Special Board Announcement

We are pleased and excited to announce that we have signed a new contract with Rabbi Tom, whereby he will serve as our community’s spiritual leader for at least the next two years, with the possibility of third and fourth option years.
The Board and Rabbi Tom look forward to continuing the journey of building MCJC as our Jewish home – with love, respect, curiosity, diversity, and Torah. 
 
Jack B. Fishman President

Upcoming at MCJC

Wednesday, January 24
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School
6:00 pm: PADS Dinner (See Ad, right column)

Thursday, January 25
7:00 pm: MCJC’s Book Club (See Post below, Calendar left column, Ad right column)

Friday, January 26
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner is on this week!

Saturday, January 27
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services

Sunday, January 28
9:15 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Ed with Rabbi Tom
4:00 pm: Sounds of Faith – Interfaith Childrens’ Concert at the Raue Center in Crystal Lake (See Post below, Calendar left column, Ad right column)

Wednesday, January 31
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School

Friday, February 2
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner

Saturday, February 3
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services
7:00 pm: CKI Jewish Film Festival (See Calendar left column, Ad right column)

(Note that First Shabbat Havdala Programming that night has been canceled. Folks are encouraged to attend the Film Festival at CKI.)

Sunday, February 4
9:15 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Ed with Rabbi Tom
12:15 pm: Diamonds’ Brunch, Meeting, & Free Concert (See
Calendar left column, Ad right column)

Wednesday, February 7
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School
6:30 pm: Ritual Committee

Friday, February 9
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner

Saturday, February 10
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services

Sunday, February 11
9:15 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Ed with Rabbi Tom
3:00 pm: Prairie Jewish Youth Event at X-treme Wheels in Crystal Lake (for 5th grade-high school)

Wednesday, February 14
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School

Friday, February 16
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner

Saturday, February 17
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services

Sunday, February 18
No Religious School: Teacher-In-Training at the Chicago Board of Education. Note that renowned puppeteer Marilyn Price will be at CKI in Elgin that morning. More details to come.

SAVE THE DATE:
Saturday, April 28

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
A Night of Casino Entertainment and Silent Auction at the McHenry VFW. Ticket and sponsorship information will be available soon.

Upcoming at MCJC

Friday, January 26 at 6:30 pm
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner is on this week!

Saturday, January 27
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services

Sunday, January 28
9:15 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Ed with Rabbi Tom

Saturday, February 3
7:00 pm: CKI Jewish Film Festival (see ad in right column)
Note that First Shabbat Havdala Programming that night has been canceled. Folks are encouraged to attend the Film Festival at CKI.

Sunday, February 4
12:15 pm: Diamonds’ Brunch, Meeting & Free Concert (see ad in right column)

Save the Dates:
Sunday, February 11
3:00 pm: Prairie Jewish Youth Event at X-treme Wheels in Crystal Lake (for 5th grade-high school)

Sunday, February 18
No Religious School: Teacher-In-Training at the Chicago Board of Education. Note that renowned puppeteer Marilyn Price will be at CKI in Elgin that morning. More details to come.

Saturday, April 28
7:00pm – 10:00pm

A Night of Casino Entertainment and Silent Auction at the Mchenry VFW. Ticket and sponsorship information will be available soon.

Shabbat Ba’Bayit: Shabbat in the Home Friday, January 19, 2018, at 6:30 pm

The Sages of old spoke of Shabbat as a glimpse of the World to Come. A gift to us human beings from the Treasure-house of HaShem, The Divine.

All are welcome to bring in Shabbat with prayers, singing and a Kosher Shabbat dinner at the home of MCJC members Steve and Sharon Danzig. Steve and Sharon will prepare a traditional Kosher chicken dinner, just like Bubbe used to make, but even better!

We are past the RSVP date. However, if you do wish to participate, please contact Jill Purvin at events@mcjconline.org, or leave a message with the MCJC office at 815-455-1810, to help us plan.

NOTE: The MCJC building will be closed this Friday night.

Upcoming PADS dinner Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 6:00 pm.

The MCJC Social Action Committee is seeking volunteers to help prepare and/or serve a meal the fourth Wednesday of each month from November through April for the homeless of McHenry County at the Woodstock Emergency PADS Site.

The Woodstock Emergency PADS Site is Redeemer Lutheran Church 1320 Dean Street in Woodstock. Food donations need to be brought to the Woodstock Emergency PADS Site at 6:00 pm and dinners are served between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm.

Our next PADS dinner is Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm.

For more information, or to make arrangements to pick up your food donation, or to help out as either a food preparer or server for this important community service project, contact Bruce Weiss at socialaction@mcjconline.org.

Monetary donations for this important endeavor will also be greatly appreciated.

Upcoming at MCJC

E-nouncements Jan. 9, 2018
For more information, see related ads at the right or calendar listings in the left navigation bar.

Wednesday, January 10
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School

Friday, January 12
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner (Off for Winter Break)

Saturday, January 13
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services

Sunday, January 14
9:15 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Ed with Rabbi Tom

Monday, January 15
7:30 am: MLK Interfaith Breakfast

Wednesday, January 17
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School

Thursday, January 18
7:00 pm: MCJC’s Book Club

Friday, January 19
6:30 pm: Shabbat BaBayit: Shabbat services & dinner at the home of MCJC members Steve and Sharon Danzig.

