Category Archives: Caring Community

Annual Meeting Report from Social Action

PROJECTS: MAY 2018 – MAY 2019

ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY AND ADOPT-A-TRAIL 

MCJC is a participant in the McHenry County Department of Transportation Adopt-A-Highway Program and the McHenry County Conservation District Adopt-A-Trail Program.

As a participant in these two important community service environmental programs, MCJC is responsible for picking up litter on Ridgefield Road between Country Club Road and U.S. Route 14, and the Bike Trail along U.S Route 14 between Ridgefield Road and Lucas Road (McHenry County Community College) from April 1 until the first snowfall. Usually two to four five gallon cans of litter are picked up along Ridgefield Road, and a bit less than one five-gallon can is picked up along the bike trail.

Bruce Weiss is looking for volunteers to help him twice a month with this community service project.  The amount of work time involved is approximately one hour. The day and time the work would be done is completely flexible. If you are able to help, please contact Bruce at 815-338-2721 or socialaction@mcjconline.org.

MCHENRY COUNTY CROP HUNGER WALK

MCJC joined 12 local churches and participated in the 2018 McHenry County Crop Hunger Walk on Sunday, September 30, 2018.  A total of $24,159.28 was raised by this year’s WALK participants. Twenty-five percent of the money raised from the WALK benefited local food pantries, and seventy-five percent of the proceeds raised from the WALK  benefit hunger relief programs world wide.

MCJC participants raised a total of $686!  MCJC participants in the 2018 McHenry County Crop Hunger Walk included:  Davina/Jim/Sienna/Andrew Kelly, Dara & Seth Turnball, Brandon & Eli Pacyna, Jonah/London/Asher Markowitz, Carrie/Jason/Briella Bernstein, Kelly/Robb/Ryleigh/Brooklyn Tadelman, Paula Eskoz, and Bruce Weiss.

WOODSTOCK AREA COMMUNITY MINISTRIES “SHARE THE WARMTH” WINTER CLOTHING COLLECTION DRIVE

MCJC was a participating congregation in the Woodstock Area Community Ministries “Share The Warmth” winter clothing collection drive.  Coats, jackets, boots, mittens, and blankets were collected by local religious congregations and distributed to more than 100 people in need at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Woodstock between November 8 and November 10, 2018. MCJC contributed  winter coats and gloves that completely filled two 32-gallon cans!

MCJC-SPONSORED PADS DINNERS

MCJC members prepared and served a dinner for the homeless the last Wednesday of each month between October 2018 and April 2019 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Woodstock. Between 20 and 33 (average 25) homeless PADS guests and 5 to 8 (average 6) PADS overnight volunteers were fed each month.

The MCJC-sponsored PADS dinners were a big success. The food items that MCJC members prepared were always delicious, and the MCJC serving team members always had a good time working together.  The homeless PADS guests and the PADS overnight volunteers “loved” the MCJC sponsored PADS dinners, often coming back for seconds and even thirds! Jackie Kroeger, the McHenry County PADS Dinner Coordinator,  greatly appreciated MCJC’s participation in this very worthwhile community service project.

MCJC members that provided food items for this past year’s PADS dinners included: Gene Lindow, Leslie Cook, Ellen Morton, Iza Celewicz, Kim Solomon Dooley, Briana & Elsie Salgado, Esther & Bob Kaplan, Amy Yoslov-Llaneta, Dara Turnball, Andy & Jill Purvin, and Marian & Bruce Weiss. Special thanks goes to Gene Lindow and Chef Adam at the Trio Grille Restaurant for their willingness to prepare the entrees for every MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner this past year.

MCJC members that helped serve the past year’s PADS dinners included: Linda & Jerry Trachsler, Amy Yoslov-Llaneta, Brian Silver, Iza Celewicz, Kim & Logan Solomon Dooley, Briana/Elsie/Jessie Salgado, Dara & Seth Turnball, Brandon & Eli Pacyna, Andy/Miles/Hunter Purvin, and Bruce Weiss.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
BUILDING PROJECTS

MCJC member Howard Frank has done a spectacular job representing MCJC and working as a volunteer for McHenry County Habitat For Humanity. Howard wrote the following report:

“I have been volunteering for Habitat For Humanity for just over 2 years and have really enjoyed the activity and the friendships that I have made. Just a summary of what has happened over the past 12 months is impressive: 9 families are in (or will be soon) rehabbed homes or condos, 6 families are in (or will be soon) brand new construction.   

