Community

125th Anniversary

We kicked off our celebration of the 125th Anniversary of Congregation BJBE on May 11, 2018.

 

View the recording of the service here.
 

 

Don't Stop BJBE-lievin' Individual Tribute Program

BJBE is thrilled to announce our annual Spring Gala- Totally 80’s! Our Gala is our largest fundraiser of the year, raising money to support to our community, while at the same time providing a wonderful evening of entertainment and fun. 

Please click here to learn about individual tributes and their benefits.

Thank you in advance for your support of BJBE and our community.

Please contact Anne Robbin at arobbin@bjbe.org or Erica Stone at estone@bjbe.org - both reachable at 847.940.7575 -  with any questions or to reserve your sponsorship.

Art Sale to Support BJBE

Congregation BJBE is the beneficiary of a number of works of art, generously donated by Harvey Yellen.  These limited edition lithographs, serigraphs and etchings are now available for sale. The catalogue attached gives details of the images and a photo reference, where available. We are fortunate to have received a number of images from the collection of Marina Picasso, the granddaughter of the world-renown artist, Pablo Picasso, who created these images prior to his death.  Each one of these special works of art display an embossed imprimatur indicating it is from the estate collection of Picasso.

Other works of art include those by well-known Jewish and Israeli artists such as David Azuz and Ovadia Alkara.  Michael Knigin’s artwork has appeared in many museums throughout the world including the Israel Museum.  During his lifetime, he even created an entire series dedicated to the Holocaust.  Elke Sommer is a well-known actress and talented artist.  All of the artists in the collection have had numerous shows in galleries and museums throughout the world and have received international acclaim.

The most important goal of this sale is to place these beautiful works of art in new homes, whether yours, your family and/or friends, your office or some other location that is dear to you.  Each work of art has a suggested retail price on it.  This price is indicative of what the artwork would sell for if it were purchased today at a retail art gallery and what the value would be for insurance purposes.  We do not expect you to pay the retail price as listed.  We fully anticipate our purchasers to acquire these beautiful works of art at a greatly discounted price.  In terms of pricing, we want you to make your best offer on the image or images you would like to acquire.  All reasonable offers will be considered.

The dollars we raise will support the full range of BJBE programs and services.  Your contribution may help with Project Nourish and other social action efforts; transport senior citizens to BJBE for events; help fund our adult education program, which brings in speakers from around the area and the world; support special musical concerts and our robust music program; sustain our youth enrichment programs, including our trip to Kolin/Israel and one of the most important, provide essential support to our ritual activities.  As with many organizations, our dues and fees do not fully cover BJBE’s expenses and your generous support will enable us to continue to provide so many robust and important offerings for our community.

If you are interested in any of these works of art, please contact Sue Schloss at smskoala1@gmail.com or 224-558-5700 or Susi Goldstein at sue@adglaw.com or 312-371-1224.

Don't Stop BJBE-lievin' Sponsorship Program

BJBE is thrilled to announce our annual Spring Gala- Totally 80’s! Our Gala is our largest fundraiser of the year, raising money to support to our community, while at the same time providing a wonderful evening of entertainment and fun. 

Please click here to learn about sponsorship and its benefits.

Thank you in advance for your support of BJBE and our community.

Please contact Anne Robbin at arobbin@bjbe.org or Erica Stone at estone@bjbe.org - both reachable at 847.940.7575 -  with any questions or to reserve your sponsorship.

Jewish Disabilities Awareness & Inclusion Month

BJBE is proud to have been recognized at the 2017 URJ Biennial as a URJ Disabilities Inclusion Exemplar Congregation!

Read our Press Release >>

Join us!

Matzah Ball Shabbat
Friday, February 17, 2018, Matzah Ball Oneg at 5:15pm, Family Service at 6:00pm
Rabbi Fenster will be speaking about the importance of inclusion from the bimah. An ASL interpreter will be at this service.

BJBE and HUGS present Purim Hamantashen Making for Adults with Disabilities
Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 6:30-7:30pm
Please join us for music, telling of the story of Queen Esther, craft projects and of course hamantashen making and eating! This event is FREE and open to the entire community. Family members and caretakers are always welcome. BJBE is proud to be a member of HUGS. HUGS is a collaborative effort of Chicago north suburban synagogues. HUGS values welcoming people of all abilities and strives to offer meaningful holiday celebrations for children and adults with disabilities.
Learn more >>
RSVP >>

Low-Sensory Purim Carnival Experience
Sunday, February 25, 2018, from 9:00-10:00am
We are proud to open our Purim Carnival early between 9:00-10:00 a.m. for families who have a child with special needs and would benefit from a quieter, lower-stimulating carnival experience. No charge, but registration is required.
Learn more >>
Register >>

Did you know?

