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Changes & Progress at Emanuel

Change and progress are in the air. And, I am delighted to report on three transformation projects, all of which reflect positive, new direction for us as a community.

First, our Board of Trustees has put to work a strategic planning team to forge improved pathways to meaningful and inspiring engagement.

Currently, we are renewing our congregational mission and vision, and in so doing, we will have a more effective compass guiding us forward.

Second, we have assembled an education team as part of a two-year, 9-congregation project called CHIdush. The project is lead by a partnership of Federation's educational leadership (CFJE) and Upstart, a Jewish innovation incubator. (The word chidush means new, and it's often applied to "new" understanding. The CHI, of course, applies to the city we know and love!) Utilizing a lens called creative design thinking, our team is currently looking at attendance patterns in our religious school and how we might maximize greater engagement.

Last but not least, we are also participating in a project called the Chicago Synagogue Inclusion Education and Engagement Project jointly offered by diversity-inclusion experts Encompass and JUF's Synagogue Federation Commission. Our work signals a mindful and caring commitment to making Emanuel more inclusive of people with disabilities. Currently, we are assembling an inclusion team to help set priorities that will help us be more welcoming to all.

While our strategic planning and education teams are set for now, our inclusion team needs more participants. If you would like to get more involved, please email me at

Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good!

Zie gezunt (Be well):

Rabbi Craig Marantz

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