Saturday, January 20
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services

Sunday, January 21
8:00 am: MCJC Board Meeting
9:15 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Ed with Rabbi Tom

SAVE THE DATES:

Friday, February 2 at 6:30 pm
Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner is on this week!

Saturday, February 3 at 7:00 pm
CKI Jewish Film Festival
(Note that First Shabbat Havdala Programming that night has been canceled. Folks are encouraged to attend the Film Festival at CKI)

Sunday, February 4 at 12:15 pm
Diamond’s Brunch, Meeting & Free Concert

A Message from Rabbi Tom: Finding God in the Everyday

MCJC Connections
January/February 2018 ~ Tevet/Shevat/Adar ~ Vol. 5778

By Rabbi Tom

Rabbi Tom Samuels

Rabbi Rami Shapiro tells a story: Reb Yaakov Shimshon of Kosov loved to share with his students the stories of the great Rebbes and their Hassidim.

It once happened after morning prayer that the Rebbe began to tell one story after another without stopping. He and his Hasidim were lifted to such a state of divine rapture that they stepped out of time. The day passed, and it wasn’t until late in the afternoon that the Rebbe told his final tale. Slowly, Reb Yaakov and his disciples returned to the needs of the everyday world, and realized that they had eaten neither breakfast nor lunch.

One of the students stood up and honored his Rebbe, saying, “Until this moment, Rebbe, I did not really understand Moshe Rabbeinu, Moses our sacred teacher, when he said that while on Mount Sinai he ate no bread and drank no water. Now I know what it is like to be filled with the very Presence of God, and to feel no further need to eat or drink.”

Reb Yaakov nodded his appreciation to his student and said, “Your interpretation is a worthy one, my son, but perhaps Moshe was not celebrating his transcendence of food and drink, but regretting it? We know that everything in this world contains a spark of the Divine and that only when a thing is used properly is this spark uplifted and repaired to God, from Whom it came. This is no less true of food and drink than it is of books and tools.”

Moshe realized that in those forty days on Mount Sinai he neither ate nor drank, and thus failed to uplift the divine sparks in his bread and water. “In the World to Come, these sparks will complain to the Holy One that Moshe did them a grave disservice by putting his own love of God before their liberation.”

Imagine that. Even Moses, the only human being to come face to face with HaShem, the Divine, needed to focus on the ordinary.

Rabbi Rami tells us of the great Kabbalist Isaac Luria (1534–1572) who taught that all things contain a spark of the Divine, and that the deepest spiritual work is to release those sparks and return them to God by using the things of this world in a righteous and honorable manner. More often than not, the greatest mysteries in life, we (hopefully) discover, are the simplest ones, the ones that we confront every day.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel famously said, “We tend to read the Bible looking for mighty acts that God does, and not seeing that all the way through the Bible God is waiting for human beings to act.”

He went on and quoted from the Prophet Elijah, “There was a great and mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks by the power of the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, fire; but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, kol demamah dakkah, the sound of delicate silence.” (1 Kings 19)

God, Rabbi Heschel was teaching us, as was Reb Yaakov in the Hassidic story above, is found in the ordinariness, the everyday, the seemingly most mundane aspects of our lives. That is where God resides.

B’Shalom, Rabbi Tom

President’s Report: We Look Ahead as Another Year Passes

MCJC Connections
January/February 2018 ~ Tevet/Shevat/Adar ~ Vol. 5778

By Jack Fishman

While the weather has been remarkably temperate, we know that the dark, cold days of winter loom ahead. Yet along with that come the holidays, and regardless of your religious, cultural, spiritual persuasions and your own level of “holiday involvement,” December was meant to be filled with family, friends, and enjoyable experiences.

As the secular New Year approaches, we typically take stock of the year that’s about to pass, and look forward to the new year with hope and aspirations. We hope for a healthy and happy year, a year of time with our family and friends, a year of prosperity, success in our businesses and in our personal lives.

The transitions that we each undergo as the year – and years – pass, become less burdensome as we become more accepting of our current station in life.

Some things linger and are harder to accept than others, but time goes on. There are many things we can change, but many more that we can’t, both in our lives and in our surroundings, and we have to be accepting – and grateful – for what we have and where we are.

As we each take stock of our own lives, we here at MCJC have to gauge where we were and where we are. 2018 will certainly be a year of transition, and yet some things will be static.

We are entering into contract negotiations with Rabbi Samuels, and hope to have a contract with him finalized in the next several
weeks. While we don’t yet have a new slate of candidates to propose for the Board in May, we are working on addressing that issue, and we are trying to identify candidates who may be interested in stepping up to fill the openings that will be available on the Board come May.

It would be fair to say that the last few years have been a bit challenging for many of us at MCJC. But as Winston Churchill said, “When you’re going through hell, keep on going.” And so here we are.

MCJC is poised to enter a new stage of its existence as we look towards 2018. We need everyone’s support and enthusiastic involvement. We need your candid opinions about everything – from religious and spiritual matters, to building and ground concerns, to operations, and the performance of your Board. Take this opportunity, brought on by a new year and the changes that lie ahead, to help make a difference in MCJC’s growth and viability.

My wish for us as we enter the New Year is that we all make the most of the good times we can have with family, friends, and those dear to us; that the new year brings health, happiness, and prosperity to all of us; that the issues that have divided us become less divisive; and that we all are able to be thankful for the good things we have, never forgetting the challenges we may have faced.

The Jewish Heart of McHenry County

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