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A Few Words from Rabbi Craig Marantz

Shalom. I hope all is well on this Solar Eclipse Monday. I am thankful for the blessings of life, even though they can sometimes be fleeting. I look forward to this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, in which, they say, the great celestial spheres come into rare harmony.

On another note, I am happy to tell you that, for a second year in a row, Rika Greiff is challenging our community to "Scamper For Campers". This year, she will swim, bike, and run in the Chicago Triathlon on August 27, 2017 to raise funds towards the WRJ summer camp scholarships for the Emanuel Congregation children. Her step-son Aiden, who gushes about the wonderful experience at camp and looks forward to going back every year, is one recipient of our Sisterhood's generosity. So, too, are my children, Cara and Jared, as are many others.

I rise to Rika's challenge and will run in the Edgewater 5k on October 1. Become a part of the challenge, too! Support our efforts through your own participation in racing with us, joining another race, donating to honor our participation, or cheering us on! There will be the opportunity to be a part of the cheering section on October 1, as the race runs down Sheridan Road, right in front of our synagogue. Your support increases access for our children who wish to attend Jewish summer camp. I look forward to seeing you on the route, and to thanking you for your support!

This is how you can donate. Please send a check payable to WRJ Emanuel. Note in the memo section "Scampers4Campers". Mail to Emanuel Congregation WRJ, 5959 N.Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660. OR to make an online donation, please visit the following website HERE. Thanks once again for your support!

On a final note, I would like to make one more appeal to you--this one regarding our Book of Remembrance. If you haven't yet submitted memorial names for the Book of Remembrance, I hope you will soon. Please be in contact with Devorah Heyman, who so kindly organizes the project. (

During the upcoming High Holy Days, we celebrate life and mourn loss. And through our practice of Yizkor, we strengthen community by sharing publicly our individual and collective memory of family, friends, and other loved ones. The creation of the Book of Remembrance represents a long-standing practice at Emanuel, and is distributed during the morning services of Yom Kippur.

Just as tefillah (prayer and introspection) and teshuvah (turning our lives around) focus our attention this time of year, so does tzedakah (the pursuit of justice through generosity). Your contribution for the Book of Remembrance enriches our community by sustaining the sacred work we do and provides you one more meaningful way to make the Yamim Nora'im, the Days of Awe, matter.

Early wishes for a shanah tovah u'm'tukah, a good and sweet year. And, thanks for your generosity.

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

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