The Shamash family and MCJC invite our entire MCJC community to share our joy

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, April 13 at 4:30 pm

The Shamash family and MCJC invite our entire MCJC community to share in the Simchas of Ari and Noah becoming Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, April 13 at 4:30 pm, at MCJC.

Mazal Tov to Ari and Noah and their parents, Michelle and

In their own words . . .

Here are messages from Ari and Noah about their Mitzvah Projects:

Ari Shamash

Hi! This is Ari Shamash. I am doing a project for my Bar Mitzvah. We will donate to the homeless veterans program TLS (

On their website it states: “At TLS Veterans, our vision is to transform lives through service to veterans. Our mission is to provide veterans in need and their families the services necessary to experience hope and achieve success. We do this through our four main values of respect, integrity, compassion and advocacy.”

TLS is located in McHenry and helps veterans and their families in our area who cannot support themselves for a number of reasons. TLS Is looking for the following items:

  • Men’s Clothing
  • Womens Clothing
  • Children/Infants clothing or supplies
  • Electrical Items
  • Computers
  • Kitchen Items
  • Sporting Goods
  • FurnitureTextiles (Towels, Blankets, Pillows, etc.)
  • Books, Records, etc.
  • Toys, Games
  • Appliances

Please see the TLS website for more information.

Thank you very much, Ari

Noah Shamash

Hi! My name is Noah Shamash. For my Bar Mitzvah, I am donating to Save-a-Pet.

Save-a-Pet is a nonprofit organization and one of the biggest no-kill rescues in Lake County. They rescue and re-home many cats and dogs. This has led to over 61,000 adoptions of cats and dogs. Please go to to learn more.

My dog Tucker, and my cat, Huel, were both rescued from Save-a-Pet.

Items on the Save-a-Pet wish list include:

  • Canned cat food/canned tuna
  • Cat litter
  • Dry cat food
  • Canned dog food
  • Dog treats
  • Dog collars… big and/or small
  • Six foot leashes
  • Frontline Plus or Petarmor Plus
  • Meat-based baby food
  • Fish oil supplements
  • Fiber supplements
  • Quick read thermometers
  • Q-tips
  • Small paper plates
  • Cleaning supplies such as paper towels, garbage bags, Windex
  • Gift cards for fuel or office supplies
  • Plastic totes

Animals mean a lot to me. Thank you for donating to a good cause.


Religious School News Week of March 19, 2019

What a fun family day at MCJC!  Last Sunday, everyone enjoyed making Hamantaschen, creating graggers, making cards, and putting together Blessing Bags. Of course, the carnival and lunch were also enjoyed by all.  Many thanks to the faculty, Ilene Kaye, the maintenance committee, and Rabbi Tom.

SPRING BREAK IS COMING! Sunday, March 24 through Sunday, March 31. That means . . . wait for it . . . NO Religious School March 24, 27, or 31!

Upcoming Special Events

PURIM 2019 –Costumes are encouraged!

Wednesday, March 20 –More Purim Fun: Megillah Shpiel Night. The fun starts at 5:00 pm.

The MCJC Purim Shpiel is back by popular demand.  We come together to enjoy a pizza dinner from 5:00 – 6:00 pm, followed by a “Wizard of Oz” themed Shpiel.  This will be in place of Religious School.

Important Request: If you plan to attend the pizza dinner from 5:00 – 6:00 pm and/or can bring some Hamantaschen, please RSVP to and let us know your plan. Hope to see you there!

And remember: NO Religious School March 24, 27, or 31.  Enjoy Spring Break!

Shabbat Shalom . . . Join the Celebration

This week MCJC took another step toward Extending Shabbat, enriching this palace in time for every member of our congregation.

If you visited our website, you saw a video from Rabbi Tom toward the top of the right column. If you’re on our website now, you will still see it.

With videos like this and more to come with our MCJC Shabbat celebrations in the synagogue or in our members’ homes, we hope every MCJC member and friend can share the light of Shabbat with us whether or not you can be physically present. We also hope to give you the tools to bring the celebration into your own homes.

