Torah Video: Emor – Action & Inaction, work & rest, Active & Passive, Will & Restraint

Please join us on Saturday morning at 9:30 for a special, lay-led Shabbat worship and Torah study.


This portion introduces a dialogue about the relationship between action and inaction, work and rest, active and passive, will and restraint.


Torah: Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23  Click here.

Haftarah: Ezekiel 44:15 – 44:31 – Click here.

The Communications Committee: Who We Are, What We Do

The Communications Committee has been meeting for over a year. During that time, we have taken on several big projects:

  • A website that has become the coordinating point for all of our communications. Anything that goes into the e-nouncements, Newsletter, press releases, goes first through the website, both in its editing stage and its final published version. –
  • With thanks to Rabbi Tom, we have introduced several video series into our website: Torah study, Shabbat Shalom at Rabbi Tom’s Table, and Holidays. We hope to add video streaming soon. As we look at ways to promote these video series and expand on them, they will become important tools for inreach — and outreach.
  • We have a great team of editors with very sharp eyes who reduce errors and conflicting information and ensure a uniformly professional style in all our publications. – Ellen Levy and Elaine Steinberg
  • We have a Facebook account and Twitter account that coordinate to the website, helping us reach a wider audience.
  • We have gotten onto a new email server, and now have a 99+% delivery rate.
  • David Drizner, who has managed MCJC’s Newsletter mailing list for years, as well as Newsletter printing and mailing, is part of the Communications Committee. David has expertise in “process,” and helps us look at ways to create sustainable processes that will serve the congregation well, as our membership and work force change over time.
  • We examined the purpose of each publication and set up the Newsletter as a benefit of membership and tool to encourage new memberships. We set a policy for sending out the Newsletter which will save approximately $500/year in costs, even as we move to first class postage.
  • We sent a 1st class mailing to 186 non-member households last week, asking if they would like to continue receiving the Newsletter, and asking for them to confirm a “yes” with a $10 annual subscription.
  • We gathered information from the four corners of the MCJC world and beyond to set up a database, still a work in progress, although we are able to produce some first results. The power of this tool will become more evident as we add more types of data.
  • Every current member should soon receive a letter showing information we have in the database for you and members of your family. We hope you will take a moment to update or add to your information. This is a one-time, first class mailing.

Next year we want to continue developing and improving mechanisms to help us all communicate better with each other and with our wider public — and to keep MCJC growing.

One specific project we look forward to taking on is a one-year congregational calendar, coordinated, edited, and launched on the website to serve us all as a tool for planning.

We also hope to work more closely with our other MCJC Committees to see how the processes we are putting in place can help their work. We encourage the Board and Committee Chairs to reach out to any member of the Committee to see how Communications can enhance what you are doing, whether it’s a post on the website or an article for the newsletter or e-nouncements, a press release, a registration process, a mailing list, or a report from the database.  We urge you to join Membership Committee Chair, Linda Blatchford, as she has seen how this partnership can strengthen MCJC’s mission and vision.

Please check the MCJC website at for information about how you can easily stay up-to-date with your MCJC family.


In addition to checking out your beautiful bi-monthly MCJC Newsletter, here are other ways to stay up-to-date with your MCJC family:

  • You can “follow” or subscribe to our website, and each post will land in your mailbox as it’s posted.
  • You can sign onto our email list and receive our weekly e-nouncements via the sign-up form in the right column of every page of our website.
  • You can visit us on Facebook (McHenry County Jewish Congregation) or on Twitter (McHenry Judaism).
  • You can visit our website at and browse through our posts, pictures, Torah and music videos, and news.
  • You can learn to use forms on the website. Submitting a question or contact through the “Contact Us” form gets your note directly to the person who can best respond to it.
  • Registering for a class or event ensures you will get a call if there is a change. Payments are quick and easy with our payment buttons.


Finally, and best of all, we have good meetings. We have fun — even while we are a hard-working committee putting in place lots of things we hope will serve MCJC well now and in the future. If you’d like to join us, please watch for meeting dates in the e-nouncements and plan to come on in.

How to submit items for the weekly e-nouncements or bimonthly Newsletter

To submit an entry for the weekly e-nouncements and/or website: email no later than Friday for the following week’s issue.

