Gabbai’s Corner

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

By Gene Lindow 

I hope you all had a joyous Chanukah, and a very safe and memorable way of celebrating the arrival of 2018.

I thought I would take a stab at Judaism 101. Below is what I feel are some basic reasonings for wearing a head covering (kippah is Hebrew and yarmulke is Yiddish):

As in any religion, there are many different opinions about how to practice beliefs. A head covering is no different. I have read many of these opinions, such as it is a divine decree, you should wear one 24/7 except while bathing (even while sleeping), young children should wear it, and I even remember that one should not walk four cubits (or six feet) without one being on their head.

While many of these are practical in a predominately Jewish neighborhood, I feel it is not practical to don a kippah 24/7 here in McHenry County.

Yet, when I come into MCJC, whether for meetings, school, or social activities, someone’s home for shiva, and even services, I choose to wear one for “the place that I am at” has led me on a learning/spiritual endeavor.

For me the most logical justification for wearing a kippah is that it is a great way to put myself in the right frame of mind to come before G-d. To approach the Lord with humility and piety.

Some say there must be a separation between Gd and man, that there is a higher power, and we must remember this. To me it is just the opposite. I feel that wearing a kippah is a bridge or transition from the everyday, to becoming more focused on how we approach G-d, no matter where we are at on this earth, and that our behavior is a little more dignified (okay, some may say I may need to work on this one during services).

Wearing a kippah in a synagogue may influence our actions with one another, not just in MCJC but outside of the building in our everyday lives of treating our fellow human beings. This is true for all ages, and not just adults. Our children learn more at times by our actions instead of our words.

The “tools” that we have been given from the Torah and Rabbis for centuries are ways that we can attain not only a higher level of spirituality with God but also to guide us to becoming better human beings. For myself, the kippah is one of those many tools.

A Musical Gathering at the Raue Center

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

On Sunday, January 28, 2018 over 150 children and youth from six of the best children’s ensembles of the Chicago metropolitan area who represent various faith and ethnic traditions will gather at the Raue Center for the Arts (26 N Williams Street, Crystal Lake) for a day of interfaith music and dance.

The day culminates with a public concert called “The Sounds of Faith.” It will include song, dance, recitation, and chant from Islamic, Jewish, Christian, and Hindu traditions. All of the participants will join together in a shared anthem, “Peace in the Desert,” composed and conducted by the well-known composer, Lee Kesselman.

Tickets are available online at FaithBridge, a local interfaith consortium in the Northwestern suburbs of Chicago, and the Harran Productions Foundation are sponsors for this event.

Endorsed by the Parliament for World Religions, this “Sounds of Faith” concert will inaugurate local celebrations of World Interfaith Harmony Week sponsored by the United Nations. Over 1,000 events are anticipated worldwide through February 8, but this may be the only one to focus entirely on children.

Groups that will participate include Campanella Children’s Choir,
Northbrook, the Nasheed Club of the Islamic Foundation School of
Villa Park, the Little Warriors for Christ and Imani Ya Watume of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, the Children’s Kathak Dance Ensemble, Schaumburg, and the Chicago Children’s Choir – Rogers Park & Humboldt Park Neighborhood Choirs.

Religious School News: The School Year Continues!

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

By Jennifer Schwartz

Dear MCJC families and friends,

I could not be more proud of our students and staff. They have been so focused on doing mitzvot and gathering tzedakah this holiday season.

The children selling their first cokie at the sale (From left: Ari, Charlie, London, Alex, Lauren, Audrey).

The 4th and 5th graders engaged in a highly successful bake sale during our Hanukkah Boutique. Not only did they bring in baked goods, they also decorated their own personalized cookies that Hospital.

Each classroom collected canned goods to build their Can-ukiah as high as it could possibly go for the month of December.

The classroom can counts are located on the large, blue bulletin board outside of Mrs. Eskoz’s room. We will make sure the congregation knows which

Andrew, Alex, Lauren and Max decorating cookies.

classroom had the highest number of cans and how many canned goods we collected.

On January 7, MCJC will host a blood drive. Haley Markowitz has been kind enough to head up this initiative. We would love to see a record-breaking number of attendees this year, following in the footsteps of our children and their mitzvot.

Please contact Haley if you have interest in volunteering or donating.

McHenry County Div. of Transportation “Adopt-A-Highway” Program & McHenry County Conservation District “Adopt-A-Trail” Program

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

The MCJC Social Action committee participates in both of these
community service programs by picking up litter on a regularly scheduled basis from Ridgefield Road between U.S. Route 14 and
Country Club Road, and from the bike trail along U.S. Route 14 between Ridgefield Road and McHenry County College.

