All posts by MCJC Leslie

Religious School News Week of January 22, 2019

Even though it was cold and snowy outside, we were thinking of Spring and celebrating Tu b’Shevat.  It was wonderful seeing all the students in grades K-7 together having a good time trying out some new fruits, making bird feeders, and learning some interesting tree and environmental facts with our trivia game.

THIS WEEK
Wednesday, January 23 – Regular religious school for grades 3-7.
Sunday, January 27 – Regular religious school for all grades.  Grades 4-7 please fill out and return Jewish values film project permission slip.

OTHER REMINDERS 
Please bring in snacks for the second half of the year. They can be bulk, or if you prefer, cash donations are acceptable.

ABSENCE
And remember: if your child will be absent, please email school@mcjconline.org or text 847-373-3186.

The Ten Commandments As A Call For A Living Torah

YITRO

Please join us for Shabbat worship and Torah study at 9:30 am.

While HaShem gave us the Torah with the Aseret HaDibrot (the Ten Commandments,) God also created within us the ability to interpret the Torah:  to innovate, to reinterpret, to find the voices of our own generation within it, and to help navigate our complicated lives. And ultimately, to create new chapters of Torah. We will use Korach to explore this theme.

Torah: Exodus 18:1 – 20:23 – Click here.
Haftarah: Isaiah 6:1 – 7:6; 9:5 – 9:6 – Click here.

The Day After Tu b’Shevat: 10 Ways To Celebrate The Trees Year-Round

Maybe it’s spring in Israel, but in our area, Tu b’Shevat found us buried in snow with well below freezing temperatures.

We sang and danced with Rabbi Tom…

Still, the celebration went forward at MCJC even though we didn’t get to plant trees outdoors as we enjoyed the first warming rays of spring sunshine. And we have some great pictures to show for it! Here we are, singing and dancing with Rabbi Tom — and making bird feeders for our feathered friends.

Here are 10 things to do year-round to celebrate trees and birds and the natural world that surrounds us:

  1. Take a family walk through the woods — even when it’s filled with snow. Robert Frost thought it was especially beautiful then. You can enjoy it too!
  2. Try growing fresh veggies from food scraps.
  3. Keep the faith: warmer days will come. You can get more from your garden when it does get warm enough to plant if you get things started indoors early.
  4. Enjoy this great Ted Talk about the tiny kingdom of Bhutan, how it is becoming a carbon “sink” for the world.
  5. Talk about what the Tanach (Jewish Bible) has to say about the environment.  When you finish the quotes in this article, follow the links to more material. Family members can take turns tracking down quotes from the Bible and from rabbinic texts, bringing one to each meal to share with the family and discuss.
  6. Share a “sourced” meal. Ask family members to share in some
    We made bird feeders for our feathered friends.

    detective work, finding out where each food item came from. Where and how was it produced? Were animals involved? How were they treated? Were people involved? Were they respected and pair fairly for their labor? What kind of energy was involved in producing the food item?

  7. Inventory your home to see how you can reduce food waste.
  8. Inventory your home to see where you use plastic. How can you reduce the impact of plastic on the environment by using less or repurposing what plastic you do use?
  9. Read together as a family these two books by forester, Peter Wohlleben: The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals. 
  10. Conscious choice: it’s a buzz phrase today, but conscious choice is what kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws, are all about. Now we know that what we eat impacts the environment as well. What can you learn together about how food is produced in the U.S. today? What Judaism says about the food we eat? (Hint: it depends). Richard Schwartz, founder of the Jewish Vegetarian Society, JVS.org, has gathered a significant body of material from Tanach and rabbinic texts about vegetarianism and the environment. You can find this material here: The Schwartz Collection on Judaism, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights and here: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/rabbinic-teachings-on-vegetarianism

These activities all have a common purpose: thoughtful renewal of our relationship to the environment and the food it provides. Great ways to celebrate Tu b’Shevat year-round.

Upcoming at MCJC Week of January 22, 2019

For more information about any of these listings, please visit our website, either the provided links or the MCJC Calendar at mcjconline.org/events.

Wednesday, January 23
1:00 pm: Lunch and Learn
4:30 pm: Religious School

Friday, January 25 
6:30 pm: NO Community Shabbat Potluck Dinner

Saturday, January 26
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion

Sunday, January 27
8:00 am: Board Meeting
9:30 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Education

Wednesday, January 30
1:00 pm: Lunch and Learn
4:30 pm: Religious School

Friday, February 1
NO Community Shabbat Potluck Dinner (please join us Saturday, Feb. 2 for a Community Havdalah or Feb. 9 for an Extended Kiddush).

Saturday, February 2
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion
4:30 pm: Community Havdalah Program to include light fare, Zemirot, Talmud Torah.

