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 Community Events

October 7, 2015 No comments yet

Chai Lifeline Race Info Meeting

Wednesday Oct 14th 7:00pm-8:00pm Anshe Sholom 540 W Melrose
Chai 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 next Wednesday!

What is Jewish About BRCA?

Wednesday Oct 14th, 6:30pm-9:45pm, Chicago Botanic Garden 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe FB page here.
1 in 400 women is at risk for breast cancer, but the rate sails to 1 in 40 for Jewish women. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Center for Jewish Genetics is hosting a Hereditary Cancer Symposium to educate on our risk for breast, ovarian, prostate, and other hereditary cancers. Come learn from panelists representing the fields of medical oncology, surgery, genetics, gynecologic oncology and advocacy about how to know your risks and options. Register here.

Unity in Diversity: A Community Wide Evening of Learning with BINA in Memory of Yitzhak Rabin

Thursday Oct 29th 7:00pm-9:00pm Temple Sholom 3480 N. Lake Shore Drive RSVP on FB here.
What future is there for pluralism in Israel and in our own community? How do we stand together while respecting the differences among us? Join us for an evening of learning, reflection, and memory for Yitzhak Rabin, one of the unique pragmatic visionaries of the peace process. Study sessions led by BINA educators Elliot Vaisrub Glassenberg and Hila Shaulski.

About BINA: Founded after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, BINA is the leading organization at the intersection of Jewish pluralism and social action in Israel. REGISTER HERE.

Upcoming Fall/Winter Classes

September 30, 2015 No comments yet

Orot @ Mishkan
DIY (do-it-yourself) Judaism: On Prayer and Praying

Wednesdays Oct. 28th , Nov. 4th, Nov. 11th
7:00-8:30pm, The Space – 4001 N Ravenswood Ave Suite 403a
We are thrilled to be bringing teachers from Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning to Mishkan for a four part series on cultivating your own spiritual practice. Orot is a home for pluralistic, integrated Jewish learning and practice in the Chicago area. The classes are open multiple entry points into Jewish wisdom through text, music, mindfulness meditation, art, creative writing, and embodied practices.

PART 1, On Prayer and Praying: In this three-session class, master teacher Rebecca Minkus-Lieberman will help us explore tefillah/prayer practice.

*The class is free to Mishkan Builders (members, Mishkan style). The 3-session class for non-Builders is $30.

S&M Bet Midrash Fall Session

The CRASH Talk: Oct. 13th 7:00-9:00pm,  Location: The Space, 4001 N Ravenswood, 403a RSVP on Facebook here

6-Session Series: Tuesdays Oct. 27th through Dec. 1st
7:00-9:30pm, 4011 N. Ravenswood (that’s right next to the Mishkan Space)
S stands for SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva. M stands for Mishkan. Together, the S & M Beit Midrash has, since March of 2013, been the most exciting space to do serious, sophisticated Talmud learning in an egalitarian setting in Chicago, that invites everyone to the table to learn and honors the Queer perspective.

The S & M Beit Midrash is an amazing opportunity for seasoned learners and people who have never studied before to experience the intellectual challenge and spiritual rigor of Talmud study in a warm, open and inclusive environment. First time students apply here, veterans just write to Sara@svara.org to claim your spot.

Lunchtime Learning Downtown with Rabbi Lizzi

Tuesdays starting Oct 22, 30 S. Wells. 

The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School is a text-based, 25-week long curriculum to teach the basics of Jewish thought and practice. Rabbi Lizzi will be teaching at the JUF building downtown for anyone interested– sign up here!

Lunch & Happy Hour @ Milts BBQ

Down Rabbit Holes of Torah
Oct 29th , Nov 5th, Nov 12th, Nov 19th  11:45-1:00pm @ Milts BBQ
Have you ever noticed something out of the corner of your eye while reading the weekly Torah portion, but then moved on, because it was a side issue, or seemed too philosophically heady? We will go down one of those rabbit holes each week, pursuing the big questions lurking right on the surface of the text, but taking you deep into the substructure of our consciousness, questions and egos. We’ll be at Milt’s, so you can eat lunch while we learn, or just come to learn- no food order required. Gather at 11:45, learning from 12:00-1:00pm. Taught by Aryeh Bernstein.

*These sessions are free of cost.


September 25, 2015 No comments yet

Welcome to 5776, The Year of the Sukkah,
Shake ya what ya momma-gave-ya in our pop-up come-a-take-a-lookah!

…. Or just shake the Lulav and Etrog in our portable Sukkah.This year we are happy to promote neighborhood soirees all over Chicago. Meet new folks, learn about Sukkot (the holiday of joy), find out what a Lulav (a lu-huh?) and Etrog are, fulfill a Sukkot mitzvah, and hang out outside with some wonderful Mishkanites in your ‘hood.