“To me, this is amazing!!  This group of volunteers (led by Habitat employees) has been able to enrich the lives of 15 families with affordable homes of their own. 

“Looking forward, I have been told that there are nearly 20 jobs (both new construction and rehab) to be undertaken over the next year. We are always looking for people with a desire to help in these activities. The Habitat employees and the senior volunteers (not me) are there to train anyone willing to learn. You will get dirty, but it is a wonderful feeling going to the dedication ceremonies where the keys are turned over to the new families.   

“Please join me on Wednesdays (other days are also available) to help this worthwhile activity.”  ~ Howard Frank  (847)-764-9143 (cell phone).

CORNERS OF OUR FIELDS PROJECT

The Corners of Our Fields Project is not, strictly speaking, an MCJC social action committee undertaking. It has evolved into the “baby” of Ellen and Joel Levy.  The Corners of Our Fields Project is undertaken each High Holy Day season when we collect food and personal care items for people in need.

This year’s recipient of the food collected from the Corners of Our Fields Project was the McHenry West High School Food For Thought Program that provides food for McHenry West High School students from low income families. The personal care items collected by the Corners of Our Fields Project was donated to the Old Fire House Assistance Center in Woodstock which provides multiple services to the the homeless community of McHenry County.

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

By Bruce Weiss, MCJC Social Action Chairperson

PADS

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.

MCJC-Sponsored PADS Dinner Coming Up April 24

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is PADS_lg.jpgBy Bruce Weiss

MCJC members prepared and served PADS dinners for the homeless at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Woodstock on February 27 and March 27. We fed twenty-three PADS guests and eight overnight PADS volunteers on February 27 and twenty-eight PADS guests and six overnight PADS volunteers on March 27.

The meals were delicious, and it was a joy for the MCJC meal servers to see how much the PADS guests and volunteers enjoyed and appreciated them.

Special thanks go to the following individuals for providing food for  the February and March dinners:   Gene Lindow, Leslie Cook, Briana & Elsie Salgado, Esther Kaplan, Ellen Morton, Iza Celewicz, Kim Solomon Dooley, and Marian and Bruce Weiss.

Special thanks also go out to the following individuals for helping to serve the February and March dinners:  Linda and Jerry Trachsler, Iza Celewicz, Briana and Elsie Salgado, Kim and Logan Solomon Dooley, and Bruce Weiss.

The next and last MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner for the 2018-2019 winter season is Wednesday, April 24 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 Dean Street in Woodstock, between 6:00 and 8:00 pm.

The entree for the April 24 MCJC PADS dinner is meatloaf, which Gene Lindow will provide. If you would like to provide a side dish for the April 24 MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner or would like to help serve the meal, please contact MCJC Social Action chairperson Bruce Weiss at socialaction@mcjconline.org  or 815-338-2721.

MCJC is known throughout McHenry County as a congregation who helps people in need.

Last MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner of the 2018-2019 season coming up…

PADS_lgWe are looking forward to our last MCJC-sponsored PADS dinners for the 2018-2019 winter season: Wednesday, April 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

The dinners are at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 Dean Street in Woodstock. Those bringing food should plan to have it there by 6:00 pm. We now 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 socialaction@mcjconline.org.

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

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 socialaction@mcjconline.org.

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

Next MCJC PADS-sponsored Dinner Wednesday, December 26

The next MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner is Wednesday, December 26, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 Dean Street in Woodstock.

Gene Lindow and his Trio Grille chef, Adam, will make Italian Beef sandwiches for the entree.  Leslie Cook will provide soup. Marian and I will provide cookies, brownies, and a cake.

I need some input for something to serve with the Italian Beef sandwiches. What kind of potato dish (french fries? potato chips? other potato dish?) . . . what kind of vegetable/salad (coleslaw? fruit salad? regular salad?). We will not need rolls for this meal.

We will need a minimum of 4 servers. Most likely we will again have to wash a few dishes, although we will use paper plates and bowls as much as possible.

I know this PADS dinner is right in the heart of the holiday season, but I hope we will still have enough help with this important community mitzvah.

I will find out from Jackie Kroeger (PADS Dinner Coordinator) how many guests have come to the PADS dinners this month and let everyone know so we can plan effectively.

