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!

Mixing in the Air

Recently, at Temple Sholom we have installed faucet aerators throughout the entire building in efforts to improve sustainability. In doing so we learned a few things so we thought we’d share.

Did you know that for a few bucks you could cut water and energy costs by 50% by installing aerators in your faucets? A faucet aerator is an inexpensive, easy-to-install circular metal device with a screen that screws onto the end of the faucet. As the name implies, a faucet aerator adds air to the stream of water coming out of the faucet by breaking the water into fine droplets

Rabbi Goldberg – Reporting from the Annual Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

I first attended the Policy Conference in 1983, as a callow college student. It was very impressive, with 1500 supporters of America and Israel crowded into the Capitol Hilton.

This year, there are 15,000 attendees. AIPAC is very savvy when it comes to production values as well as management at a conference, so the large crowd is inspirational, not a cause of ceaseless inconvenience.

Temple Sholom members in attendance include Richard and Gloria Reifler, Robert Gordon, and board member and tireless AIPAC advocate, Stuart Litwin. There are over 600 rabbis and cantors here as well, from all denominations.

Yesterday we heard a moving speech by Isaac Herzog, the new head of the major opposition party in Israel and we were treated to a rousing sermon by Pastor Chris Harris of our very own Chicago’s Bright Star Church.

Pesach Blog: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Buy a New Haggadah – Reprinted from


My history with haggadot is probably typical but certainly multi-layered. I grew up with the venerable Union Haggadah. In rabbinical school I was exposed to its successor, the “Baskin” Haggadah. I then worked for an HUC administrator in researching various haggadot. Even in the mid-eighties there were countless varieties, including one for vegans: The Haggadah for the Liberated Lamb. Around this time David Moss was previewing his soon-to-be famous haggadah, Song of David. I joked to my fiancée that she could have that instead of an engagement ring. She took me seriously and we use the haggadah (alas, only one copy) every year.

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.

Ten Minutes of Torah: Delving into T’fiah (reprinted from

The N’ilah service on late Yom Kippur afternoon is notable for its image of the Gates of Repentance closing their doors. At this late and hungry hour, for the final time during the Day of Atonement, we are summoned to repentance. The fact that many Sages argue we can actually delay our atonement to the end of the Sukkot holiday does not lessen the drama of the moment.

At the end of N’ilah, often as the sun has set, we will hear the final blast of the shofar. We will also declare the most essential teaching of the entire season: God is Merciful! We actually chant this seven times, just to make sure we get the point. The Gates are closing, but the mercy of God never ends.

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.