on Friday, 22 January 2016.
Posted in President's Blog
Message from our president . . .
In a few short weeks, during the weekend of January 15– 17, our congregation will celebrate the official installation of Rabbi Ari Margolis. We are delighted that his mentor, Rabbi Denise Eger, will be here to formally install him as our rabbi, and we look forward to welcoming her to our Or Shalom community. The installation committee has been planning a festive weekend, and I hope you are able participate in at least one of the weekend events: Friday night installation service, Saturday evening Havdalah, Dessert & Dancing, and Sunday Congregational Mitzvah Program. In addition to our Mitzvah Program on Sunday morning, that will support and comfort people in and outside our Or Shalom family, our religious school students are preparing words of blessing and welcome for their own Rabbi Margolis Installation Service. Once again, I’d like to express my appreciation to our extraordinary Rabbinical Search Committee, chaired by Alan Pearlman. Your collective commitment to identifying our needs, staying true to our values and looking to our future culminated in the hiring of Rabbi Margolis. These past several months have shown he is the perfect fit for our congregation. Rabbi Margolis is warm, compassionate and engaging, he infuses our worship with ruach and joy, has provided leadership to the board and staff, and has already touched the lives of many families during life-cycle events. We look forward to an exciting future together and are thrilled that Rabbi Margolis, Rachel, Laila, Adaya and the newest addition to the Margolis family—Eliora—are part of our Or Shalom Family.
As 2015 comes to a close and we look to the future, I want to highlight several new programs that were made possible due to grants from Jewish United Fund (JUF). Thank you to Andi, Marcia and Nancy who worked diligently to seek these wonderful opportunities, including the completion of the grant applications. Further thank you’s to Andi and Marcia for attending a recent grant writing seminar, which will help us in the ongoing process of seeking and applying for grants in and outside the JUF.
jBaby Grant We received a $2500 grant in 2015 for our Tots & Tunes class that meets on Friday mornings. We are in our second session and are thrilled to have 12 toddlers together with a parent or grandparent join us for an hour of music, movement and Shabbat fun. This program has been a huge success, and we were excited to learn that we received an additional grant for 2016 that will enable us to continue our Tots & Tunes class and add a “Baby Boogie” class for babies aged 3-12 months. It is so much fun to have our building filled with the sounds of babies on Friday mornings and introduce Or Shalom to our new unaffiliated friends by inviting them to participate in other Or Shalom young children’s activities, such as Young Children’s Shabbat Services, Teddy Bear Shabbat, PJ Library Shabbat, Saturday family Havdalah programs and our Purim Carnival.
PJ Library Program Grant You may know of PJ library as a program that distributes free Jewish books to young children and sponsors events to promote Jewish literacy. PJ library also co-sponsors other events like our Hanukkah-themed PJ Library Shabbat Program in December. Over 100 people attended this wonderful afternoon of Hanukkah fun, games, a “Baa-aa-by” story told by Rabbi Margolis, and yummy latke snacks.
Family Programming Grant The goal of this grant was to build on best practices in our religious school. Our application highlighted Or Shalom’s Family School. We were awarded a $20,000 grant to expand family programming beyond family school, both with additional programs on Shabbat afternoons and to include our Tuesday/Thursday students. Our first program gave families the opportunity to build their own sukkot, decorate them and make their own lulavim. The second program explored science and Jewish values at the Garoon Gateway Science Garden located on the beautiful JCC campus in Lake Zurich. This huge outdoor science garden was modeled after the Clore Science Garden in Israel. The next program has a Space theme (February 20), and will allow our families to learn about space exploration projects that Israeli scientists are currently planning. While these grants may focus on programs for children and families, our adult programming continues to be very strong. Both Rabbis Margolis and Mizrahi are teaching classes; our adult education programs are well-attended, and continually growing. Socially, our adult programming offers a wide variety of activities and field trips that allow you to engage, learn and kibbitz. We are working hard to meet the needs of all of our congregants. If you have any suggestions about programming, we would love to hear from you. Thank you for making Or Shalom such a special place. Wishing you and your families a very happy and healthy New Year.
Andrea Ship Board President
Congregation Or Shalom21 Hawthorn ParkwayVernon Hills, IL 60061
Office HoursMondays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.Tuesdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Fridays: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
P: 847-362-1948F: 847-362-7348
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