natural gas and oil. Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is the process of drilling for natural gas or oil using a large volume of water mixed with chemicals and sand. This is injected with high pressure into underground rock to force out the natural gas and oil.

Love Pasta & Goat Cheese? – Meatless Monday from Temple Sholom

When I decided to really limit the amount of meat that I ate I worried that I would struggle to find recipes that I liked and were filling. It seemed like all of my favorite recipes contained meat and that every new recipe I pinned on Pinterest was meat based. My sister has been a vegetarian for the past year, and to hear her talk being a vegetarian meant there were essentially three things you could eat: a garden salad, baked potatoes, and spaghetti. It’s worth noting that my sister has always been a ridiculously picky eater. Once when we were little kids she went through a long phase where she would only eat spaghetti (angel hair only) and meatballs. When I thought about it I realized that the fact that her diet narrowed to salads and baked potatoes actually had nothing to do with her being a vegetarian.
I knew that I really wanted to reduce the amount of meat I ate. It has been a goal of mine for a while, and the more I learn about the impact the meat industry has on the environment and the realities of factory farming the more important that goal becomes. I decided the easiest way to build a meatless recipe collection was to focus on what meat-free foods I knew I liked and searched for recipes that included them. I was surprised when I went through my cookbooks, recipes I’d saved online, and ones that were clipped up on my refrigerator how many meatless recipes I’d already highlighted as favorites. That definitely made going meatless more often a little easier.
There are few things I love more in the food world than pasta (of any kind) and goat cheese. So when I stumbled across a recipe that included both, could be completed in less than 30 minutes and only had two steps I knew I had to try it.

Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula
Source: MarthaStewart.com
• Prep Time 10 minutes
• Total Time 25 minutes
• Yield Serves 4
• Coarse salt and ground pepper
• 3/4 pound gemelli or other short pasta
• 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (3 ounces)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 bunch arugula (8 ounces), torn
• 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water. In a large bowl, toss pasta with beans and goat cheese.
2. Make dressing: In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard and season with salt and pepper. (To store, refrigerate pasta mixture and dressing separately, up to 1 day.) To serve, toss pasta mixture with dressing, arugula, and onion.

A Sweet Story

So, I am teaching on my new book at a local temple in Miami and someone comes up to share with me a Temple Sholom of Chicago story. Back in 1999, she was a new college graduate, singing in the Lyric Opera of Chicago and doing some work with Second City. She was alone in Chicago. She lived a few blocks away from Temple Sholom. Rosh Hashanah was approaching and she felt so lonely for her home back in Miami. She was an advertisement for practically free membership for twenty-somethings at Temple Sholom and she decided to check out Friday night services. While hazy on the details she remembers feeling an overriding wave of welcome and friendship from the moment she walked into the building.

Almost fifteen years later she still smiles as she remembers the warmth. She only stayed in Chicago a couple of years, but the friendliness of Temple Sholom of Chicago made all the difference.

I thought the congregation should know!

Temple Sholom History: Mayfair Day! May 1, 1963

Do you want to be THE MAYFAIR LADY?
50 years ago, Temple Sholom celebrated a MayFair, which sounds like a blast. The hall was dressed for May Day, “Fete Du Muguet”, with “a bower of beautiful shops”. The idea was to transport you to the continent of Europe – reminiscent of “Paree so Gay” or the eternal city with “authentic Italian décor and music”. There was everything imaginable for sale and every hour a special prize was awarded to one lucky attendant. Sitter service was available for “Trained tots”.

Happy May! If you get the right coupons, maybe you too could be The MAYFAIR LADY!
One thing I wonder about – there are many references to “The Little Theatre” – where was that at the Temple? – I’ll have to do more research.
Does anyone have any more info on this event ? It sounds as though it was amazing! Maybe MayFair will live again, one day.

Are the Chemicals in Your Shampoo Bad for You?

As strange as it may seem, although pesticides and pharmaceuticals are tested before being put on the market, many industrial chemicals found in every day products have not been tested for safety. That means your detergents may have chemicals that are bad for you. Similarly, flame retardants put on textiles, like your comfy couch or pajamas, may contain dangerous chemicals. No one knows.

How to be more organic. Meatless Monday’s From Temple Sholom’s Eco Chavura

I spent my Friday night with Jillian Michaels. It was the kind of deal where you paid a ridiculous amount of money for an expert to tell you a bunch of stuff you really already knew (like to lose weight all you need to do is eat less and move more) and a few things that you didn’t know but probably should. Like a bottle of zero calorie butter flavored spray actually has 1200 calories in the entire bottle.
The most important thing I learned during her lecture was the realities of what genetic modification is doing to our meat supply. She showed us pictures of two cows – one a normal cow and the other genetically modified. The difference was staggering. As you can imagine the same cut of beef will also look shockingly different. Most importantly its quality will be dramatically different. What’s scary is that when we go to Jewel or Dominicks and buy beef we are most likely buying beef that came from a genetically modified cow (and this does not just apply to beef, but all meat). To be sure that we’re not getting a genetically modified meat product we have to read labels carefully, in the case of beef we want to make sure that the label says grass fed on it.

Temple Sholom’s Elephant

At this year’s Olam HaMitzvot, Temple Sholom raised $135 to foster an orphan elephant baby at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery in Kenya. Here’s the latest news (and an adorable picture) of “our” baby.”