Sunday, February 3
9:30 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Education

SAVE THE DATES!
Saturday, February 9
Extended Kiddush following morning service to include light fare, Zemirot, Talmud Torah.

Sunday, March 10: Charles Troy Comes to MCJC with Acclaimed “The Creation of West Side Story” Show. (Please note this date change).

This is an MCJC event you won’t want to miss! The show is followed with light refreshments, and free babysitting is available — but you must RSVP here or call the office at 815-455-1810.

Read all about this wonderful event

Extending Shabbat – Community Havdalah and Extended Kiddush

Our MCJC family likes to get together in different ways to extend Shabbat. Sometimes we share a Community Havdalah Program, and sometimes we share an Extended Kiddush. Except for some weeks in the coldest part of winter, we gather for a Community Shabbat Potluck Dinner. 

The Community Shabbat Potluck Dinner and the Community Havdalah Program have a family focus, and the Extended Kiddush has an adult focus. At all celebrations, we enjoy light fare, Zemirot, and Talmud Torah. We invite you to bring vegetarian items to share.

Please join your MCJC family for these Extended Shabbat experiences. There’s something for everyone at MCJC!

Upcoming at MCJC Week of January 15, 2019

For more information about any of these listings, please visit our website, either the provided links or the MCJC Calendar at mcjconline.org/events.

Wednesday, January 16
1:00 pm: Lunch and Learn
4:30 pm: Religious School
6:30 pm: Ritual Committee Meeting

Friday, January 18 
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat Potluck Dinner

Saturday, January 19
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion

Sunday, January 20
9:30 am: Religious School
10:40 am: Tu B’Shvat Seder Celebration – Parents and friends are welcome to join us. We will sample tree fruits, plant seeds, make bird feeders and play an environmental trivia game.
NO Adult Education

January 23
1:00 pm: Lunch and Learn
4:30 pm: Religious School

Friday, January 25 
NO Community Shabbat Potluck Dinner

Saturday, January 26
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion

Sunday, January 27
8:00 am: Board Meeting
9:30 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Education

SAVE THE DATE!
March 10: Charles Troy Comes to MCJC with Acclaimed “The Creation of West Side Story” Show. (Please note this date change).

This is an MCJC event you won’t want to miss! The show is followed with light refreshments, and free babysitting is available — but you must RSVP here or call the office at 815-455-1810.

Read all about this wonderful event.

From Kveller.com: The Shabbat Version of ‘Baby Shark’ Will Blow You Out of the Water

Read more about this really, really, really popular  video and other great things to enjoy with your kids here: https://www.kveller.com/the-shabbat-version-of-baby-shark-will-blow-you-out-of-the-water/

And watch it here or on Kveller:

From Kveller: If you are a parent to young children, you may have heard the song “Baby Shark” about, oh, some 235,000 to 2.3 million times already. The 60-minute loop of the hit kid song (and dance) has, impressively but unsurprisingly, over 30 million views.

But now, there’s a Jewish version of this ear worm that’s equally annoy… I mean, catchy. Jewish a cappella group the Maccabeats have put out a parody of “Baby Shark” that’s guaranteed to get your kids excited about the holiest day of the week: Shabbat!

Called simply, “It’s Shabbat!” the song chronicles all the awesomeness of this holiday, including challah, yummy food, and every exhausted parents favorite Saturday afternoon activity: nap time. With adorable animation and a cute Shabbat-themed dance, it’s sure to get your kids dancing and singing this Friday (and every) evening!

Religious School News Week of January 15, 2019

It was great seeing our parents and students again after the break. Welcome back!

This week: Wednesday is regular religious school for grades 3-7. This Sunday, January 20 we observe Havdalah at 9:30 am followed by class time (Hebrew for the upper grades).

Beginning at 10:40 am, we will enjoy a special Tu Bi-sh’vat Celebration. Parents and friends are welcome to join us. We will sample tree fruits, plant seeds, make bird feeders and play an environmental trivia game.

Other reminders: Please bring in snacks for the second half of the year. They can be bulk or, if you prefer, cash donations are acceptable.

If your child will be absent, remember to email school@mcjconline.org or text 847-373-3186.

Torah: Learning to Be in Relationships

Beshallach

Please join us for Shabbat worship and Torah study at 9:30 am.

We continue to explore the theme of relationships and healthy dependency through the prism of the manna.  We  also will focus on last year’s session on Beshallach. In addition, we will explore extended passages in this week’s Haftarah reading from Judges, the Song of Deborah.

Torah: Exodus 13:17 – 17:16 – Click here.
Haftarah: Judges 4:4 – 5:31 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

Torah (Parshat Beshallach, Sefer Shemot):

1. Ex 15: 20-21, p. 412
2. Ex 15: 22-25, p. 413
3. Ex 15: 26-27, p. 413

Haftarah:

Judges 4:4 – 5:31, p. 424