March Update on I*Express

Shalom Chevrei,

Back in January, I updated you on the progress of our i*Express experience. As a refresher, i*Express is our latest religious school transformation project. We are one of two congregations in Chicagoland involved. Our vision is to make conscious and deliberate choices for our religious school, rooted in our Jewish values and spiritual authenticity; and our priority goal is to strengthen Jewish identity through Jewish learning, living, and community-building. There is a strong desire for kids and adults to feel more a part of the Emanuel community, and this Sunday we begin experimentation on how to create intentional inclusion and connection. We hope to work towards the greater fulfillment of this dream going forward with creative experimentation.

Our Hopes and Dreams conversations revealed that parents of all ages shared a desire for more opportunities to engage in the Emanuel community and a hope for their kids to grow up with a love of Jewish values. This Sunday, March 10, our PreK-1st Grade parents will participate in a family learning experience centered on the Bedtime Shema. Through this Sunday’s program we hope to learn how family learning might become a more integral part of the Emanuel learning experience. The day starts with parents learning with Rabbi Marantz while their children learn parallel content in their own classrooms. After their individual learning, parents and kids come together to share what they have learned. The Bedtime Shema learning experience will carry through the rest of the year through an at-home Shema project that will travel from home to home. We are grateful to our PreK-1st Grade parents who will be the first to attempt to achieve these goals with us in this new and innovative way!

Once again, my thanks to our change team which consists of our Director of Jewish Learning & Engagement Tani Prell Epstein, three volunteers-Devorah Heyman, Erin Copland, and Myriam Kasper, and me, together with our coach Joy Wasserman. As I wrote in January, I am so proud of our transformation team, and I am grateful for our progress. I’ve also enjoyed our interaction with fellow congregants and the opportunity to hear about their hopes and dreams. We are co-architects of positive change and our approach signals excellence ahead.

And as a reminder, if you are interested in helping with other change processes, please check in with me. There are others that require your presence and effort: rabbimarantz@emanuelcong.org. I look forward to welcoming you.

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

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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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