Radically Inclusive Jewish Community

Mishkan is a spiritual Jewish community in Chicago reclaiming Judaism’s inspiration and transformative essence. Not bound by a particular location like a traditional synagogue, we create radically inclusive spaces for Jewish spiritual practice and community. We’re on a mission to engage, educate, and empower people across the spectrum of identity, background, age, and belief.

The Torah describes the Mishkan as a tent that the ancient Israelites carried with them through the desert, creating holy space whenever and wherever they stopped to gather in it. They brought God’s presence into its midst, where ever the people would set it up and bring the best of themselves – their hearts, their talents and their treasures. Likewise, we are brought together by our belief that through music, prayer, study and tikkun (repairing the world), we transform ourselves and the world.

Welcome to Mishkan. We’re glad you’re here.

Our Rabbis + Staff

Meet the wonder-team that powers Mishkan.

Read More About Us

Did you miss last week's Contact Chai with psychologist, feminist, and all-around powerhouse Jo-Ann Finkelstein? ⁠

Tune in at the link in bio for a conversation about gender, sexism, parenting, therapy and tiferet (balance) — the third theme of the Omer. ⁠

Already listened? Be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts! We want to hear from you (and share your words at the end of upcoming episodes!).
...

27 3

Join us tonight!⁠

Following Havdallah, we’ll go behind the scenes with Israel Story podcast producer Yochai Maital, R’Lizzi, and Ala Dakka, the current season’s star of hit Netflix show Fauda. An Arab-Israeli who grew up in Israel, Dakka is often referred to as a “human bridge” for his ability to transcend across both Israeli and Palestinian cultures. Whether or not you’re a fan of Fauda, don’t miss this conversation about identity and how we shape notions of who belongs, followed by a community discussion.⁠

Register at the link in bio!
...

11 0

Tonight! Join us for a Public Safety Friday Night Shabbat.⁠

Our evening will include a drash from Rabbi Deena Cowans about the Empowering Communities for Public Safety Ordinance going through Chicago’s City Council, the result of years of sustained effort and work by grassroots leadership across the city that many Mishkanites have also devoted countless hours toward in our work with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs.
...

9 1

Time and time again, Black lives are taken at the hands of law enforcement including the absolutely tragic killing of Adam Toledo right here in Chicago. This is the moment for us to come together and call for change in this city and nation. ⁠

Please join us tonight for a Shabbat dedicated to public safety. Our evening will include a drash from Rabbi Deena Cowans about the Empowering Communities for Public Safety Ordinance going through Chicago’s City Council, the result of years of sustained effort and work by grassroots leadership across the city that many Mishkanites have also devoted countless hours toward in our work with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. ⁠

And afterwards (at 7:30), you are invited to join a community discussion to ask questions, share thoughts, and process the future of police accountability and public safety ⁠

To read Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann's blog on the topic, click link in bio!
...

24 1

Be sure to check out last week's episode of Contact Chai featuring Harry Gottlieb in conversation with Mark Achler and Rabbi Lizzi. ⁠

The name sound familiar? Harry is the founder of Jellyvision and the creator of Jackbox Games (among other accomplishments). In this episode, he and Mark consider strength and discipline in relation to personal values, Jewish ideals, entrepreneurship and, of course, the Omer!⁠

Listen at the link in bio!⁠
...

16 3

Did you miss episode two of our podcast series counting the Omer? ⁠

Tune in at the #linkinbio for some spiritual background about these 49 days between Passover and Shavuote, followed by a conversation with spiritual entrepreneurs Mark Achler and Harry Gottlieb. ⁠
...

33 3

IT IS WEEK 2 of counting the Omer. Don't exactly know what that means? Fair! Check out our second episode in a Contact Chai series featuring spiritual entrepreneurs deep diving into the themes of the Omer. ⁠

Rabbi Lizzi will give you some spiritual background about these 49 days between Passover and Shavuote, followed by a conversation with Mark Achler and Harry Gottlieb. ⁠

You don't wanna miss this one...!
...

19 1

Tomorrow night we're joined by TikTok sensation Marni Loffman, perhaps better known as @singing_jewess. A recent college graduate with a beautiful voice, Marni has taken TikTok by storm through her comedic and original takes on Jewish classics.⁠

We'll have the usual music, reflection and prayer of Friday Night Shabbat services with a drash from Marni. ⁠

Tune in at 6:30 for a grounding start to your weekend.
...

