Meatless Monday’s From Temple Sholom’s Eco Chavura

Did you know that one-fifth of the man made greenhouse gas emissions come from the meat industry? Or that for one pound of beef we use up to 2500 gallons of water? Or that the grazing the herds do is damaging our land quality? Crazy, right? Believe me I know that it can be overwhelming – there is so much information out there about how we can improve our environment – but there is one really small, easy change that we can all make that will have such huge rewards. All we have to do is just commit to going meatless once a week! One day, that’s it! By eliminating meat from our diets one day a week we can reduce our carbon footprint and help slow climate change. Not to mention we’re going to make ourselves healthier and be a little kinder to animals. Not bad for one day’s worth of work!

Writes of Passage – Commencement

Commencement, Shalom, Aloha
Such words have layered and multiple meanings embedded even within the same context.

Each spring, the Temple Sholom Crown Family High School confirms our seniors during a congregational Shabbat Service. Each graduate delivers a sermonette on their personal Jewish identity and reflects on their experience. The amalgam and collective voice is a treasured glimpse into the minds of those about to launch. And we kvell as if they are all our offspring!

Ten Minutes of Torah: The New Reform Machzor and the Shofar Service: Part 2

Part Two: Chevruta (Intense Text Study) With A Thousand People

Last week I wrote about the decision of the Machzor editors to break the shofar service into three parts, with each part appearing in a different section of the service. As I mentioned, the three parts of the shofar service carry different themes: God’s sovereignty, God’s remembrance of us, and God’s redeeming us. When these three themes are presented one after the other, especially towards the end of the Rosh Hashanah morning service, it is hard to reflect on the spiritual depth of these insights. By dividing the shofar service into three, more attention on each section is possible

Old Becomes New

Rabbi Goldberg led a Worship committee meeting on April 30. The stalwarts attended to discuss clergy garb for the High Holy Days. Since the committee hadn’t met since last fall when we talked about something relative to the High Holy Days (I really don’t remember the topic, to tell the truth), I wasn’t sure what to expect. My guess was that the rabbi would tell us what he prefers, and we’d all say something to the effect of, “Ok, if that’s what you want,” and that would be that.

Ten Minutes of Torah: The New Reform Machzor and the Shofar Service: Part 1


Part One: Don’t “Bury the Lead,” or Why We Have Placed the Shofar Service into Three Parts of the Service

The traditional High Holy Day prayer book, as opposed to the Reform versions produced in the last century and more, includes a service, musaf, that evokes the ancient sacrifices. Reform Judaism abandoned this service, due to its musty connotations of “barbarian” rites but a key element of this service on Rosh Hashanah, the sounding of the shofar was maintained. Sounding of the shofar was retained no doubt because the very essence of Rosh Hashanah is bound up in the peal of the shofar. Can you imagine Rosh Hashanah without it?


They leave their mark on you. When my wife Esther and I joined the Temple Sholom community, we had a lot of opportunities to become involved in it. And when we heard that congregants were working on sustainability issues, we jumped at the chance to help out. I can’t tell you every reason why, but I can tell you that a sense of place plays a part in it. …

Why Did We Choose the Name Eco-Chavura?

What’s in a name? Sometimes a lot. When we first started meeting as a group it became apparent that we each had our own nomenclature. Some of us used “Green Team”, some used “GreenFaith Initiative”, and others referred to us as the” Environmental Group”. We knew we needed to brand ourselves in a way that it made it clear what our purpose and values were…

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? – The Eco Chavura Story

I didn’t set out to create Eco Chavura (pronounced like Chanukah). It simply evolved, much as things do in nature. The Temple’s Building Committee asked me to conduct an inventory of things we could do…

Marriage Equality at Temple Sholom

Bill Healey and I were married at Temple Sholom on Sunday August 1, 2010 At that point in our relationship we had been together for 23 years.

Having an actual wedding never occurred to us, as odd as that sounds. We had met with Rabbi Shoshanah Conover one morning to discuss our spiritual experience and how it related to Temple Sholom. Bill is Catholic but had not found a spiritual home since moving back to Chicago 9 years ago.