Hanukkah: Defying Darkness

You might remember the story of Hanukkah in Billings, Montana in 1993. Years of anti-Semitic rhetoric, pamphlets, and talk from the local Ku Klux Klan chapter culminated in someone throwing a cinderblock through a Hanukkah-decorated window of a 5 year old Jewish child. There were about 50 Jewish families in this town of 80,000 mostly-white, […]

The Love You Give

People don’t know this, but Judaism is ALL ABOUT LOVE. The word in Hebrew is ahavah. Say it with me: inhale…, exhale a-ha-vah. Do it again! Feels good to say it, feels good to breathe it. I spent a lot of decades of life being single, enjoying Valentines’ Day vicariously though other peoples’ romances. I watched […]

The God I Work For

By: Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann (As told at Light and Heat: Stories of Hope and Defiance, December 2018) A rabbinic mentor gave me this piece of advice when I was applying to rabbinical school: in any school, any movement within Judaism… you’re banging your head against a wall. The question is which wall. A movement is defined […]

Mishkan Rocks the Vote

By: Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann Being a Jew in America rocks. I know now is a strange time to be saying that, given the events of last week and the increase in anti-Semitic attacks across America since 2016, but guess what… have you ever tried to be a female rabbi, or queer rabbi, a female wearing […]

The Year of the Good Apology

Kol Nidre: The Year of the Good Apology By: Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann I’m sorry to tell you this, but just by being here, by fasting, by listening to me talk, by striking our chests at the litany of sins for which we are all in one way or another guilty…it’s not like that affects atonement. […]

The Blast of Your Little Voice

Rosh HaShannah: The Blast of Your Little Voice By: Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann We learn from the parts of the story we focus on. We learn from the parts of the story we tell over and over again.  – Hannah Gadsby Both of the stories we read this morning feature the stories of, and particularly the VOICES, […]

Every Revolution Requires Evolution

The Narrative of Mishkan’s Strategic Plan “Reveal” One of the more chuckle-worthy jokes in the 2018 Purim Spiel, just a few weeks after our Strategic Plan Reveal, was, “Big reveal? Rabbi Lizzi reveals more during services nursing Judah Lev!” Haha, point taken. We did a big drumroll, and got you all excited that we were […]

Meet Our New JEN Fellow

We’re thrilled to introduce you to our next fellow, Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh. Two years ago we introduced you to the Jewish Emergent Network, a groundbreaking national collaboration between seven independent spiritual communities, including Mishkan Chicago. Our first project together was a national rabbinic fellowship to train the vanguard of the next generation of spiritual entrepreneurs. We’re thrilled to introduce you to our […]

Resolved: One Long Kodak Moment

Dearest friends, As we bring in the first day of a new year I’m thinking about what it means to say good-bye to the old and welcome in the new, setting an intention to live a certain way… and then sticking with it.The Talmud tells the story of what happens as the sun sets on a […]

Giving Leads to Gratefulness, Labor Leads to Love

I swore I would not be one of those parents. You know, those new parents who are obsessed with how totally amazing their baby is and take out their phones to show you and post on Facebook and OMG have you SEEN him, he’s the yummiest-most-adorable-little-human-god-ever-made… Big shocker: I am TOTALLY one of those people, Lord help […]