Community

Families with Young Children

Young Family Sukkot Celebration
Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Join our Chava Center community for crafts, activities, and a snack as we decorate the BJBE sukkah and experience the mitzvot of shaking the lulav and eating in the sukkah.

Family Night at Max & Benny's
Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Make dinner time easy! Join us in the back room, which will be reserved just for us, anytime between 5-7pm! Feel free to bring a friend for crafts, games, and $5 kids meals!
Bring in this flyer, and Max & Benny's will donate 15% back to BJBE!

Playdate in the JLC
Sunday, November 5, 2017, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Bring a picnic dinner and join us for games, fun, and friends in the BJBE Jewish Learning Center.

Family Night at Max & Benny's
Thursday, November 16, 2017, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Make dinner time easy! Join us in the back room, which will be reserved just for us, anytime between 5-7pm! Feel free to bring a friend for crafts, games, and $5 kids meals!
Bring in this flyer, and Max & Benny's will donate 15% back to BJBE!

Family Night at Max & Benny's
Monday, January 22, 2018, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Make dinner time easy! Join us in the back room, which will be reserved just for us, anytime between 5-7pm! Feel free to bring a friend for crafts, games, and $5 kids meals!
Bring in this flyer, and Max & Benny's will donate 15% back to BJBE!

Havdalah in Pajamas
Saturday, January 27, 2018, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Wear your pajamas and join us as we celebrate Havdalah with a special story and snack.

Family Night at Max & Benny's
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Make dinner time easy! Join us in the back room, which will be reserved just for us, anytime between 5-7pm! Feel free to bring a friend for crafts, games, and $5 kids meals!
Bring in this flyer, and Max & Benny's will donate 15% back to BJBE!

Playdate in the JLC
Sunday, March 11, 2018, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Bring a picnic dinner and join us for games, fun, and friends in the BJBE Jewish Learning Center.

Family Night at Max & Benny's
Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Make dinner time easy! Join us in the back room, which will be reserved just for us, anytime between 5-7pm! Feel free to bring a friend for crafts, games, and $5 kids meals!
Bring in this flyer, and Max & Benny's will donate 15% back to BJBE!

Family Night at Max & Benny's
Thursday, April 26, 2018, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Make dinner time easy! Join us in the back room, which will be reserved just for us, anytime between 5-7pm! Feel free to bring a friend for crafts, games, and $5 kids meals!
Bring in this flyer, and Max & Benny's will donate 15% back to BJBE!

Pajama Shavuot Tikun
Saturday, May 19, 2018, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Adults stay up all night studying Torah; the kids will have an “undernighter.” Wear your pajamas and come for stories, crafts and a special snack.

Family Night at Max & Benny's
Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Make dinner time easy! Join us in the back room, which will be reserved just for us, anytime between 5-7pm! Feel free to bring a friend for crafts, games, and $5 kids meals!
Bring in this flyer, and Max & Benny's will donate 15% back to BJBE!

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Family & Parenting at Every Stage
Sundays, January 21 & 28, February 4 & 11, 2018, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Each stage of children’s lives brings new challenges and opportunities requiring us to adapt to changing circumstances and recalibrate our role as parents. We will explore some of the Jewish principles and practical strategies that can guide us as we strive to make values-based choices that support and nurture the young people we love.

January 21 - Nurturing the Wow: Parenting as Spiritual Practice, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
The work of parenting, and living in connection with others in general, can be glorious and amazing. And it can be, at least as often, frustrating, crazy-making, and mind-numbingly boring. How can the riches of the Jewish tradition help us to transform the most difficult moments with our children and the people in our lives? How can it illuminate the beautiful moments in powerful, new ways? But not only that, what do parents who are deep in the trenches of this labor of love have to teach Judaism about what spirituality is and can be? And, most critically, what might happen if we regard the work of raising children, and being in loving connection with other people as a whole, as a legitimate spiritual practice in its own right?

January 28 - Making Green Choices with Our Kids, Eli Green
Environmental justice is a Jewish value, and yet, it can be hard to fully understand environmental issues and the impact of our choices, both big and small. With sustainability expert, Eli Green, we will explore the underlying principles of the environmental issues facing us today. We will enable you to make knowledgeable choices, become role models for your children, and learn some tips and tricks for living an environmentally responsible life at home and in the world.

February 4 - Navigating the Halls of Middle School, Kelly Goldberg
The years of middle school are challenging as young people try to find their place in an ever-changing social world. Drawing on her 30 years of teaching and guiding teens through these years using Jewish wisdom, Chai School Principal Kelly Goldberg will lead us in discussion about the social challenges our children face today and the spiritual principles that guide us. We will explore practical strategies to help our middle schoolers survive and thrive on their path to high school. 

