All posts by MCJC Leslie

Religious School News Week of April 16, 2019

By Davina Kelly

Our students are very busy learning about Passover the last few weeks. They are practicing the Four Questions in Hebrew, singing Passover songs with special guests Ilene Kaye and Paula Eskoz, and making crafts.

The K-1 class made Afikomen bags. Grades 2-3 made 10 made bookmarks depicting the Ten Plagues (check out the photos in the upcoming Newsletter — they came out great)! All grades had fun working together to make Matzah houses and toffee Matzah. And Hebrew practice continues for all.

Wednesday, April 17 – Religious School for grades 3-7.

Sunday, April 21  No Religious School (2nd Day of Passover)

Wednesday, April 24 – Religious School for grades 3-7.

Sunday, April 28 – Religious School for all grades.

Then at 1:30 pm, please join MCJC at Spring Grove Park to see
McHenry County’s Only Holocaust Memorial.

Storyteller Jim May will meet us at the park to share stories about Holocaust survivor Lisa Derman and explain how MCJC member Nancy Wicker and Max Gimpel, father of Al Gimpel, helped create this beautiful monument.

Spring Grove Park
2102 Main Street
Spring Grove, IL 60081

Video: Radical Amazement – How Can We Find Wonder in the World?

From Shaboom! | BimBam

From BimBam:

Parenting can be messy and unpredictable but it can also be amazing! Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg teaches us the importance of incorporating radical amazement into our parenting.

This video is part of a series made possible by the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.

Our children constantly seem to find the “wow” in the world around them whether it be ants on the ground or a stick turned magic wand. Often times, we push this curiosity aside due to our busy schedules, being late, or just fatigue.

Ruttenberg encourages us to embrace a child’s sense of wonder and wow, also known as radical amazement. Radical Amazement was coined by Jewish scholar Abraham Joshua Herschel, who said, “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

LEARN MORE Danya Ruttenberg was named one of The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” in 2010, and the same year was named one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis by The Jewish Daily Forward. She also has a parenting book called, “Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting.”

We were sad to learn this week at MCJC that BimBam is closing after 20 years of creating wonderful educational videos for children and families. Happily their collection will be rehoused with the URJ library, so we hope to bring you more from time to time.

We note with Sadness…

We mourn the passing of Hannajoy Greenberg,
wife of Robert Greenberg,
mother of Harold (Tina), Brad (Rebecca),
and Barbara (Ruben) Cervantes.

Our thoughts & prayers are with the
Greenberg Family.


From Chicago Jewish Funerals:


Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 11:00 AM


Chicago Jewish Funerals
Buffalo Grove Chapel
195 North Buffalo Grove Road
Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089


Mr. Gene Lindow


Greenberg Residence
13482 Wildwood Lane
Huntley, Illinois 60142
Get Directions

Thursday 5 pm-9 pm and
Friday 11 am-2 pm

Susan G. Komen-Breast Cancer Foundation

213 W. Institute Place
Suite 302
Chicago, Illinois 60610


Hannajoy Greenberg, beloved wife of Robert for 63 years. Loving mother of Harold (Tina), Brad (Rebecca), and Barbara (Ruben) Cervantes. Adoring grandmother of Theodore, Jacob, Elena, Leeann, Sarah, and Seth.

Service Thursday 11 am at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 195 N. Buffalo Grove Road (One block north of Lake Cook Road) Buffalo Grove. Interment private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Susan G. Komen-Breast Cancer Foundation, 

Arrangements by: Chicago Jewish Funerals, 847.229.8822,


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

המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

MCJC Community Passover Seder 2nd Night . . . Celebrate!

If you have not yet signed up for the MCJC Seder, there’s still time to sign up online! We extended the online reservation and payment deadline:


MCJC invites you to our table
as we carry on the tradition
of hosting our

Second Night
Community Passover Seder
Saturday, April 20, 2019, 6:00 pm

McHenry County Jewish Congregation
8617 Ridgefield Road, Crystal Lake, IL 60012 

Cost: $20 per adult; $10 per child (ages 4-12)
$60 max. per family 

RSVP HERE by April 18, 2019

Sharing and Extending Shabbat, Friday Evenings, Shabbat Mornings & Afternoons

Welcome Shabbat and share its first hours with our Friday Night Shabbat at Rabbi Tom’s Table video series and at our MCJC Community Shabbat Potluck Dinners.

Our Friday evenings begin at 6:30 pm. The upcoming schedule is:

In addition, although we gather for services and Kiddush each Saturday, we enjoy two Extended Kiddushes each month, on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Members share veggie/dairy foods, we talk, we sing, and we learn Torah together.

Coming up in April:

Shabbat, April 13 is a very special day with both an Extended Kiddush and the Ari and Noah Shamash B’nai Mitzvah Service with a Community Havdala Program and Reception.

We hope you will join us in creating our “Palace in Time,” Shabbat.

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 B’nai 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

MCJC is taking another step toward Extending Shabbat, enriching this “Palace in Time” for every member of our congregation.

The top right column of our website will host videos from Rabbi Tom to enrich your Shabbat experience. Be sure to check these out. We will announce posting times in the weekly e-nouncements. If you’re not already signed up for these weekly emailings, please add your name to the email list via the sign-up in the right column of our website.

With videos like this and other tools technology provides, 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.

Visit our website 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.

Please email Rabbi Tom if you would like to comment:

Torah: On Amalek


Please join us on Saturday morning at 9:30 for Shabbat worship and Torah study.

On Amalek

After the Divine Wisdom, the Divine Supervision is revealed. Then, and only then, all is transformed into good. Everything is hallowed, so there is no longer the need to distinguish between good and evil, between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai.”


Torah: Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36 – Click here.

Haftarah: Jeremiah 7:21 – 8:3; 9:22 – 9:23 – Click here.

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.