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A Message from Board President Leah Jones

L’shana tovah, Emanuel Congregation!

It was wonderful to see so many of you at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. I hope that your year has a sweet beginning and you shared meaningful moments with your family, friends and community members.

We are officially celebrating our 140th anniversary as a congregation and I wanted to invite you to three events happening the weekend of October 19th and 20th.

Open House Chicago,, is a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 350 buildings in Chicago. For the first time ever, Emanuel Congregation has been included in this festival and we will be opening our doors to the public both days. The public will be invited to visit our sanctuary, chapel and sukkah on Saturday from 10am-5pm and on Sunday from 10am-4pm. If you would like to volunteer as a host, please be in touch with me at People Who Usually Don’t Lecture: A Storied Harvest will feature 8 speakers from diverse backgrounds telling stories about their lives as part of an international effort to elevate stories of everyday people in our communities. Co-chaired by Amy Guth, Joseph Altshuler and myself, this event is made possible through the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation's Grassroots Events program. All of our speakers call Chicago home, but only Shifra Werch grew up in the city. This event will include Havdalah in the Sukkat Rimon – a sukkah built by Could Be Architecture to supplement our community sukkah. Tickets are $20 and available online, HERE. Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah Dinner: We will join together on Sunday, October 20th at 5:30PM for our annual dinner, celebration and consecration of our newest religious school students. Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah are holidays of unbridled joy in which we dance with the Torah scrolls, called Hakafot in Hebrew, and then we finish reading D’varim (Dueteronomy) and immediately begin the Torah again in B’reshit (Genesis). If you plan to attend this dinner and service, please RSVP at so that we can properly plan.

These are the first of many opportunities to celebrate our 140th Anniversary. If you have ideas for programs this year as we continue to experiment with public programming, please send me an email. I want to support you as we filled our building with ru’ach (spirit).

L'Shanah Tovah,

Leah Jones, Emanuel Board President

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