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

Our next MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner is December 26

Our November 28 MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner was very successful. The food was delicious, and the servers had a good time serving the meal and washing the dishes.

Yes, doing the dishes! It seems that will be the case going forward. In prior years, a man and wife team came in to do that work, but  unfortunately are no longer available, and no replacement volunteers have been found.

The PADS servers this year have been allowed to use paper products to serve the meal instead of china to reduce the amount of dish washing, but those of us that washed remarked, “There still seem to be a lot of items to wash!”

We fed twenty-seven PADS guests and five overnight PADS volunteers. We are serving many fewer PADS guests this year than last year, so we will recommend appropriately smaller quantities to those who bring food.

Our next PADS dinner is December 26. Thanks to all who worked on this past month’s dinner!  Please get in touch with Bruce Weiss, Social Action Chairperson (socialaction@mcjconline.org) if you would like to get involved with our next dinner.

Update on MCJC-sponsored November 28 PADS Dinner

The next MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner is this  Wednesday at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 Dean Street in Woodstock (across from the Woodstock Fire Station on Dean Street).

Thank you all so much for helping out with this important community service project!

Food providers for the meal are: Leslie Cook (soup),  Gene Lindow/Trio Grille (chicken entree), Briana and Elsie Salgado (mashed potatoes), Ellen Morton (green beans), Dara Turnball (rolls), Ilene Kaye (dessert), Kim Dooley Solomon (brownies), and Marian Weiss (chocolate chip cookies and some type of cake).

It is hard to know how many PADS guests we will have. The numbers have run low this year (roughly 25 people,) but with winter now in full force, we probably should plan for 50 PADS guests.

Servers for the meal are:  Dara and Brandon Turnball and their two children, Briana, Elsa and Jessie Salgado, Kim Dooley Solomon, Iza Celewicz, Brian Silver, and me. This is the largest number of servers we have ever had! Everyone gets a chance to help out, and we always have fun.

Although we don’t usually wash the dishes, we did for the last two dinners — so we’ll be prepared if that’s required!

The meal is served between 7:00 and 8:00 pm, so if you’re bringing food, please bring your items between 6:00 and 6:30 pm. Look forward to seeing you there!

Bruce Weiss
MCJC Social Action Chairperson

PADS Dinner Upcoming Wednesday, November 28

The next MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner is Wednesday, November 28 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 Dean Street in Woodstock.

The menu for the November 28 dinner is soup,  chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls, and dessert. Gene Lindow and Adam ( Head Chef at Trio Grille Restaurant) will provide chicken, Leslie Cook soup, and Marian Weiss desserts for the meal.

The MCJC Social Action Committee still needs food providers for mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and rolls. Food contributions for the meal need to be at Redeemer Lutheran Church between 6:15-6:30 pm. I will get a head count from the PADS Volunteer Meal Coordinator a week before the meal, but now that winter is here,  we can probably expect between 50 and 60 PADS guests to feed at the overnight shelter at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

We also need four to seven individuals to serve the meal. Food servers should be at Redeemer Lutheran Church by 6:30-6:45 pm, and we will serve the meal between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. Usually a PADS volunteer team separate from the meal providers comes to wash the dishes, although that didn’t happen in October, and the MCJC PADS dinner team had to complete that job.

Thanks for being a member of the MCJC PADS dinner team! MCJC is recognized throughout our community as a caring congregation, and MCJC providing a PADS dinner once a month is truly a “community Mitzvah.”

Thanks for your help,
Bruce Weiss
MCJC Social Action Chairperson

MCJC hosts Community Shabbat and Vigil in response to Pittsburgh shootings

My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of my people.  — Lamentations 3:48

You are invited to McHenry County Jewish Congregation on Friday, November 2, 2018 at 7:oo pm to join together in solidarity in response to the shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

MCJC will host a Community Shabbat and Vigil. All faiths are welcome to join us in lighting candles and coming together in prayer for our Jewish family in Pittsburgh, and for all those who have experienced violence.

The MCJC community offers its help and support to the Pittsburgh community during this harrowing time and in the days, months, and years to come.

May God grant our people both the strength to help each other during this time of mourning, and the fortitude to rebuild together. May decent people the world over join together with us to foster kindness and love between communities. May the memories of those lost be for a blessing.