Who We Are

Summer at BJBE

Fridays, June 22 - August 3, 6:00pm - Shabbat Services
Worship with us weekly with a soulful service featuring contemplative music.  
Join us at 5:15pm for a wine & cheese pre-Oneg, followed by the Service at 6:00pm, and then 
join us under the stars in our beautiful courtyard (weather permitting) for a delicious Oneg.

Saturdays, 9:30am - Kol Shabbat Services
Celebrate Shabbat in a relaxed and informal environment with beautiful music and spirited singing, Torah reading, and an inspiring D'var Torah.

July 11, 7:00pm - Torah On Tap @ Warehouse
Join Rabbi Fenster and Cantor Frost for a lively discussion and a drink. Appetizers will be provided, pay for your own drinks. 21+ please! Warehouse - 833 Deerfield Road, Deerfield

July 17, 7:00pm - Post-Camp Drop-Off Happy Hour @ BJBE
You’ve just dropped your kids off at overnight camp! 
Come celebrate (or commiserate) with friends! 

July 27, 7:00pm - Post Shabbat Salon
Join us after our Shabbat Service for conversation & cocktails. 
Shmooze with the clergy and meet new friends!

August 1, 4:30pm - Playdate in the Park @ Maplewood Park
Join us at Maplewood Park in Deerfield for a chance to connect with other families 
with young children. Bring your own picnic dinner!

August 8, 7:00pm - Torah on Tap @ Beerhead Bar
Join the clergy for a lively discussion and a drink. Appetizers will be provided, pay for your own drinks. 21+ please! Beerhead Bar (formerly The Beer Market) - 1270 S Milwaukee Ave, Vernon Hills

August 10, 6:00pm - Shabbat in the Park
Enjoy an uplifting service, followed by a special treat from the ice cream truck provided by BJBE! Location TBA

August 14, 7:30pm - Salon for Nesters Without Borders
Join with other Mid-Lifers for conversation & cocktails. 
Shmooze with the clergy and meet new friends! 

August 29, 4:00-6:00pm - End-of-Summer Ice Cream Night @ Graeters
Enjoy a scoop on BJBE and celebrate the end of summer! 
Graeter’s Ice Cream - 1347 Shermer Rd, Northbrook

Annual Meeting 2018

We look forward to our Annual Meeting on Monday, June 4, where we have a full and compelling agenda focused on our annual BJBE budget, our slate of nominees to Board and committee positions, and updates from key elements of our community.  The evening will begin at 6:30pm. The business portion of our meeting will begin at 7:00pm.

View the updated agenda here >>

RSVP here >>

Event Forms

We are very excited to introduce a new process in our BJBE event planning system. We have created 2 forms to create ease in planning an event at BJBE. When booking an event please fill in and send the forms to estone@bjbe.org.

Download the event forms below. Thank you in advance for your help in streamlining our events.

Calendar Information & Program Form
Should be initiated as soon as event is scheduled; final form due 30 days prior to event

Set Up Form
Due 14 days prior to the event


Any questions please email or call Erica Stone estone@bjbe.org or Anne Robbin arobbin@bjbe.org

Watch Live

Please note: Our streaming system is temporarily down, so we will not be able to stream services and events. We are on the case working with an expert AV tech team, and hope to have this resolved quickly. Thank you for understanding.


View a live stream when available from the Sanctuary &/or the Sacred Hall.

BJBE records many services. Previous services are in our audio-video library.

Welcome to BJBE!

Thank you for your interest in B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim! We are a diverse congregation with about 1100 families, including many interfaith families. BJBE welcomes new members because we believe that each family/person brings talents, energy and perspective that enrich us. No one is turned away for lack of ability to pay.

BJBE offers dynamic, innovative programming to our members and guests. We provide an active community to those who wish to make a difference, a caring community to those less fortunate, and a nurturing community to those seeking connection. Please look over our website and email or call Anne at 847-940-7575 to learn more.

Whether your interest is a Jewish education for your children, experiencing a variety of worship services, thought-provoking adult education, or repairing the world, we have summer activities to introduce those looking for a spiritual home to our community. Read more about our great upcoming programs - we hope to see you there!

