I’m a fan of Rabbi Andy Bachman. Never met the guy, but I like his approach to being a community leader, to inspiring youth, to being open to Tradition amidst the backdrop of a Reform movement that can sometimes be as stiffling in its rigidity as certain Haredi groups but in more of an Episcopalian [...]
This caught my eye, about an unlikely “Indie Minyan” of reform camp kids at Kutz. Are they suddenly exploring, chas v’shalom, more traditional forms of Jewish prayer? This was a response to a “Jazz Service” where several got up and walked, but it does seem to be a trend.
These teens are part of what appears [...]
Well, really its 2 older shuls that are in some way reinventing themselves.
Makom Shalom, formerly in the South Loop, has temporarily relocated to thge Roscoe Village/North Center area at Epiphany Church on Bradley and Damen, a few short blocks from my apartment. Yay, another option!
Then it seems there’s a new group operating out of the [...]
Seriously, Idaho? Chabad slichim must be running up against some saturation point or something…
A new Chavurah embracing standards that halakhically permit women to lead Kabbalat Shabbat, Psueki dZimra and even leyn Torah has started in Skokie. Called “Kol Sasson” the group seems to meet every other week at Temple Beth Israel on Dempster, which is a pretty good locale. For some background on “Partnership Minyans” and the Jerusalem-based Shira [...]
Chicago Tonight will do a featurette on Beth Shalom Bnai Zaken , Chicago’s only “Black” synagogue on this evening’s show, in advance of Pesach. Should be interesting. they recently moved into a new facility close to Midway from the Bikor Chloim Warshawer facility on the old southeast side, which until its sale was the oldest [...]
Last Shabbes I saw Adam Kahan, who is fast becoming Chicago’s answer to Craig Taubman, at Temple Sholom last week. He mentioned this article in the Tribune, that covers the Chicago Friday Night Live service scene. Kahan now “performs” the service at Lakeside and Am Shalom regularly.
I was co-president of YAD at [...]
I did it! Last shabbat my months of studying came to an end and I chanted torah with the best of them. It was a lot of work and I’m almost recovered from it. I wore a digital recorder and have made a file available to listen to.
Now, I know that opens up a can [...]
This week’s parsha is a double portion that finishes the book of Exodus (Shemot.) Most of it tells the story Bezalel and Oholiab, the two Hebrews in charge of building the tabernacle (Mishkan.) We read of all the ritual objects created for the Mishkan and of the structure itself, which was the early model for [...]
Jewish Theological Seminary has named Rabbi Daniel S Nevins as its new Dean. Rabbi Nevins is the Mara d’Atra of Adat Shalom in Farmington Hills who is at the center Left of the Conservative movement. A Mensch. Nice guy. Drummer. and Young. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard and is an alumnus of Frisch [...]
We begin with Judah pleading that Joseph take him into slavery in the place of his younger brother Benjamin. Joseph is moved. Then like Martin Landau in the old Mission Impossible TV series, Joseph finally ends the cruel deceptions and reveals his true identity to his stunned brothers. All 70 members of daddy Jacob’s [...]
This week Torah portion is an action-packed affair. G#d appears to Abraham in the form of three men. Abraham seems to serve them one of the most traif meals imaginable and we get history’s earliest recorded punch line. The ugly side of gay love rears… its head… in Sodom. Lot’s daughters make sure the family [...]
Last week it was beastiality. Now it’s homosexual incest. Next week we’ve got prostitution and STDs. Boy, I sure am glad the Christian right doesn’t know about this book! On the other hand the sex and violence and perversion sure make for a great read. Shabbat Shalom.
An Orthodox synagogue in Los Angeles is petitioning to put up an eruv that would run along scenic Venice Beach. The issue is that California law protects public views and habitats for nesting birds. Beachfront residents and environmentalist are using this law to try and stop the installation of the eruv.
This is not a new [...]
A while back there was an article in the Jewish Week by Gabrielle Birkner, posing the question of whether hipster Judaism is a substanceless fad or a gateway to Judaism for many once unaffiliated disconnected Jews. Ms. Birkner reports:
But some young people echoing the grievances of Jewish communal leaders say the answer to the worrisome [...]
I grew up in Deerfield and always felt like Jewish life in our town was alright. But as I grew I wanted a couple more options. I was ahead of my time; the town’s Jewish institutional community is about to expand significantly.
I was on Craigslist when I came across this posting. Bnai Joshua [...]
This post isn’t about how kugel stops heart disease or how studying torah will help you live to 116, but about my Jewish aging process. I’m coming up on my first JewDay. November 17 is my anniversary of going to mikvah and the last 8 months or so of being Jewish have included as much [...]
I was talking with Samayach and Wetstein today when a familiar topic came up. Its one I love because its the throughline in the career or my favorite composter, Leonard Bernstein. A Place For US. Not Just Zion, though maybe there’s the answer right there. We were discussing the need for a place for [...]