Something New Under the Sun

Yom Kippur Day 5779

To watch Rabbi Greene give her sermon, click here.  “They called her a THOT,” the female counselors shared one night during a staff meeting this summer. “The 6th grade boys, they called a THOT” “What’s a THOT?”, I chimed in? The counselors giggled at my naive question. “No but, really, I asked again, what’s a “THOT”? They all paused sheepishly, until the Unit Head took one for the team, “Rabbi,” she ...

Read More

Stop the Silence

Kol Nidre 5779

To watch Rabbi Limmer give his sermon click here.  Kol Nidre is a night of quiet.  It commences our signature ceremony of introspection: this evening we examine our souls, search out our faults, and begin to change our ways.  For that, we create quiet.  We silence our voices as the music of Kol Nidre rushes over us.  We pause for silent reflection, silent prayer, silent remembrance, silent confession.  We turn down the noise of our physical needs, refrainin...

Read More

Enough, Already! Or, For My Sake The World Was Created

Rosh Hashanah Day 5779

To watch Rabbi Limmer give his sermon, click here.  It’s time someone said it: Enough already.  Really, it’s been enough. It’s a hard world out there.  We know. Regardless of which paper gets delivered to your door, which social media feeds you check during the day, or which cable news channel you turn on at night, being awake and attentive is an exhausting experience. So let me say it: Enough already: enough of politics, of war, of tragedy.  We see ...

Read More

Embracing Awe

Erev Rosh Hashanah 5779

To watch Rabbi Zinn give his sermon, click here.  A number of years ago, when I was teaching elementary school in Los Angeles,  I led a field trip for my 6th Grade student to Boston.  When we arrived at our hotel, after a long day of travel, after waking up early in the morning, shepherding these students through the chaotic airport, enduring a long cross country flight, struggling to collect our bags and find our way to our hotel, we finally arrived late in the evening, exhaus...

Read More

In Memoriam

Perspectives

One of the most difficult things we do is comforting someone in mourning.  Consoling the bereaved requires personal, thoughtful artistry.  It cannot be done from a distance or delegated to another person. Burying the deceased and comforting the mourners is considered one of the greatest deeds we do.  We have many stories in our tradition that share the helpful ways we can comfort a mourner to be present for their pain.  We also have many stories of the ways, while well in...

Read More

If You Build It, They Will Come

Religious School

Last year, after conducting a series of listening groups with our religious school families, our religious school committee decided it was time to pick two areas of focus for our 5779 school year.  Strengthening Our Community This year, the religious school committee has decided to create intentional opportunities and experiences to create meaningful connections among families, parents, and students in our religious school. Below are opportunities to connect with the religious school co...

Read More

When No Remains Remain

News and Views

“For from Bari shall go forth the Torah, the word of God from Otranto”. In the Middle Ages, this famous play on the prophet’s vision of Jerusalem was so well-known it made its way into the famed Talmudic commentary of Jacob ben Meir, Rabbeinu Tam.  Jews throughout the world knew of the importance of Otranto and Bari—two thriving trading hubs on the heel of Italy’s boot—both as centers of commerce and bastions of Jewish thought.  As far as capita...

Read More

A Year In Progress

Perspectives

The modern American musical, Rent, famously asks the question, “how do you measure a year?” I have recently been thinking a lot about the transformative experience of a year, how much can change over the course of 12 brief months. Over the last couple of months and the next couple of months, I have marked and will mark a number of meaningful one year anniversaries. It was a year ago in February that I first visited Chicago Sinai Congregation and the city of Chicago. It was a ye...

Read More

Three Simple Summer Tasks

Reflections

My Summer To-Do List: 1. Take a long walk. 2. Read a good book. 3. Make a new friend. Advice I learned from Rabbi Lisa Greene, who often quoted her father, Rabbi Barry Greene’s annual summer to-do list (and no we are not related). Take a long walk. I hope to take many long walks. I love summer in Chicago. When the weather is nice, I try my best to be outside. I think Rabbi Barry Greene’s advice was poignant -- for what happens on those long walks? My mind wanders, and yet I ...

Read More

Summer Reading!

News and Views

Make your books your companions; let your cases and shelves be your pleasure-grounds and orchards. Bask in their paradise, gather their fruit, pluck their roses, take their spices. —Judah Ibn Tibbon, Tzavaah A few summers ago, I shared my 11th grade tale regarding “summer reading”, and so I won’t regale you with repeated tales at this time as we turn the calendar to June. However, as we Jews are known as “People of the Book”, and as many of us see the su...

Read More

A House of Prayer for All People

The place to connect, to learn, and to make a difference.

Become a Member