Sunday Sept 27thSukkah Building and Decorating Party (Family Friendly), Bodhi @ 10:00am
Sunday Sept 27th: Potluck & the Debut of the Pop-Up Sukkah, Ukrainian Village @ 2:00pm *this event is full*
Monday Sept 28th: Sukkah + Music = Musikkah! Andersonville @ 6:30pm
Tuesday Sept 29th: Rooftop-Sukkah-Potluck, Gold Coast @ 6:30pm
Wednesday Sept 30th: Potluck, Bonfire, and Sukkot, Lincoln Square @ 6:30pm
Thursday Oct 1st: Fall Harvest Dinner in the Sukkah, Roger’s Park, 6:30pm
Friday Oct 2nd: Dinner, Shabbos, and Sukkot on The 606 @ 7:00pm
Saturday Oct 3rd: Potluck, S’mores, and Sukkot, Logan Square @ 6:30pm

RSVP here

High Holiday Pre-Game

July 21, 2015 No comments yet

High Holiday Boot Camp 
Tuesday Nights, Aug 18th + 25th, Sept 1st 6:30pm-9:00pm The Space 4001 N. Ravenswood 403a
Take a whirlwind tour through both the superficial and the deep structure of the High Holiday liturgy to get into the head and heart-space of spiritual transformation. RSVP on Facebook Here.

Write the Book of Your Life 
Wednesdays, Sept 2nd + 9th + 16th 7:00pm-9:00pm Anshe Emet Synagogue 3751 N. Broadway
Meditation & text learning to prepare your spirit for the High Holidays. Co-taught by Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann from Mishkan, Rabbi Michael Siegel from Anshe Emet & Dr/Rabbi Ruth Durchslag. RSVP on Facebook Here.

High Holiday Levites (volunteers), We Need You! 
With over 1,500 people in attendance, we need hands and hearts dedicated to creating a safe, friendly, loving and supportive space for this year’s High Holidays. From set-up to registration to close-down, Sign up to Volunteer HERE!

#TakeThePlungeMishkan #IBuildBecause…

July 9, 2015 No comments yet

The Builder Challenge is ON. We’re throwing down the gauntlet.

If you’re a person who has come to Mishkan and enjoyed it, recommended Mishkan to a friend or forwarded along an email; if you’ve said to yourself, “Wow, what a cool thing it is to have this radically inclusive, grassroots, organic, local Jewish spiritual community doing amazing outreach to the disengaged and uninspired Jews in Chicago, revving up the collective Jewish engine of the city!” (I know, we’ve all said that at some point, right?)…

… Then we need YOU to help build this thing.

We’ve been blessed to have generous foundation support in our years of infancy, but now that Mishkan is almost five years old, community support in the form of Buildership has become increasingly important to our bottom line (believe it or not, Buildership only covers 10% of what it costs to do what we do). If you love what we do– services, classes, house parties, online music or videos– it’s time to express your love and Build!

Our goal is to have 30 Mishkanites become Builders–at any level– between now and August 11th. This could be you! Click here to take the plunge!

You don’t have to be a Shabbos regular to be a Builder, you just need to have the sincere desire to support something that’s invigorating the Chicago Jewish landscape and connecting the next generation of people to inspired, down-to-earth Judaism.  Being a Builder will give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside, knowing that you’re making possible the innovative, inspiring, and accessible Mishkan programs that are connecting thousands of people to Judaism and stoking the fire of your spirit. 100% of the funds raised through this Buildership Drive will be used to support our programs, including Shabbat services, holiday events, classes, workshops and learning opportunities, our Teams, and community get-togethers– all of the stuff YOU love, and that’s changing the face of Judaism in Chicago and beyond.

Being a Builder means that you are in a special kind of relationship with Mishkan, and like in any good relationship, you both give and receiveCheck out the benefits that Builders receive here (and sign up while you’re at it)!

Are you ready??

I’m taking the plunge!

Operation: Preparation for Revelation

May 7, 2015 No comments yet

Each person received the revelation at Sinai in their own way: some heard it through the voices of their parents, some heard it through the rustle in the trees, some experienced it in their bodies, others through visualizing the ultimate truths of life in colors and light. We gather on the 6th of Sivan every year (which falls on Saturday night May 23rd) to stay up all night and recreate that dynamic, powerful experience.

This year, however, we thought a night of preparation for revelation was in order (mostly because we thought you might go out of town on Memorial Day and we didn’t want you to miss out on the goodness). So we’ll meet up on Wednesay night, May 20th for what will be an EPIC NIGHT (albeit 1/2 the night, til 11:30) of Torah, Talmud, music, yoga, dancing, design-thinking, cooking, eating, meditating, theolgizing and opening your mind to the power of truth, in its many manifestations, aka REVELATION.

Welcome to Sinai.