To submit an entry for the August/September Newsletter, MCJC Connections: email your entries to by July 5. Please note: This will be our High Holy Day and School Opening issue.

For both publications, please enter your copy into the body of an email. If you have associated artwork or pictures, attach to your email as a .jpg.

If you are not receiving newsletters or e-nouncements, please notify the Communications Committee via

MCJC Annual Notice & Proxy

Dear Fellow Congregant:

The annual meeting of the McHenry County Jewish Congregation will be held Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 10:30 am. The meeting will include:

  • State of the Congregation 
  • Board of Directors Election, 2019-20
  • Rabbi’s Comments, School & Committee Reports
  • Open discussion of congregational matters

The annual meeting coincides with year-end school activities, which will begin at 9:15 am. All members are encouraged to attend the annual meeting starting at 10:30 am, as your input is vital to our success. We hope you also plan to attend our annual school closing picnic, which will start at about 11:15 am. 

Each family membership is entitled to two votes (member must be 18 or older). Single members are entitled to one vote. 

A quorum (25% of eligible voters) is required to conduct congregational business so it is important you either attend or provide a proxy. If you cannot attend, you are allowed to designate a vote by proxy. You may print out and sign the proxy below and send it along with a member who is attending the May 19 meeting, or you may cut, paste and complete the proxy and email it to Dale Morton at or Karen Koenig at

Your vote is necessary to advance the business of this congregation this coming year by voting for or against the slate presented to the congregation by the Nominating Committee.

MCJC’s Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the following slate of officers for consideration for the 2019-20 fiscal year. 

Karen Koenig – co-President
Andy Purvin – co-President (acting Secretary)
Dara Turnball – co-President
Jennifer Finger – Treasurer

At-Large Board Members
Robb Tadelman
Mark Goldberg
Iza Celewicz
Brian Horn
Jonah Markowitz

We hope you will be able to join us on May 19.  If you have any questions you can contact our Nominating Committee Chair, Dale Morton, or Co-President, Karen Koenig.

Karen Koenig, MCJC Co-President

Please either cut and paste and complete the proxy and email it to me, Karen Koenig, at, or to Dale Morton at — or employ the tried and true technique of printing out the proxy, signing it and giving it to a member who is attending the meeting.


I, _____________________________________________, will not be able to attend the Congregational Meeting of MCJC on May 19, 2019. I designate the congregant member below to vote on all matters on my behalf.



(Printed Name)


(Printed name of Proxy)


Religious School News Week of May 14, 2019

Don’t miss the Annual Meeting & School Closing Day Picnic!

Grades 4-7 finished their Jewish values film. Our “Jewish Values” video will make it’s debut during Closing Day activities. Don’t miss it!

Wednesday, May 15: Religious school for grades 3-7

Sunday, May 19-: Religious School Closing Day

Please join us as we wrap up our school year with student memories, Havdalah, singing, kids vs. adult Jewpardy, Kona Ice, games for the kids (during the Annual Meeting) and of course a hot dog lunch (with sides) for everyone at the MCJC Annual Closing Day Picnic.

MCJC Book Club To Explore What It Means To Be Jewish In Modern Day New York

On Thursday, May 30 at 7:00 pm, the MCJC Book Club will meet to discuss My Jewish Year by Abigail Pogrebin.

Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and contemporary relevance. She wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant, and chronicles her journey into the spiritual heart of Judaism in this captivating, educational, and inspiring memoir.

All are welcome to participate in the Book Club at any time. Rachel Kamin, director of the cultural and learning center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth-El, facilitates all discussions.

We encourage participants to make a donation of $36 to MCJC to help cover the cost of the facilitator. For more information, contact Rita Janowitz at

Upcoming at MCJC Week of May 7, 2019

For more information about any of these listings, please visit our website, the provided links or the MCJC Calendar at

Wednesday, May 8
Yom HaZikaron/IDF Memorial Day
2:00 pm: Lunch and Learn
4:30 pm: Religious School

Thursday, May 9
Yom HaAtzmaut/Israel Independence Day

Friday, May 10
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat Service & Potluck Dinner (If you can bring veggie or dairy food to share, please let us know what you’ll bring at

Saturday, May 11
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion. Extended Kiddush following morning service to include light fare, Zemirot, Talmud Torah (If you can bring veggie or dairy food to share, please let us know what you’ll bring at

Sunday, May 12
Mother’s Day
9:30 am: NO Religious School
11:00 am: NO Adult Education

Wednesday, May 15
2:00 pm: Lunch and Learn
4:30 pm: Religious School

Friday, May 17
6:30 pm: Friday Night Shabbat at Rabbi Tom’s Table – Please visit our website, the upper right column, for a beautiful video welcoming you to this “Palace in Time.”

