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

Revelation awaits

May 23, 2014 No comments yet

Sha-voo-ote 5774 is June 3, 2014. We’ll be at The Den Theater in Wicker Park again, bigger and bolder than last year, with teachers teaching Jewish text, health and wellness, the intersection between recovery and spirituality, improv, yoga, hula hooping, cooking, and myriad other ways of getting inspired and accessing deep truths about yourself and the world.

There will be food, drink, and cheesecake. There will be inspiration, improvisation, education and revelation. We promise.


Celebrate! Activate! Liberate!

April 10, 2014 No comments yet

Passover is coming sooner than any of us are ready for. Here are some helpful hints on preparing your kitchen, spirit and getting seder on your calendar…

• Our most recent e-mail (4/9/14) with events and classes

• How and why people clean before Passover. 



Feed Your Spirit, Feed Your Body

January 7, 2014 No comments yet

If you are staying for dinner and drinks on Shabbes, which you TOTALLY should because

a) it’s the best food and drinks in Chicago on Friday night 

b) it’s the nicest, friendliest most fabulous group o Jews this side of the Mississippi

c) after you daven up a storm at services, you’ll be hungry…

click here to pick up your very own YumCard! You can buy for one shabbat, 3, 6 or for once a month for the year. Buy in bulk, get discount! Anyway, pick up your YumCard here and we’ll see you on Friday night.

We Got Slingshot!

October 25, 2013 No comments yet

Top 50 Button Green JPEG VersionWe’re humbled and honored to be included in this year’s Slingshot Guide.

Read our words about it here, see the online version of the Guide here, and more about Slingshot here.

More on the honor:

The Slingshot Guide has become the go-to resource for Jewish innovation in America, culling information on hundreds of organizations nationally and then putting together an annual guide that helps all of us get a real sense of the exciting stuff happening on the ground in the Jewish world.

Mishkan is the only organization in Chicago listed this year, and we sit alongside 49 other incredible organizations across North America doing the holy work of bringing Judaism into the 21st century, helping shape the next Jewish future with vision and inspiration. We were held to a set of rigorous evaluation standards measuring
 innovation, impact, leadership and organizational effectiveness, and were chosen from among hundreds of Jewish organizations by a panel of 83 judges around the country.

Apparently, inspired, down-to-earth Judaism is something to write home about.

If you’re inspired by this bump of confidence and would like to make a donation in honor of Mishkan’s inclusion in Slingshot, please click here! (Or if this is a great reminder to fulfil your Yom Kippur pledge, hey, we won’t stop you).

But mostly, we hope you’ll dance in your seat a little right now in celebration of this great news, and just keep coming back, keep learning, growing, and finding new inspiration in Judaism in Chicago with us in 5774. Never doubt that a small band of committed, inspired people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.  THANK YOU for helping us do it in Chicago!

Sending you blessings, love and much heartfelt gratitude,

Rabbi Lizzi and Jaré

PS. If you want to give us props in virtual space, use @mishkanchicago & #mishkanchicago along with #slingshot1314.

Upcoming Events

Mishkan @ Bodhi
August 28, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
High Holiday Boot Camp
September 1, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
Isn't It Time YOU Wrote The Book of Your Life?
September 2, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
Mishkan: A sacred Jewish gathering place, wherever you are on your journey, wherever you are in Chicago.

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