Our Jewish Learning Center has 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 requiring additional support or accommodations. Diana Slatopolsky, long time BJBE member, Sunday School teacher, and school psychologist, provides guidance to our classroom teachers, students, and parents.

Everyone deserves to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
At BJBE, we believe that every child is capable of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in their own way. We look forward to working in partnership with you and your child. We are confident that together we can meet the needs of each student and make the Bar or Bat Mitzvah experience meaningful.

BJBE is fully accessible.
We have wheelchairs, walkers and large print prayer books available. Please let us know if there is any way that we can help you reach your or your family's needs.
 


 

Purim Carnival Experience

We are proud to open our Purim Carnival early between 9:00-10:00 a.m. for families who have a child with special needs and would benefit from a quieter, lower-stimulating carnival experience.

 

No charge, but registration is required by email to Dani Glass. For more information, contact Cantor Green.

 

Post-Carpool Club

The BJBE Post Carpool Club, also known as PCP, is a group of fun-loving empty nesters. We enjoy a variety of activities together including speakers, theater, Shabbat dinners, and outings as a community of BJBE friends. Ideas for future programs always welcome! 
Contact: Carol Berger

A trip to Rockefeller Chapel (Hyde Park)
Sunday, January 28, 2018, afternoon concert
Join us for a special Jewish concert celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday, featuring Cantor David Berger and friends, the Kol Zimrah Choir (accompanied by our own Margo Schwartz-Newton), and special guest Matthew Lazar, a leading force in the Jewish choral movement. His superior talents as a conductor and interpreter of music have elevated the standards of Jewish musical performance and educated audiences across North America. Full details to be determined, but bus transportation will be offered.  There will be a cost associated with this program.  

The Best of Bette, Barbara, Sammy, Tony and more
Sunday, March 11, 2018, 4:30 p.m. at BJBE.
We welcome back one of our favorite presenters, Hy Speck, who has delighted us with his informative programs. Included in this new presentation are clips from movies, television, and stage appearances of your favorite performers. Join us for a welcome reception followed by the program and dinner. There will be a cost associated with this program.

Brunch & a Movie 
Sunday, June 24, 10:30 a.m. at BJBE.
We invite you to join us for a delicious brunch and a movie, followed by discussion. Movie choice to follow. Enjoy good food, a lively discussion, and community. There will be a cost associated with this program.

 

Membership Circle

Community is BJBE’s central value. Membership Circle finds and welcomes new members, creating opportunities for them to meet other members of the BJBE community and form lasting friendships. 

Membership Circle
Working on an event or a program is a great way to get involved in BJBE and to get to know new people in a small group setting. Volunteer for an event, for particular programs, or help out with ongoing initiatives. Small commitments are welcome!
Contact: Abby Agnew

Annual Membership Events

Recent Member Shabbat Dinner 
Friday, November 10, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
This Shabbat dinner is an opportunity for members who have joined BJBE in the last two years to get to know each other, meet our lay leadership, and feel the warmth of their new extended family. Want to help? Contact: Abby Agnew

Recent Member Brunch 
Sunday, April 15, 2018, 9:45 a.m.
This brunch is an opportunity for new-ish members to continue to deepen their connections within BJBE and to learn more about how to get involved in all that BJBE has to offer.
Contact: Abby Agnew

Prospective Member Open Houses
Several times a year, we host gatherings at BJBE, in congregants’ homes, or at local restaurants for prospective members. This is an excellent opportunity for your friends and family who are searching for a spiritual home to meet BJBE clergy, our Education Director, lay leadership, and other temple members in a casual and intimate setting. 
Contact: Abby Agnew

Shabbat in the Park 
Occasionally over the summer, we move outside for a musical Shabbat service in the park, followed by a special oneg treat from the ice cream truck.
Contact: Anne Robbin

Dessert Under the Stars
While prospective members are welcome to attend BJBE services any time, several times a year we hold special prospective member outreach services, where people who are searching for a spiritual home can get a taste of BJBE.
Contact: Anne Robbin

Torah on Tap
Throughout the year, we host gatherings for both members and prospective members at a bar/restaurant. This is a great opportunity to connect with our clergy with lively conversation and a drink in a casual setting.
Contact: Anne Robbin 

Shabbat in the Home
These Shabbat dinners, held in congregants’ homes, give our members a chance to gather for intimate, casual Shabbat dinners to build community, share a beautiful meal, and connect with our clergy.
Contact: Anne Robbin

Families with Young Children

Mitzvah Playdate in the JLC
Sunday, November 12, 2017, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Bring a picnic dinner, have fun with friends, & make the world a better place.
Learn more >>

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

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