Saturday, May 18
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion

Sunday, May 19
9:30 am: Last Day of Religious School
10:30 am: MCJC Annual Meeting. If you cannot attend, please send your Proxy form (emailed to you and available on this link.) Your input is vital.
11:15 am: Religious School Annual Closing Day Picnic

Monday, May 20
6:30 pm: Communications Committee Meeting, Panera Bread, Crystal Lake

Wednesday, May 22
2:00 pm: Lunch and Learn
6:15 pm: Ritual Committee Meeting

Friday, May 24
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat Service & Potluck Dinner (If you can bring veggie or dairy food to share, please let us know what you’ll bring at

Saturday, May 25
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion. Extended Kiddush following morning service to include light fare, Zemirot, Talmud Torah (If you can bring veggie or dairy food to share, please let us know what you’ll bring at

Wednesday, May 29
2:00 pm: Lunch and Learn

Thursday, May 30
7:00 pm: MCJC Book Club

Friday, May 31
6:30 pm: Friday Night Shabbat at Rabbi Tom’s Table – Please visit our website, the upper right column, for a beautiful video welcoming you to this “Palace in Time.”

From BimBam: 49 Facts About Counting the Omer

49 Facts About Counting the Omer – From BimBam

Moishe House residents tell us about the Omer, one day at a time.

Straight from the BimBam (G-dcast) archives comes a silly but educational video about counting the Omer. In 2013, we brought together 30 individuals from Moishe House to write and record 49 facts about the Omer.

We’re not going to give too much but the Omer is a verbal counting of each day between Passover and Shavuot.


BimBam’s digital storytelling sparks connections to Judaism for learners of all ages. Visit their website for more: .

Thanks to all who helped with the April 24 MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner

By Bruce Weiss, MCJC Social Action Chairperson


The final MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner of the October 2018-April 2019 season took place on Wednesday evening, April 24, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Woodstock.  Twenty-one PADS guests and five overnight PADS volunteers were served. The PADS guests and volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the meal, and many of them came back for seconds. A few even came back for thirds!

Special thanks goes to Ellen Morton for suggesting that the leftover food from the Passover Seder be used for our April 24 PADS dinner. This was a wonderful idea, and the following items from the Seder were used:  brisket, roasted chicken, cubed potatoes, green beans,  and a large fruit platter. The PADS guests and volunteers liked each of these items, particularly the brisket.

The dinner also included the following food items: a delicious Ramen salad provided by Esther and Bob Kaplan, rolls provided by Bruce Weiss, a wonderful chocolate cake, and an applesauce spice cake provided by Marian Weiss.

Linda and Jerry Trachsler, Brian Silver, and Bruce Weiss served the meal. As usual, we all had a great time working together.

Special thanks goes to the following people for the April 24 MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner: Ellen Morton for packaging the MCJC Passover food items and  getting them ready for delivery to Redeemer Lutheran Church, Leslie Cook for transporting the MCJC Passover food items from MCJC to Redeemer Lutheran Church, and Gene Lindow for his wise counsel on how to safely store and reheat leftover foods before serving.

MCJC has an amazing and wonderful group of individuals who make up the MCJC PADS dinner team. Every food provider and every meal server is special, and did a wonderful job in making the MCJC-sponsored PADS dinners successful this past winter season.

But one person has to be singled out, and that is Gene Lindow. Gene and Chef Adam at the Trio Grille restaurant prepared wonderful entrees for every MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner, with the exception of the April 24 dinner. I know I speak for the entire MCJC PADS dinner team in saying to Gene and Adam, thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work, and for all the wonderful entrees you prepared.

The Jewish Heart of McHenry County