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 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

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 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 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

Upcoming Events

May 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  • Judaism Reading & Practice Group
  • S & M Bet Midrash, Spring Session
  • The Advanced Student's Tisch (Table)
  • Rise @ Mishkan + Mini Mishkan
  • Simone Schatz's Baby Naming!
  • S & M Bet Midrash, Spring Session
  • Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration with the Jewish National Fund
  • The Advanced Student's Tisch (Table)
  • Sex Trafficking: It's Happening In Plain Sight
  • Mishkan @ Nettlehorst
  • Clearing Headspace & Heartspace: Shabbat Meditation Workshop
  • S & M Bet Midrash, Spring Session
  • Wet Hot American MishKamp: A Weekend of Jewish Summer Camp
  • The Advanced Student's Tisch (Table)
  • S & M Bet Midrash, Spring Session
  • Lag B'Omer: Story and Music Slam
  • The Advanced Student's Tisch (Table)
  • Last Fridays @ AES
  • Mishkan Offices Closed
  • S & M Bet Midrash, Spring Session

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