The team leader for the Adopt-A-Highway Program is Bruce Weiss, and the team leader for the Adopt-A-Trail Program is Lizz Dewey.

Signs have been installed by the McHenry County Division of
Transportation and the McHenry County Conservation District at the corner of Ridgefield Road and U.S Route 14, at the corner of Ridgefield Road and Country Club Road, and at the corner of U.S. Route 14 and Lucas Road, notifying the general public of MCJC’s participation in the Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt-A-Trail Programs.

MCJC-sponsored PADS Dinners

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

The MCJC Social Action committee prepares and serves dinners for the homeless community of McHenry County at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Woodstock the fourth Wednesday of every month between October and April.

The MCJC-sponsored PADS dinner team consists of Ben & Amy Llaneta (team leaders), BJ Llaneta, Bruce & Marian Weiss, Gene Lindow, Bob & Esther Kaplan, Eileen Franks, Elli Emmons, Linda & Jerry Trachsler, Iza Celewicz, and Leslie Cook.

Forty-five homeless guests were served dinner on October 25 and fifty-one were served dinner on November 22. One of the PADS Program administrators commented at the October 25 dinner, “your synagogue always prepares wonderful dinners for the PADS guests.”

Habitat for Humanity, McHenry County

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

The MCJC Social Action committee involvement has been with Habitat For Humanity, McHenry County, which came about through the efforts of Rabbi Maralee Gordon and MCJC Social Action committee member George Sachs.

MCJC Social Action committee member Howard Frank serves as a volunteer worker for Habitat for Humanity, McHenry County, and has helped build eight homes this past year.

Continued MCJC participation in this wonderful community service program is achieved through the efforts of MCJC Social Action committee member Howard Frank. Every Wednesday between 8:30 am and 3:00 pm for the past eight months, Howard has represented MCJC as a volunteer worker for Habitat For Humanity, McHenry County. In that time, Howard has helped build eight homes, has met a lot of nice people, and has learned a great deal about construction and repair work.

Habitat For Humanity, McHenry County accepts monetary donations of new and gently used building materials and household goods at their ReStore resale store located at 2205 S. Eastwood Drive in Woodstock.

The Essence of Jewish Education

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

By Rabbi Tom

The Hebrew word for education is chinuch. The Talmud associates this word with the word chen, grace. That education, in the Jewish tradition, is the act of drawing-out, revealing the unique inner beauty of each and every student.

The Torah is called the Book of Life, sefer ha’chayim – not the Book of Knowledge. Judaism is not something you study; it is something you get intimately involved with. It is a relationship. A meeting place where we meet God.

This is so very relevant to today when knowledge is available
on every Internet-connected device, where what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know.

The determinant for a successful educational program must first and foremost be measured by how well it is able to engage, to integrate, and to inspire the whole child. That is the world they inhabit, and the world they would like to build. Education is, after all, an organic process that when most effective, weaves life and learning together, naturally and seamlessly.

And so, at its core, Jewish education cannot and should not be reduced to disseminating information. Rather, Jewish education is about sharing a world of ideas. It is aspirational, and never about arrival.

Blessed are You God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us through His commandments, and commanded us to be immersed
in the words and in a life of Torah.

Upcoming at MCJC

Wednesday, January 3
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom (Off for Winter Break)
4:30 pm: Religious School (Off for Winter Break)

Friday, January 5
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat & Potluck Dinner

Saturday, January 6
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services

Sunday, January 7
8:30 am – 12:30 pm: Blood Drive at MCJC
9:15 am: Religious School (Off for Winter Break)
11:00 am: Adult Ed with Rabbi Tom (Off for Winter Break)

Wednesday, January 10
1:00 pm: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Tom (Off for Winter Break)
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

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

Sunday, February 4 at 12:15 pm
Diamond’s Brunch, Meeting & Free Concert (Adjacent ad, post or Events Calendar listing)

MCJC Blood Drive – Sun. January 7, 2018

Heartland Blood Centers conducts our MCJC Blood Drive on:

Sunday, January 7, 2018, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Donors will receive a $13 Noodles and Company coupon.

Click Here to schedule your preferred donation time. You can also email MCJC member Haley Swanson-Markowitz with any questions through the Social Action email, socialaction@mcjconline.orgWrite “Haley” in the subject line.

Blood donors save lives! Be a lifesaver and sign up for our blood drive!

The Jewish Heart of McHenry County

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