February 11 - Your Child, The Internet, and You, Sarah Casper, Outreach Coordinator, Response Center
Bullying is no longer as easy to see as it once was, and parenting adolescents is hard enough without having to keep up on the latest and greatest social media and technological advancements. This session will inform parents about the key role that technology and social media websites play in students’ feelings of connection and disconnection with their friends, family, community, and themselves. We also provide parents with important information about the latest apps and helpful conversation starters to engage their teens around this pressing issue. Parents will leave the program with the tools to support their teen in navigating the digital world.

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G’milut Chasadim Programs for Families with Young Children
Getting our children involved in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and G'milut Chasadim (acts of kindness) at a young age is a primary goal of our programming. Making connections and growing friendships with other young families is another. Join us once or on an ongoing basis for multi-generational programming as we bake cookies for Project Nourish, collect food for the Ark, participate in a “food stamp shopping challenge,” create “charity chests” for the home, fill activity bags for local children’s hospitals, and much more.
Contacts: Melanie Berkowitz and Carrie Cohan

Caring Community

Support for Members in Need

Caregivers Support Information

Partnership of Clergy and Caring Community Volunteer Support

Clergy Support: Leslie Block 847-940-7575

The rabbis and cantors want to know when your family or loved ones experience illness or death so that they can support you in your times of need. Please remember that the clergy cannot support you if they do not know about your situation, so please do call and let us know.

Volunteer Support:

BJBE Caring Community Leadership Team 2017-2018

On-Board Chair: Dale Busch, 847-780-4649
Off-Board Chair: Michael Erdman, 773-972-1771

Intake Coordinator: Gloria Kaiz, 847-945-3741. When we learn that someone is in need, this person will be responsible for making contact with that member to assess the member’s needs and will make referrals to the appropriate project coordinators to provide the assistance the family needs.

Bereavement Coordinator: Sharon Krivitzky, 847-564-4782. Coordinates all bereavement support for our members.

  • Bags of Hope Project: Renee Busch 847-414-5078 and Rachel Tzinberg, 847-400-5236. Manages the purchase, assembly and delivery of the Bags of Hope to members who lost a loved one over the past year.
  • Grief Support Phone Calls: Sharon Krivitzky, Calls members who have recently lost a loved one to provide support.
  • Volunteer Shiva Minyan Corps: Irwin Goldfine, 847-724-1850. Provides a volunteer Shiva Minyan Leader to members who have lost a loved one, when requested.

Bikur Cholim (visiting the sick; body, mind, or spirit) Coordinators: Michael Erdman, 773-972-1771. When a member is in need of support in the form of a phone call and/or a visit at home, nursing home, assisted living facility or rehab center it will be provided to this member in need.

Caregiver Support & Life Transition Education Coordinator: Carol Berger, 847-205-9793, this person is responsible for providing resources for adult members who are providing care for adults with chronic conditions as well as coordinating Life Transition Education Programs.

Caring Card Coordinators: Dolly DeCaro, 847-296-5902 and Jeanie Pearlman, 847-831-1442. When a member has a life event that requires support or calls for celebration this person will generate a hand written note from the Caring Community to that member. In addition, thank you notes will be generated for volunteers who provide prepared meals and rides to/from Temple and to/from medical appointments.

Healing List Coordinator: Leslie Block, 847-940-7575, This person maintains a confidential list of members in need, in coordination with the Clergy.

High Holy Day Calls Coordinator: Gail Ostach, 847-564-2339. This person is responsible for planning and implementing the High Holy Day calling that takes place in the fall.

Medical Lending Closet: Sisterhood maintains a list of medical supplies available for loan within the congregation.

New Parent/Grandparent Coordinator: Phyllis Pearlman, Temple Office 847-940-7575. When a member has a new child or grandchild this person will send a book with a note from the Caring Community.

Prepared Meal Volunteer Coordinators: Karyn Benson, 847-579-8901 and Stephanie Engelman, 847-945-2350.  When a member is in need of a prepared meal these people will make arrangements for a meal to be delivered.

Safer Synagogue Coordinator: Sherry Rundell, and Margot Andersen, 847-525-1710. This person is responsible for the development, implementation and management of the BJBE Safer Synagogue Action Plan.

Self Help Guides to Family Issues Coordinator: Phyllis Pearlman, Temple Office, 847-940-7575. There are Self Help brochures stored in the Village Center and this person is responsible for keeping the supply stocked.

Transportation Coordinator: Dolly DeCaro, 847-296-5902. When a member needs either a ride to/from temple or to/from medical appointments this person will arrange for the transportation.

Virtual Food Pantry: Temple Office 847-940-7575. In emergency situations, when a member has no other source of obtaining food, short term food assistance can be provided. This is handled confidentially by the clergy only.

Zip Code CoordinatorsCathy Horwitz, Tanya Paler. These people are responsible for initiating and managing requests for volunteers by zip code for meal and ride support. These people will work very closely with the Prepared Meal Volunteer Coordinators, the Transportation Coordinators and the Cemetery Connection Coordinators.