SHA•VOO•OTE 5775 schedule poster

Get your ticket here.

r e v e l a t i o n (s)

The Den Theater in Wicker Park

1333 N. Milwaukee Ave

Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 7:00 pm-11:30 pm

Tickets: $6 Builder, $12 Non-Builder, $18 at the door

Registration deadline: May 20th at 12pm

sha*voo*ote is any authentic expression of creativity and learning has the potential to be a moment of Torah, of revelation. Come with an open mind and prepare to have it be stretched.

Get your ticket here.

Yoga on Yom Kippur

September 29, 2014 No comments yet

Mishkan Yoga Waiver

#gethigher5775 Yom Kippur is going to be epic. If you intend to do yoga with us (2:45-3:45 on Saturday/Shabbat, Oct 4th), please print out, sign and bring in this release form. We’ll have extras on hand, but that would be so wonderful of you.


Looking forward to a day of cleansing, purifying, exfoliating, scrubbing and polishing your radiant inner light, and following it up with the best break-fast dance party from here to the coasts. If you’re still wondering what to do for break-fast, cancel your plans and do our break-fast. Sign up on our High Holiday page (under the What We Do menu).


A Sad Note From Jerusalem

July 5, 2014 No comments yet

Rabbi Lizzi was in Jerusalem this past week and wrote this letter to Mishkan upon the news of the discovery of the murder of 3 Israeli teenagers, Eyal, Naftali and Gilad. Read more here.

Even Rabbis Need Self-Care

June 25, 2014 No comments yet

God respects me when I work, but She loves me when I sing. That’s a little card I have sitting on my desk at home. The problem is, after years of belting out melodies of love, praise, gratitude and joy, God’s finally spoken back in the form of a message: be quiet for a while, sweetheart, She says.  Serve me with kind eyes, with a loving touch, with the written word.  If you want to keep serving me with your voice, She says, you’ve gotta give it a rest.

So that’s what the next chapter of my summer is about. I’ll take a week and spend it learning at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and then will return to Chicago to have vocal chord micro-surgery to remove small but very aggravating nodes on my vocal chords. It’s common– many opera singers, cantors, rock musicians and amatuer singers get them from singing over time with improper technique. It’s apparently a bed I’ve been making for myself for 10 years since college. Now I’m lying in it. I want to make a new one.

Friday, June 25th will be the last service for about 5 weeks that I lead with my voice, though I’ll be around all summer, quite often in front of the room with the guitar… just allowing my voice to rest and allowing for other voices in the community to come to the fore. We’ll have great guest rabbis stepping in to teach, including Rabbi Benay Lappe (from SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva), Rabbi Aaron Potek (Northwestern Hillel), Rabbi Heather Altman (RavYoga) and others.  Abi Weber, our leadership fellow, will be leading the musical aspects of services with Yoni Sarason and Sam Schiller, our awesome beat-keepers. It will be an epic summer!

If you want to do something to help, please pray for me. If you’ve never prayed for someone’s healing before, here’s what I recommend. “Yehi ratzon- May it be Your will, Eloheinu v’Elohei avoteinu– God and God of our ancestors, to heal Rabbi Lizzi’s voice completely and restore it her greater, more powerful, more beautiful, and more amplified than it has ever been. May she continue to serve you with her voice for decades to come.”

While you’re at it, go ahead and pray for all those people you know who need healing, love, companionship, care and shelter. Pray for hungry children, for unemployed parents, for parts of the world torn by war and blighted by poverty. Pray for people still in the closet, afraid to sing their song publicly.

If you’re not a pray’er, then send out positive, healing vibes.  Every little bit actually counts, and I believe that 100%.

Thank you for respecting that during this healing time, I’ll be seeing less of everyone, maintaining “radio silence” and not taking face-to-face meetings or returning phone calls. I’ll be going internal for a few weeks to reconnect with parts of my spiritual life I’ve neglected in favor of the fast-paced, busy life. If you need something, please be in touch with Jaré at jare@mishkanchicago.org. She’ll take care of you.

If my experience can be generalized, I’d like to say to anyone reading: We are not Isaac bound on the altar– that kind of sacrifice is not what God wants from us.  We can’t offer the best of ourselves if we’re martyring ourselves, even the altar of Jewish community, social activism, or any other holy cause.  A true labor of love allows us to do the work we love without destroying ourselves. I believe we can have our cake and eat it, too: we can labor and love sustainably, and that is what I’m going to spend 5 weeks exploring how to do better this summer, and look forward to sharing with you what I learn along the way as the High Holidays roll around.

Sending you love and blessings.

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann

Upcoming Events

Rise @ Mishkan + Mini Mishkan
February 6, 2016 @ 9:30 am
Judaism Practice & Reading Group
February 7, 2016 @ 10:00 am
DIY Judaism: Shabbat as a Mindfulness Practice
February 10, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Mishkan @ Bodhi
February 12, 2016 @ 6:30 pm

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