Our growth and impact this year have been tremendous.

We are re-invigorating Judaism for the 21st century and leading people in Chicago and beyond toward more purposeful, more connected, and more inspired lives.




1. An individual who digs and participates in Mishkan.

2. A person whose vision for Judaism, love of people, and spiritual thirst leads them to co-create a Jewish spiritual community in Chicago grounded in tradition, creativity, moral inspiration, and love.


learning in our classes


receiving our emails


streaming our music


at High Holidays

Justice Work

This year, Mishkan Chicago partnered with HIAS (The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) to help resettle two refugee families from Syria and Iraq and help them start new lives in Chicago.



“If everyone had the chance to work with or meet, in a really human situation, someone who was a refugee they would see that these are families just like the families you grew up with.”

Tracey Morrison

Refugee Welcome/Resettlement Team

Maggie’s Place

In January we launched Maggie’s Place, Mishkan’s very own wellness center, a program space dedicated to building community through a holistic approach to wellness— social, spiritual, mental and emotional.

Read the full 2017 Maggie’s Place update.



“Mishkan provides a community for Jews of all different backgrounds, who might share wildly different traditions, yet all come together under one roof.”

How Judaism Made God Cool Again

Andy Kushnir, Dose Media

Honors, Awards & Press

For a Chicago spiritual community, Mishkan continues to garner props locally and nationally for our work engaging and inspiring people, building the next generation of Judaism.


$375,000 Matching Grant

Originally slated at $250,000, we met and exceeded our matching grant, generously gifted by an anonymous foundation. We are are so thankful to each and every Mishkanite who helped us achieve this ambitious goal.

Goldsmith Award

Ellie Spitz, Mishkan’s Director of Community Engagement and Wellness, was selected as one of two exceptional Jewish young professionals honored for their dedication, devotion, and exemplary performance in their work.

Lippman Kanfer Fellowship

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann and Mishkan’s Vision Director of Mensch Academy, Ilana Gleicher Bloom, were selected to take part in the Lipman Kanfer/JTS Fellowship in Educating for Applied Jewish Wisdom. The fellowship works with programs to develop exemplary models for connecting people with the Jewish wisdom tradition to lead thriving, ethical lives.

Slingshot Guide

For the fifth year in a row, Mishkan Chicago made the Slingshot Guide, highlighting innovation and creativity on the Jewish landscape.




1. A person of integrity and honor.
2. The kind of person you want your kid to be.

Mensch Academy is inspired, down-to-earth Judaism for kids and families— a space where kids feel loved enough and safe enough to take risks and experiment with Jewish tradition, making it their own. This year, we more than doubled enrollment, proving that Jewish learning and building character and confidence can go hand in hand.



Doubled Enrollment

We went from 16 kids in 2016 to 36 kids this year— learning and building character, confidence, curiosity and a sense of who they are as Jews in the world.

Expanded Our Cohorts

We expanded our age groups from 8-11 to 5-12 and added a pre-k/family cohort where parents and kids pray and learn together with our rabbis, educators, and staff.

Continued Growth

 We are looking at enrolling nearly 50 kids at Mensch Academy in 2018 and expanding services for kids and the 130 unique families we served this year at Mishkan mostly previously unaffiliated.

Here's to an inspired 2018.

Full of possibility for you, for us, and for our world. See you around the Mishkan.