Torah: Creating Communities of Meaning (Bamidbar 2018)

In the institutional American Jewish world, over the past half century, there has been what scholars call a Theology, a Halacha of Demographics: How many people registered for our program? Who is affiliated and with whom? Who is engaged with Israel and why?  This has become the bulk of the conversation, the Halacha of American Jewish life.

But the problem, the challenge, isn’t demographics or not giving Hitler a posthumous victory. Rather it is about creating communities of meaning. Communal systems cannot flourish where their only narrative are numbers and rules. For true vibrancy, communities require human stories –- of suffering and triumph, conflict and euphoria, humor and love –- to ensure that a community understands its own depth and complexities.

We are here to serve each other. To answer the question, “Why remain Jewish?” To teach each other how a commitment to Jewish life will, as Jay Michaelson writes, revive our spirit, rekindle our passion for living, and infuse our lives with joy and with meaning. Satisfy our need to touch the transcendent in the world. Express our very humanity.

The Trope: Bamidbar

Torah: Numbers 1:1 – 4:20 – Click here.

Haftarah: Hosea 2:1 – 2:22 – Click here.

Upcoming at MCJC

Wednesday, May 9
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom

Thursday, May 10
7:00 pm: MCJC Book Club

Friday, May 11
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner

Saturday, May 12
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services with Torah Discussion

Wednesday, May 16
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom
6:30 pm: Ritual Committee Meeting

Friday, May 18
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat Potluck

Saturday, May 19
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services with Torah Discussion
7:00 pm: Community Shavuot Learning Program (Tikuun Leil Shavuot)

Sunday, May 20
9:30 am: Shavuot Services with Yizkor

May 26
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services – Seth Turnball’s Bar Mitzvah

Torah: The Jubilee Year — Meshing Human to God and Human to Human Relationships (Behar-Bechukotai 2018)

At the very heart of our tradition is the notion that there is holiness in the world and that we are responsible, accountable, to God, for having such holiness realized.  That the way in which you and I behave in the world ultimately helps to shape and repair our universe. That God charges us with the responsibility of contributing to the repair of the world, to the completion of a Creation.

The Trope

Behar: Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2 – Click here.

Bechotai: Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34 – Click here.

Religious School Closing Day May 6 — Line Up of Festivities

Our incomparable MCJC Maintenance Men on another occasion. Always the best!

9:15 am: Join Rabbi Tom and the teachers in Havdalah, singing, and a brief review of the year

10:00 am: Participate in our first ever Adults vs. Kids Jewpardy game

10:30 am: Parents attend the congregation’s Annual Meeting and board elections while our Kids play Gaga Ball (adult supervision has been arranged)

11:15 am: Enjoy a hot dog lunch brought to you by our one and only MCJC Maintenance Men

Indulge with a shaved ice treat! The Tropical Chill truck will be here!

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you all PADS dinner volunteers for an amazing 2018 season

The April 25 MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner fed 35 homeless guests and seven PADS volunteers.

The FOOD PROVIDERS for this dinner were:  Gene Lindow (barbecue chicken),  Leslie Cook (barley bean vegetable soup),  Amy and Ben Llaneta (potato salad),  Ellen Morton (green beans),  Esther Kaplan (salad),  Iza Celewicz (rolls), Kim Solomon Dooley (brownies), and Marian Weiss (chocolate cake,  apple sauce raisin cake, and chocolate chip cookie squares).

The FOOD SERVERS for the April 25 dinner were:  Amy and BJ Llaneta,  Kim Solomon Dooley,  Iza Celewicz,  Briana and Elsa Salgado, Brian Silver, and Bruce Weiss.

The PADS dish washing volunteers failed to show up the night of April 25, so the following MCJC PADS dinner team members pitched in to help wash the dinner dishes:  Kim Solomon Dooley,  Iza Celewicz,  Briana and Elsa Salgado, Brian Silver, and Bruce Weiss.

The April 25 MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner is the last PADS dinner for the 2017-2018 winter season.  The MCJC-sponsored PADS dinners for the 2017-2018 winter season were an amazing success —   and they were an amazing success because of the hard work all of you put into them.