46 1

Meet and (virtually) mingle with other Mishkanites who are part of a multi-racial family or partnership. Led by Mishkan’s EDOT fellow Stacy Broxman and EDOT staff member Sara Greenlagh, participants will prepare snacks and mocktails to enjoy together!⁠

Link to register in bio! ⁠
...

23 3

Contact Chai turns one! ⁠

We launched our signature podcast just over a year ago at the start of Passover 2020 and the early days of the pandemic Since then, we've published over 30 episodes featuring Shabbat sermons and special guests from around the country, within our community and beyond. ⁠

We just want to take a moment to say THANK YOU! Mishkan aims to be a radically inclusive community for people living in and outside of Chicago — and your support of our podcast has helped make that a reality. ⁠

AND shoutout to anyone who has taken the time to write a review on Apple Podcasts! That helps new listeners find us and it helps guide our future episodes and series. If you haven't already, we'd SO appreciate you leaving us your thoughts. ⁠

#linkinbio to review or listen ♥️⁠
...

18 4

Join us tomorrow morning for a special end-of-Passover Shabbat service with extra music, learning and Yizkor. ⁠

As always, we will meet virtually at 9:30. Yizkor will be around 10:55. ⁠

Come for what you can and enjoy a grounding morning with your community.
...

10 1

“In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see themselves as if they themselves left Egypt.”⁠

Mensch Academy spent the last month taking on this challenge from Rabban Gamliel.⁠

We are excited to share our Wednesday class's poetry with the Mishkan community! This poem was inspired by studying the Passover text in the Torah via a lens of migration and immigration, as well as contemporary liberation texts from Maya Angelou to Beyonce.
...

8 0

Join us tonight! ⁠

Rabbi Megan Goldmarche will be joining us to speak about the strange and meaninful spiritual practice of counting the Omer - the 49 days from Passover to Shavuote!⁠
...

22 1

“In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see themselves as if they themselves left Egypt.”⁠

Mensch Academy spent the last month taking on this challenge from Rabban Gamliel. From studying the Passover text in the Torah through the lens of migration and immigration, to studying contemporary liberation texts from Maya Angelou to Beyonce, they have been questioning what liberation means to them. ⁠

We are excited to share their poetry with the Mishkan community!
...

12 0

Tune into the first episode of our Counting the Omer podcast series featuring spiritual entrepreneurs who have made their life’s work an extension of their lives’ purpose.⁠

This week we explore loving-kindness, chesed, with Rena Rosen. Rena works as an inclusion coordinator for JCC Chicago, as an early childhood teacher at Bernard Weinger JCC, and as the founder of Art of Compassion and Knit for a Unique Fit. She's also the coauthor of a children's book The Courage to Be Kind! ⁠

Listen to the episode at the link in our bio!
...

24 0

Happy Trans Day of Visibility! Today we celebrate the beauty, authenticity and the diversity of the trans community within and beyond Mishkan.⁠

We also acknowledge that more than a dozen states have proposed anti-trans bills this last year — and while visibility is essential to inclusion, visibility without true safety, protections, respect and equity is not enough. ⁠

To learn more about anti-trans legislation across the nation and take action, click the link in our bio!⁠

*Shout out to Mishkanite Eliot C. who shared this reflection earlier today: "As much as I like seeing my social media feeds full of trans people making their voices heard, we all need to make sure the countries and states trans people make themselves visible in are safe ones." Thank you Eliot for your insight and advocacy.
...

42 3

“In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see themselves as if they themselves left Egypt.”⁠

Mensch Academy spent the last month taking on this challenge from Rabban Gamliel. From studying the Passover text in the Torah through the lens of migration and immigration, to studying contemporary liberation texts from Maya Angelou to Beyonce, they have been questioning what liberation means to them. ⁠

We are excited to share their poetry with the Mishkan community! Show those kiddos some love by dropping a ❤️ in the comments. ⁠
...

13 2

“Mishkan has given me a space to reconnect with my religion and created the hybrid spiritual-intellectual community that I’ve always dreamt about but never thought could exist.”

Scott H.

Support inspired, down-to-earth Judaism in Chicago

The Torah describes a giving process to build the Mishkan based on peoples’ openness of heart. By giving, you create the future.