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Grateful

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh “Who is rich? Those who rejoice in their own portion” - Pirkei Avot 4:1 We as a Jewish collective have encountered great challenge and hardship throughout our history. I have often quipped that historically a good day for a Jew was one where you were only kicked out of a country. But even among this backdrop of struggle, Judaism has survived. As modern Jews, our challenges are different. And simply surviving isn’t all that remarkable, frankly. Instead, both collectively and individually, we want to thrive. And how do we best facilitate that

A Few Words from Cassandra Tenonbaum

I will admit to sometimes feeling frustrated that I have to keep track of both the Jewish and secular calendars. On the other hand, sometimes it affords me opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise. For example, because I celebrate both Rosh Hashanah and New Year’s Day, I have twice the reminder to check in with myself, to evaluate and reset my intentions. During the High Holy Days this year, Rabbi Marantz emphasized the need to this kind of self-evaluation - called a chesbon ha’nefesh, or inventory of the soul, in Judaism - through the lens of inclusivity. He invoked the belief that we are all made b’tzelem Elohim, in God’s image, and therefore worthy of respect, dignity, and compassion.

Women's Retreat Reflections

The women's retreat has been a beautiful part of Emanuel Congregation for over 20 years. The initial idea was to learn together how to juggle the demands of life as a Jewish woman as well as to develop a conscience and a memory of the Jewish women who have come before us. We all wanted to be more observant and knowledgeable about the Torah, but our modern-day place in this ancient timeline was unclear. Plus, we just knew that we loved one another's company! The idea of a women's retreat was pitched to the sisterhood by Mareon Arnold who was a temple member and was our administrator for many years. She had just returned from a trip to Europe and visited many famous churches and heard about th

A Few Words From Rabbi Craig Marantz

Shalom Chevrei, At the URJ Biennial held recently in Chicago, we had a chance to remember one of the great social justice titans of our Reform movement, Al Vorspan. Mr. Vorspan passed away within the last year, but not before he made a huge difference as a force for good. As we approach Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, I thought we would take a moment to learn more about Mr. Vorspan, who worked closely with Dr. King. I have attached here an article from 2017 by Aron Hirt-Manheimer entitled: “What I Learned on the Barricades with Martin Luther King, Jr.: An Interview with Jewish Civil Rights Activist Albert Vorspan.” I hope you find inspiration in this article. May the memories of Albert V

Our Values Keep Us Resilient

Shalom Chevrei: Last weekend, we witnessed acts of violence perpetrated against Jews and Christians. This weekend thundered with the warlike drumbeats of international conflict. Angry shadows continue to cast their darkness; it’s hard to take a deep breath. But the one thing that remains unchanged - one thing that can help us draw in a fuller portion of the vital force of life - are our Jewish values. They remain unchanged through thick and thin. We remain committed to peace, to security, to tikkun olam. Our values are what keep us resilient; our values are what keep us hopeful amidst threats to the contrary. But just as we pray that all depends on God, we know that we must act as though all

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Emanuel Congregation  5959 N. Sheridan Road Chicago, IL 60660

(T) 773.561.5173 (F) 773.561.5420  info@emanuelcong.org

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