I am MCJC’s representative to the Woodstock Area Community Ministries (WACM) which oversees the PADS dinner program. I know first hand how grateful WACM is for MCJC’s participation in this important community service program.  MCJC has an outstanding reputation as a caring congregation among the members of WACM for its active involvement in community service projects.

Thank you to all who participated in the 2017-2018 season!

The MCJC Book Club

The MCJC Book Club continues to meet every other month. Our next meeting is Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 7:00 PM. We will discuss And After the Fire by Lauren Belfer.

This book is available in paperback format at libraries, book stores and online at,, and other book sites.

Rachel Kamin will facilitate our program. Tell a friend and bring them too! SEE YOU THEN!!!

Questions? Contact Rita at

Upcoming at MCJC Week of May 1

Wednesday, May 2
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School
6:15 pm: Religious School Faculty Meeting

Friday, May 4
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner

Saturday, May 5
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services with Torah Discussion

Sunday, May 6
9:15 am Last Day of Religious School, Closing Day, Community Picnic

Wednesday, May 9
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom

Thursday, May 10
7:00 pm: MCJC Book Club

Friday, May 11
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner

Saturday, May 12
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services with Torah Discussion

Save the Dates:
May 19
7:00 pm Community Shavuot Learning Program (Tikuun Leil Shavuot)

May 20
9:30 am Shavuot Services with Yizkor

May 26
9:30 am Shabbat Morning Services – Seth Turnball’s Bar Mitzvah

MCJC Annual Notice and Proxy

Dear Fellow Congregant:

The annual meeting of the McHenry County Jewish Congregation will be held Sunday, May 6, 2018, at 10:30 am. The meeting will include:

• State of the Congregation (Officers Report)
• Board of Directors Election, 2018-19
• Rabbi’s Comments
• 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 17 meeting, or you may cut, paste and complete the proxy and email it to MCJC to or

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. (Also attached is a Proxy Ballot)

MCJC’s Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the following slate of officers for consideration for the 2018-19 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
Leslie Cook
Steve Danzig
Mark Goldberg
Iza Celewicz

We hope you will be able to join us on the May 6. If you have any questions, you can contact Rob Perbohner ( or me.

Sincerely yours,

Jack Fishman
MCJC President

Please cut and paste, complete the proxy, and email it to me at or to Rob Perbohner 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 6, 2018. I designate the congregant member below to vote on all matters on my behalf.



(Printed Name)


(Printed name of Proxy)


Meet the Bar Mitzvah: Seth Turnball

I turned 13 in December and will be having my Bar Mitzvah service on May 26. One of my favorite sports is basketball; I have been playing since first grade. I’ve played on a traveling league for the past three years, where I get to go all over Wisconsin for games.

I am in the dual language program in my public school where I spend half my day in English and the other half in Spanish. My goal is to have my Biliteracy Seal on my high school diploma.

I also have been playing percussion in band for the past four years. I joined the jazz band in middle school, and really love playing the full drum kit in the fun songs we play.

I first decided to join Hebrew school in third grade. I did not know what to be a Jew meant, other than the few things we did at home. Over time I have been learning and developing my own idea of being Jewish. I wanted to become a Bar Mitzvah because that takes me one step closer to the Jewish community and the MCJC community. I never would have gotten this far if it wasn’t for MCJC and the teachers. They have guided and helped me in so many ways.

One of my biggest passions is giving to those who need a little extra help. When I was younger and my mom took me to Chicago, I would bring all my money to give to the local homeless man where my Aunt
Lauren lived. This is why I have chosen to help my local homeless community with my mitzvah project.

I will be collecting donations for the local PADS shelter here in Woodstock. I will be setting up a collection at MCJC, looking for in kind donations of items such as $5 gift cards to locations like Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Jewel. You may also donate items such as hand warmers, sterno, bug spray, ponchos, canned food with easy pop-top lids, small battery operated flashlights, batteries, travel size toiletries, travel size first aid kits, battery operated radios, toilet paper, sun tan lotion, silverware, travel size sewing kits, travel size deodorants, variety sizes of Ziploc bags, and disposable containers for food.

The Jewish Heart of McHenry County

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