Shalom friends: This week I share a few things on my mind...
What an amazing Purim we enjoyed at Emanuel! I am so inspired by the outcome. From our crowd-pleasing rendition of Billy Joel – The Megillah Man Saturday night to our delightful youth-led spiel Sunday morning. From our Happy Hour Megillah reading on Purim last Wednesday to our delicious, karaoke-filled Italian Restaurant motzei Shabbat. Billy Joel (and Billy Idol!) would be so proud. Orly Telisman has shared some photos and video HERE. And the Purim Carnival, with many students dressed in costume-- was as sweet as ever. We are blessed by the many volunteers who made Purim so special. Ted Yusen, for example, not only directed our adult spiel, but he organized the music for the entire band. And together with the cast, made mostly of volunteers, we all had a ball performing for you. In addition, Orly Telisman and Betsy Marantz, with the help of WRJ, brought their magic hospitality to Saturday’s dinner and auction. Speaking of the auction, many thanks to all the raffle contributors! To all who set up the Purim Carnival and the Italian Restaurant, and especially the skeleton crews that remained Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for clean-up, you have my heartfelt appreciation. In fact, to all our volunteers who contributed to our memorable Purim, I am most grateful. Without serious volunteers at Emanuel, we cannot nearly be the wonderful community we are.
On Gun Violence and Standing Up for a Safer World
On Sunday morning, I sat with teens and adults to discuss our congregational response to gun violence and our participation in activities to protest gun violence and promote change in our American gun culture. We are planning as a community to participate in the March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24th. We’ll have a local contingent for Chicago and hopefully one that will trek to Washington, DC. We are also participating in a special initiative called Teens Take the Bima: And the Youth Shall See Visions. Like other local Reform congregations in Chicagoland, we invite our teens to speak from the bimah about the ongoing epidemic of mass shootings in our schools and communities-- hopefully inspiring the adults in the room to act! The idea came about in response to the courageous Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, who have shown remarkable capacity to speak truth to power in the days since the tragic shooting in Parkland, FL. At Emanuel, we wish to do our part to engage in and strengthen this global conversation around gun violence prevention. This Friday at Share Shabbat, we’ll hear from some of our teens. My thanks to our Tikkun Olam team captain, Laurel Crown, and to ESTY VP of Membership, Cara Marantz, for their leadership in this vital matter of life and security. More details to follow on these initiatives.
Congratulations and Mazal Tov! We are so proud of Paili Bachrach, who ran for Social Action VP of NFTY-Chicago Area Region and WON! Hurray for Paili, and all our youth, who are doing their part to stay engaged and give new life to our teen culture. Good things are in store for NFTY with Paili’s leadership, as well as our ESTY (Emanuel Senior Temple Youth), for which Paili is Co-President. Mazal tov, Paili!
Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good.