You will always find Shabbat videos in this corner. Visit often for ideas and inspiration . . . and plan to join us on a Friday evening.

We’d love to hear your responses to all the ways we are Extending Shabbat in our community and beyond — Friday Evening Community Potlucks, Shabbat Morning Extended Kiddush, Shabbat videos and more to come.

Please email Rabbi Tom if you would like to comment:

MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner coming up March 27

PADS_lgWe are looking forward to just two more MCJC-sponsored PADS dinners for the 2018-2019 winter season: March 27 and April 24.

The dinners are 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 Dean Street in Woodstock. Those bringing food should plan to have it there by 6:00 pm. We decided to use paper goods, so servers no longer need to stay on to do dishes.

We appreciate those who help out so regularly with this important community service. If you would like to join the team as a food preparer or server, please contact me, Bruce Weiss, via

Thanks for your help, and warm regards,
Bruce Weiss,
MCJC Social Action Chairperson

MCJC Book Club Meets March 14

On Thursday, March 14, 2019, our MCJC Book Club will gather to discuss The Cloister by James Carroll. A priest and a Holocaust survivor find their perspectives and senses of identity reshaped by their shared investigation into the classic romance between discredited religious scholar Peter Abelard and his intellectual paramour, Heloise.

Then on Thursday, May 30, the group will 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

Celebrate Shabbat with our 4th-7th Graders

SHABBAT:  A Special Time

Even More Special on March 23
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
When we share it with our 4 – 7 Graders
MCJC Religious School Students

Please join us for
Shabbat Morning Services & Kiddush


The Grades 4 – 7 class has worked hard on learning to participate meaningfully as part of MCJC worship. We  extend this invitation for you to come worship alongside our younger members.

Our Grade 4 class will also participate in their consecration ceremony.


There’s more! On the second and fourth Shabbatot of the month, Extended Kiddush follows the morning service. It includes light fare, Zemirot, Talmud Torah. Please plan to stay on for adult Torah study.

Join in on this 3-part learning series with Rabbi Tom at Panera in Crystal Lake

MCJC’s Special Jewish Learning Program

From Slavery to Freedom

Join Rabbi Tom Samuels for a three-part series exploring the foundational story of the Jewish people.

All sessions will be held in the meeting room at: Panera Bread, 6000 Northwest Hwy, Crystal Lake, IL 60014.

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

We look forward to learning with you in these free pre-Passover sessions. Non-members welcome. RSVP requested.

Sharing and Extending Shabbat, Friday Evenings, Shabbat Mornings

Welcome Shabbat and share its first hours at our MCJC Community Shabbat Potluck Dinners.

Our beautiful Friday evenings begin at 6:30 pm. Our upcoming dates are:

  •  March 22 and 29.

In addition, although we gather for services and kiddush each Saturday, we enjoy two Extended Kiddushes each month. Members share veggie/dairy foods, we talk, we sing, and we learn Torah together.

Our remaining March date for Shabbat Extended Kiddush is:

  • Saturday, March 23

If you plan to attend Friday evening or Shabbat morning and can bring a veggie/dairy item to share, please let us know what you plan to bring at MCJC provides challah, a cake, wine and juice.

We announce with sadness the passing of Melissa A. Mayber . . .

We mourn the passing of Melissa Mayber.
Our thoughts and prayers are with

the Mayber family.

We are sad to announce the passing of Melissa Mayber, daughter of Kathleen and Kenneth Mayber, yesterday, March 14, 2019 | 7 Adar II 5779.

Melissa is survived by her parents, Kathleen and Kenneth, her sister, Rebecca, and her brother, Adam.

The funeral for Melissa will take place Sunday, March 17, 2 pm, at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077. Shiva in the same location immediately follows the service.

The family is planning a Celebration of Life, and we will add details to this post as we know them. Please check here for more information.

In addition, when all arrangements are finalized, you can check for additional details here or call Chicago Jewish Funerals at 847-229-8822.

תהא נפשו צרורה בצרור החיים
T’hi nafsho tzrurah b’tzror hachaim
May his soul be bound up in the bond of life.

The Jewish Heart of McHenry County