Health Fair Coordinator: Terry Sachsel, 847-296-8840.  This person brings in vendors from the community and partners with CJE to sponsor various health screenings, provide health information, flu shots and mental health information.

Sacred Aging Coordinator: Julie Webb, 847-607-8406

Liason to Sedgebrook: Lynn Wax, 847-767-7701

Inclusion Committee Chair: Jennifer Gendel - 224-515-833

LGBTQ

BJBE is a safe space for the LGBTQ community, and we welcome you with love and open arms.

Click here to listen to Rabbi Kedar's beautiful words (from 2/17/17) on how the Torah portion Mishpatim obligates us to have compassion and empathy for one another.

BJBE has 5 gender neutral bathrooms, and our clergy is dedicated to welcoming all into our community, including officiating at same-sex weddings and other lifecycle events.

safe zone

Keshet Bar/Bat Mitzvah

keshetThe Keshet Sunday School Program offers special support that helps Jewish teens with disabilitities prepare for and achieve this special milestone.  Keshet’s staff works closely with the family’s congregation to facilitate a meaningful ceremony.  Please contact Brooke Dordek at bdordek@keshet.org for more information.

 

HUGS @ BJBE

HUGS - Healthy Understanding Growth Spaces

HUGS logoHUGS is a collaborative effort of Chicago north suburban synagogues, representing the Conservative and Reform Movements. HUGS values welcoming people of all abilities and strives to offer meaningful holiday celebrations for children and adults of all ages with special needs. Programs take place in synagogues around the Chicago north suburban area and are always held in spaces that are accessible to all. Family members or caregivers are welcome at all events. Most of our programs are free of charge.

Religious services and programs vary and may include some or all of the following:

Adaptive prayer books and learning materials
Singing and musical instruments
Visual enhancement such as posters or videos
Hands-on exploration of holiday and Shabbat ritual items
Traditional foods (including Shabbat dinner, Kiddush lunch, and more!)
Creative craft projects

Visit the HUGS website >>

Inclusion at the Chava Center

This year we started a unique collaboration between a preschool classroom at BJBE's Early Childhood Program at the Chava Center and Keshet, an agency that works to integrate individuals with disabilities into their communities. One of the core beliefs of Keshet is to ensure that individuals with disabilities enjoy life along-side typically developing peers, in settings that enable their efforts and reward the community for their acceptance. This exciting partnership has enabled a young girl with Down syndrome to attend preschool, with the support of staff from Keshet, in the Jewish environment her parents chose for her.

The experiences in a Jewish preschool are a wonderful time to begin to share the Jewish rituals and create memorable experiences for young children. Making this environment accessible to all families is important. The inclusive environment created at the Chava Center gives a student with a disability the opportunity to participate in an inclusive Jewish preschool environment. Inclusive classes offer benefits to all children learning together. Children with disabilities experience positive peer modeling from their typically developing peers. Equally important, typically developing children gain an understanding and acceptance of differences among people.

Youth Groups

BJBE is committed to meeting the needs of our children of all ages. To keep our tweens and teens engaged with Judaism throughout their middle and high school years, we offer opportunities for sacred friendship, connection, learning, social action, leadership, and fun. While our young adults enjoy these activities with their friends, they strengthen the Jewish identities that will carry them to college and beyond.

 

 

BJBE has 3 youth groups:

SYG (Senior Youth Group) for grades 9-12

Contact: Eddie Simon, SYG Advisor, esimon@bjbe.org

 

JYG (Junior Youth Group) for grades 6-8

Contact: Eddie Simon, JYG Advisor, esimon@bjbe.org

 

KYG (K'tanim Youth Group) for grades 3-5

Contact: Cantor Rayna Green, rgreen@bjbe.org

 

NFTY-CAR (National Federation for Temple Youth in the Chicago Area Region)

BJBE is part of NFTY, The National Federation of Temple Youth. NFTY is the Reform Jewish religious youth movement that fosters leadership at the national, regional and congregational levels. NFTY-CAR brings together Reform Jewish high schoolers from the suburbs and surrounding cities of Chicago, as well as northwestern Indiana.

Inclusion at the JLC

New this year to the Jewish Learning Center is the addition of a Special Needs Coordinator. The goal of this program is to provide a safe and nurturing Jewish education within the general BJBE classroom for students possibly requiring additional supports or accommodations. Diana Slatopolsky, long time BJBE member, Sunday School teacher, and School Psychologist will be providing guidance to our classroom teachers, students and parents. If you are interested in exploring options for your child please contact Diana at slatopol@aol.com

The Beit Cafe

We are pleased to once again be partnering with Glenkirk to run the Beit Cafe on Sunday mornings. Glenkirk provides job training to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate fully in community life. Stop by the Beit Cafe for a cup of coffee, pastry or some tasty home-baked items. You will enjoy getting to know the Glenkirk individuals and will be supporting this outstanding organization.

Beit Cafe

Beit Cafe

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