Yeah, we’re gonna have a party, party!

You have heard we are having a party, right? As we get closer and closer to May 3rd and a night of Beatlemania, the excitement is building around Temple Sholom. Even our littlest Gan Shalomers are ready to Come Together and celebrate!

To help them get into the spirit, members of the Gan Shalom and Temple Sholom staff recorded a CD of their favorite Beatles songs. Some even re-imagined the songs to be more Temple Sholom appropriate! Hey Jude became Hey Jews for example!

What’s your Favorite Beatles song?

The Beatles have such a tremendous catalog of music it’s hard to believe that they were together and recording music for such a short time – only about ten years. A lot of my favorite Beatles songs tend to be ones written by George Harrison or Ringo Starr, which is pretty interesting since the vast majority of their music was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. My all-time favorite is Here Comes the Sun

Why is our Elevator under the sea?

We all live in a yellow submarine…The Beatles are invading Temple Sholom! Well, Beatlemania is anyway! Everyone on staff is so excited to Come Together to celebrate our Annual Spring Fling as a congregation. Membership and Programming Coordinator, Kylie Zacharia channeled one of her favorite Beatles tunes when it came time to decorate the elevator.
May 3rd is fast approaching – and we hope that you will join us at 7:30pm for a fun night of dinner, dancing, and of course great Beatles music performed by Premier Beatles Band, The Cavern Beat.

What is God – Part 11 – God as the Model

We are, we say, created in God’s image. Using a metaphor found in The Gates of Prayer, God is the Mold from which we were fashioned. I find this to be a compelling metaphor. God is the Model for our own thoughts and behaviors.

God is Holy, so we must be holy. God is Just, so we should act justly. God is merciful, so we should love mercy.

Say NO to concealed weapons at all Houses of Worship

In July 2013, the State of Illinois enacted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (the “Concealed Carry Law”), which authorizes properly licensed individuals to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois. The law went into effect on January 1, 2014.

While there are designated properties and locations where concealed firearms are not allowed under the Concealed Carry Law, houses of worship are not among them; accordingly, properly licensed individuals are allowed to carry a concealed firearm in many other houses of worship.

What Ari Shavit Said & What Israel has to do with our Children.

Ari Shavit, while speaking at the Standard Club on Monday December 9, said lots of things about Israel and its people that I continue to think about, but his comment about American Jewry really caught my attention. It arose during the Q and A portion of his presentation on his recently published My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. Near the end of the address, Shavit expressed a profound concern over the relationship between Israel and Jewish American youth, especially those from secular, non-orthodox communities. What he said had nothing to do with synagogue participation, intermarriage, or the like. It had to do with the political behavior of Jewish American adults.

In early November, I came across the first of several reviews of Shavit’s My Promised Land. In this book, Shavit, an Israeli author and columnist for Haaretz, embarks on an exploration of Israel’s history from the early Zionist movement (of which his own grandfather played a significant role), to the present, in order to understand the source of Israel’s state of “duality” and his own fears about Israel’s survival that have dogged him since childhood. By “duality,” Shavit explains, “On the one hand, Israel is the only nation in the West that is occupying another people. On the other hand, Israel is the only nation in the West that is existentially threatened. Both occupation and intimidation make the Israeli condition unique” (xii). All of the reviews I read convinced me that Shavit had compelling things to say, so when I heard that there would be a Temple Sholom presence at the Standard Club to hear Shavit speak, I signed right up.

A Note From the Biennial – From Kimberly Ross

I’m currently attending my first URJ Biennial. I arrived in San Diego last night in time for most of the opening plenary, which included remarks from some giants in the Reform movement (not to mention a pre-recorded video message from Vice President Biden). Later, many of us heard a concert by singers-songwriters Julie Silver and Michelle Citrin. Then jet lag set in.

On Thanksgiving, No One Should Be Left Out In the Cold

I think most of us are familiar with Temple Sholom’s regular Monday Meal, which serves 56 people a hot meal every Monday. It’s a terrific mitzvah which fills a great need in our community. But Pete and Amy Kadens thought beyond that – they thought big! “

Pete and Amy sponsor the Thanksgiving Monday Meal, and it was also their brainchild. “I’ve been involved with the homeless for many years,“ Pete said. “Seeing 56 people being served a hot meal every Monday at the Temple is great. But I thought, no one should be left out in the cold on Thanksgiving.” He approached Temple staff and clergy and proposed an expanded Thanksgiving Monday Meal. The response could not have been more enthusiastic, and the Thanksgiving Monday Meal Mitzvah is the result. The Kadens sponsor everything from food and supplies to extra security, Temple staffing and outreach, and a Thanksgiving feast for 150 people is the result.

A Smashing Sleepunder!

Over 80 people gathered in search of a Golden Ticket to the Sholom Sleep Under which was filled with fun! Kids of all ages came to Bettie Port Hall on Saturday, November 9th to get cozy and comfy with their friends. In their jammies with their blankets, pillows and favorite stuffed animals in tow, they were ready for fun, food and lots of movie treats!

The children first decorated Channukah cards for Temple Sholom’s Channukah Box program. And after every good deed, you should be rewarded with candy, right? And so they were, but not before Havdalah and dinner.

Why Jacob? – Drop into the study sessions to find out more!

On Sunday, about a dozen congregants met for our “drop-in text study” session, offered through the Temple’s Adult Ed program. We were discussing the week’s Torah portion, where Jacob crosses a river to begin a new chapter in his life, hopefully leaving some of the deceit and darkness behind him. He anxiously meets his brother, Esau, who greets him with a hug and a kiss. And then Jacob promptly lies to Esau. So much for a clean slate.

Later in the portion, Jacob’s sons deceive the men of Shechem, and then massacre them and loot the town, in response to the “rape” of Jacob’s only daughter, Dinah.

And what is Jacob’s response? Outrage? Sadness? Apology? No, he castigates his sons for ruining his reputation. Beyond that, he is silent. It is one of the low points in the tragedy of Jacob, as the arc of his story nears its end. As Gunther Plaut says in his commentary: