From Sorrow to Solidarity

June 21, 2016 No comments yet

brous revised 062016

Upcoming Community Wide Programs

May 24, 2016 No comments yet

Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk
June 25th, 8:30am, Jackson Park, 6401 S Stoney Island
Join Mishkan & EZRA as we participate in the Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk. The 5K walk brings participants come from all over the Chicagoland area to walk in support of anti-hunger programs. Every walker earns $13 for a food pantry of their choosing. They also have the option to fundraise for a specific pantry.  EZRA’s goal is to raise enough money to stock their pantry for three months. To register, enter the code “A01402” at checkout here. With this code, the registration fee is waved. EZRA is also happy to register walkers! Please fill out this google form with your information, and they will sign you up!


PRIDE Weekend & Parade
Sunday June 26th, 
All Day, Lakeview
Mishkan is teaming up with Or Chadash and Am Keshet (the LBGT group @ Temple Sholom) to march in the Pride parade! The group will be meeting at Temple Sholom and then walking to the float locations at Montrose & Broadway. Wear your Mishkan swag and be sure to grab some signs from us at Shabbat on Friday! Be in touch if you have any questions.


Team Lifeline Race Info Meeting
Monday June 27th, 
7:30PM, Anshe Sholom
Team Lifeline provides services that support and uplift seriously ill children and their families, and we’re running to help them raise funds! Join forces with Anshe Emet and Anshe Shalom to run in a race of your choice (10k, 1/2 marathon, or marathon) and support  great cause. Learn more over dinner at the info meeting.


KAM Isaiah Israel Farm & Food Forest School
July & August,
KAM Isaiah micro-farm and food forest, 1100 East Hyde Park Boulevard
Interested in learning about urban agriculture? How to design and install a food forest? Join KAM Isaiah for any or all of their eight free workshops this July and August at their award winning micro-farm and food forest in Hyde Park.

Hosted by KAM Isaiah Israel’s nationally recognized Food Justice and Sustainability program, this dynamic, hands on summer program is an intergenerational learning experience open to teens and adults and is free of charge.  Beginning and experienced growers are welcome to attend any or all of the eight topic-focused sessions, which are designed to complement each other as stand alone classes or be taken as a full course. Enrollment is limited & certificates will be awarded.  To sign up and secure a space or if you have questions, please email FarmSchoolDirector@kamii.org. For updates and additional information please visit www.kamii.org/farmschool

Holocaust Remembrance

May 5, 2016 No comments yet

Deep words from fellow Jen Network Rabbi Sharon Brous of Ikar:

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, was established on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which began on the first night of Passover, 1943. Today we mark the day with reflection, the recounting of survivor testimonies, and, in Israel, a two-minute siren that stops commerce and conversation across the State. These observances are designed to keep the tragedy of the Holocaust in our active memory.

This year, I’d like to reflect on the choices we make as we remember, sharing a teaching of our beloved teacher Rabbi Harold Schulweis. In 1988, Schulweis described the centrality of the Holocaust in Jewish collective memory:

        “The Holocaust is the nightmare from which we struggle to awake. It intrudes on our sleep and spills over into our waking moments. The Holocaust is the dominant psychic reality in our lives… [It] shapes our stance towards the world and our self-understanding. How could it be otherwise? Who could expect that a people that lost two out of every five of its members – 40 % of its community – should emerge unscathed, unscarred, fully normal?

How we work through that trauma, how we extract meaning from the madness, Schulweis argued, would be the most critical question of post-Holocaust generations.

And here is where the question of choice in memory becomes utterly essential.

        “There is something tragically wrong when our children know the names of Eichmann, Himmler and Klaus Barbie, but not the names of the Christian families who hid Anne Frank and her family in an attic for two and a half years.

That is a choice – a choice that reinforces a narrative of good vs evil, perpetual enemy and eternal victim. That is not only alienating, but increasingly self-destructive.

Again, in Schulweis’s words:

        “The reiterated myth that the whole world wants us dead – always wanted us dead and will always want us dead – is pernicious and false. We are never so alone as when we act on that belief. There are friends out there and potential friends, friends to be cultivated. Remember the evil, but do not forget the good.” 

On this Yom HaShoah, let’s tell stories not only of victimization, but of survival. Not only of human cruelty, but also of courage and compassion. Because we owe the victims and the survivors more than the memory of the horrid places where they and their loved ones were murdered and the names of those who oversaw the slaughter. We owe our children – further and further each year from the fires of Europe – to know that their inheritance is more than accidental survival. We honor the memory of those whose lives were tragically cut short when we remember that every day brings the opportunity to infuse love, humanity and moral courage into a landscape of increasing incivility and cruelty.

Today, I hope that we’ll choose to remember in a way that elevates our pain – for the sake of those who perished and those who survived, and for all of our sakes.

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Announcing Rabbi Lauren Henderson

April 5, 2016 No comments yet

You may recall in January when we introduced you to the Jewish Emergent Network, a groundbreaking national collaboration between seven independent spiritual communities, including Mishkan Chicago. Along with the amazing communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and New York, our first project together is a national rabbinic fellowship- funded by visionary philanthropies across the country who are excited to train the next generation of Jewish leaders… and guess what? The fellows are here! Check out the full press release about this initiative here. Allow us to introduce you to ours:

Rabbi Lauren Henderson
Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow @ Mishkan

Lauren is finishing up rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary, with a Masters in Midrash and a Certificate in Pastoral Care, and is thrilled to be joining the Mishkan Chicago team as the Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow this summer. She will stay with us for two years, and then will take her training from Mishkan put it work inspiring and energizing Jewish life wherever she goes next.

About Lauren: Lauren grew up in a small but mighty Jewish community in Spartanburg, South Carolina as part of an interfaith family and went from there to Rice University in Houston, where she graduated cum laude in Religious Studies and History and was very involved with Houston Hillel. After a year at Pardes in Jerusalem, Lauren began her rabbinic studies at the Ziegler School in Los Angeles (connecting with Rabbi Lizzi along the way) and then moved to New York to continue studying at JTS. She’s taught Torah and led prayer in a wide variety of settings such as IKAR in Los Angeles, the Pelham Jewish Center in New York, and Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Cleveland, and also served as a chaplain with DOROT and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Last summer, Lauren worked with 5th and 6th graders at Camp Ramah in the Rockies as their Rosh Edah (unit head) and is particularly pumped about working with Mishkan’s littlest Mishkanites and their families.

When she’s not doing Jewey things, Lauren loves running, baking, spontaneous dance parties, and can’t wait to rock out to all the Mishkan davening tunes with the rest of the community on a regular basis when she lands in Chicago this summer.

Want to send some love her way? Write her an email to welcome her!

Happy Birthday Israel: Yom Ha’atzmaut

April 5, 2016 No comments yet

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Community Partnerships

March 22, 2016 No comments yet

ONE Northside’s Community Convention
Sunday April 10, Doors open at 2pm, Lake View High School 4015 N. Ashland
Join this gathering of 1,200 north side residents united by shared values of racial, social and economic justice. We will celebrate our organization’s victories over the past two years and hold key decision makers accountable to our communities’ priorities. More information available here.
Email Amir:amirstarrweg@gmail.com with questions and to RSVP.

TOV Good Deeds Day
Sunday April 10th, All Day, Various Locations
TOV Good Deeds Day is an annual tradition of good deeds. All over the world, hundreds of thousands choose to volunteer and help others, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can do something good, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively change the world.

JUF states the following, “Chicago’s inaugural participation is Good Deeds Day is planned for Sunday, April 10, 2016 and we hope to engage hundreds of Jews across the Chicagoland area. The day will consist of two parts. We will be partnering with agencies across Chicagoland to offer a variety of hands-on volunteer projects for people of all ages and demographics. We will also host a volunteer open house, where people can stop by the Weinger JCC in Northbrook anytime throughout the afternoon to volunteer for a variety of projects. This will be a great opportunity for families with young children or large groups of people looking to volunteer together.”

Check out all the various activities!
Read more about this global initiative here & Register here.

JCUA’s Annual Freedom & Justice Sedar
Monday April 11th, 6:30 – 8:30pm, Beth Emet Synagogue 1224 Dempster, Evanston
Every year during Passover, we recall our Jewish story of being oppressed as strangers in Egypt. As we honor and remember this story, JCUA believes we must make the connection between our history of oppression as a people, and the importance of standing with those who face oppression today. At this year’s Seder, we will come together as a Jewish community to stand against Islamophobia and hate in Chicago. It is imperative that now, more than ever, we decry this kind of senseless discrimination, and take action to ensure that everyone in our city is treated with respect. Remembering that “we were slaves in Egypt”, means upholding the dignity, safety, and inclusion of vulnerable communities today. More information and registration here.

**New Potluck Policy**

March 14, 2016 No comments yet

We know going from work to rest on Shabbos can be a little hectic, and that potlucks can feel a little daunting, so let’s try something new. To help build a diverse potluck table we’re going to try a potluck theme for this month. (Please note: these are not mandatory, and if you are not able that’s cool, too. You do you.)

This (March) Potluck @ AES:
Bring something that begins with the same letter as your last name. [Ex: A-Apple pie, B-Broccoli casserole, C-Carrot Salad…Q-Quinoa] If your last name stumps you try your first name.

Just remember to make sure its vegetarian and nut free!

Mishkan in the Slingshot ’16 Guide

March 9, 2016 No comments yet

More Light, More Joy.

For the third year in a row, Mishkan Chicago made the Slingshot Guide, highlighting innovation and creativity on the Jewish landscape (both the national and Chicago editions) and we could not be more proud of this community we’ve built together, or more grateful.

The Guide writes, “The mission — to inject traditional Jewish values with a dose of modernity—shines through Mishkan’s classes, leadership teams and one-on-one learning sessions that bring together Jewish young adults and leaders in the community for mutual inspiration….all with a touch of cool that has given Mishkan a reputation for being very 21st century with a deeply spiritual Jewish heart. Download the full guides here.

This year, we also share this recognition with our Jewish Emergent Network family:Ikar, Lab/Shul, Sixth & I, Kavana Collaborative AND our Chicago partners:SVARA, Avodah, Moishe House Chicago, Orot, Interfaith Family, JCUA & Jbaby. Mazels all around!

As we grow into 2016, we’ll be continuing to innovate and build Mishkan– we’re launching The Mensch Academy, hiring a Rabbinic Fellow, growing our Space at 4001 N. Ravenswood for more classes, workshops and programs, connecting more neighborhoods with Locals-based Jewish social and learning events, recording and sharing more music and DIY Judaism videos online, launching a new website, and design-thinking our way through the Jewish calendar to create authentic, DEEP and FUN celebrations of holidays from Purim to Yom Kippur. And so much more.

There is so much thirst out there for meaning, community, purpose and inspiration, and we continue to be inspired by YOU as we work every day to create all that here in Chicago, and the reverberations are reaching far beyond our city. Thank you for being part of this remarkable journey with us.

Give a little bit: Mishloach Manot Purim Drive + Bra Donation

February 23, 2016 No comments yet

Bras
We want your gently used bras! No, seriously. This Purim, Mishkan has partnered with Free the Girls, an organization working to provide jobs to survivors of sex trafficking overseas. What’s a bra got to do with it? Well, your donated bra, will journey across the sea (to Mozambique, Uganda or El Salvador) where it will be used as a commodity for micro enterprises run by female victims of sex trafficking. Pretty amazing right? So dig deep (through your drawers) and bring your gently used bras of all shapes, sizes and styles to Purim this year. Vashti would be proud of you. Oh, and if you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, do that here!

Street Bags
The Dreamcatcher Foundation travels Chicago streets 4 nights a week to make contact with and offer support to victims of sex trafficking. Mishkan will be collecting the following items and creating mishloach manot bags out of them to donate to the foundation during Purim. These items can be easily ordered on amazon or purchased from your local drug store (only travel sized, new & unopened items please):

Toothbrushes • Toothpaste • Hand Sanitizers
Hand Lotions • Granola Bars • Tissues

We’ll be packing bags from 5:45 onward before the megilah reading at RIGHTEOUS DEBAUCHERY. So come, bra, hand sanitizer and toothbrush in hand… grab a drink and a grogger for your other hand, and let’s make a difference in someone’s life this Purim.

Mishkan Joins JEN!

January 11, 2016 No comments yet

Mishkan is thrilled to introduce you to the Jewish Emergent Network, a groundbreaking national collaboration between seven independent spiritual communities, including Mishkan Chicago! Our first project together will be a national rabbinic fellowship, training the next generation of visionary Jewish leaders. What this means is that a recent or soon-to-be graduate of rabbinical school may be joining our staff as full-time clergy for two years, learning about prayer leadership, music, community-building, pastoral care, connecting with young adults, our various volunteer teams and families…and we couldn’t be more excited!

Read The Official Press Release Here!


Upcoming Events

June 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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  • The Advanced Student's Tisch (Table)
  • Jewish Resilience: Responding to Crisis, Catastrophe, and Change
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  • Family Friday Night Greatest Hits
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  • Rise @ Mishkan + Mini Mishkan
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  • S & M Bet Midrash, Spring Session
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  • SEX • MUSIC • JUSTICE • FOOD • TORAH: r e v e l a t i o n s 5776
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  • Mishkan @ Second Unitarian
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  • Lakeview Shavu'ote Tikkun
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  • Mishkan Offices Closed
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  • Pop Up Giving Circle
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  • The Advanced Student's Tisch (Table)
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  • 40s+ Havdallah event
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  • Builder Happy Hour + Mezuzah Hanging Party + Meet the New Rabbi
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  • Last AES with Rabbi Brous in the House!
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  • Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk
  • From Sorrow to Solidarity: A Jewish Community Gathering Commemorating the Victims of the Orlando Massacre and Transitioning into a Celebration of LGBT Pride.
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