Contact Anne Robbin, Membership & Communications Director, for more information: arobbin@bjbe.org, 847.940.7575

Meet our Clergy
Meet our Staff
Download our membership application

Portals 2017-2018

All of us are on a quest to discover the meaning and purpose of our lives. We believe that this discovery can come through participation in a sacred Jewish community, and yet we know that each person’s Jewish journey will be different. Our mission is to help you find your own special entry point, or Portal, into Jewish life based on your particular passions and interests – so that when you walk through it, your soul will sing, your spirit will soar, and in time, you will come face-to-face with your destiny.

As you continue your quest for meaning and purpose this year, this booklet can be your guide. Here you will find the amazing variety of programs, events, classes, and worship opportunities that will take place at BJBE throughout the coming year.

Click here to download a .pdf of the 2017-2018 Portals.


Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim (BJBE) is the union of two congregations, B'nai Jehoshua and Beth Elohim.

B'nai Jehoshua

B'nai Jehoshua was founded in 1893 by Bohemian and Czechoslovakian Jews. The synagogue originally was located at 20th and Ashland Avenues in Chicago. Although most temple members moved from that area in the 40's and 50's, they continued their membership, traveling long distances to attend services and religious school.

Beth Elohim

Early in the year 1963, five families got together to explore the possibility of starting a Reform Synagogue in the Des Plaines-Morton Grove-Glenview area. With many new housing developments in the area attracting young Jewish families, it seemed like the thing to do - and it evidently was. Membership, encouraged by publicity and by word of mouth, grew daily. Excitement was very much in the air. We began to hold Services, with lay leaders, at what was then the Good Shepherd Church on Ballard, and we held our first Second Seder at that location.

In the spring, the establishment of a religious school was announced, members were recruited as teachers, a book sale was held, and over a hundred children were enrolled. The first High Holiday Services were held at the Sahara Motel on Waukegan Road, and Irv Glick's masterful drapings helped disguise the original purpose of the room and make it into a lovely sanctuary. Services were led by Rabbi David Cedarbaum. That year, bi-weekly Services were conducted by either lay leaders or visiting Rabbis, and held at the Glenview Community Church. Eventually Rabbi Cedarbaum became our part-time Rabbi. The ritual objects were stored at homes, the bulletin was run off in the Waitsman's basement, the library was stored at the Schlanger's home, and classes were held at Ballard School.

The Merger Begins

The Board began to look at facilities for a permanent home in 1964, but as membership grew beyond our expectations, places were either too small or too expensive. In early 1965 the Board embarked on a search for a full time Rabbi, lists were drawn up stating the qualifications we wanted, and, at that point, we were approached by B'nai Jehoshua about the possibility of a merger - if we would take their name and their Rabbi. Upon meeting Mark Shapiro, the Search Committee discovered he met all the qualifications listed, and beyond, the merger would bring a base of more mature members, plus the possibility of our own building, and the process was begun.

Board of Trustees

Executive Committee

Co-PresidentsTracy Friend
 Lisa Wilson
Executive Vice PresidentBrian Tenner
Vice President/TreasurerTed Belinky
Vice PresidentMichael DiCocco
Vice PresidentMark Brodson
Vice PresidentJenn Dubinsky
Recording SecretaryKim Gordon
Immediate Past PresidentGary Schaffel
Sisterhood PresidentCarol Berger

Committee Chairs

Adult EducationAndrew Abrams
Budget & FinanceBruce Robbins
Building & GroundsBeth Chaitman
Caring CommunityDale Busch
CommunicationsJennifer Schencker
Constitution/ParlimentarianDan Perlin
EducationMaureen Miller
Financial DevelopmentSid Siegel
IsraelNoel Hara
Leadership DevelopmentBarry Metzger
MembershipAbby Agnew
Past Presidents' CouncilBonnie Litch
RitualMarcus Newman
Social ActionMelanie Berkowitz

Trustees at Large

Margot AndersonCarol Klein-Alexander
Jennifer CohenLarry Letwat
Marla GoldbergMichelle Shade
Amy HertzbergAviad Sheinfeld
David Hochberg 

Trustees for Life

Art Schlanger  z'lBernice Waitsman z'lLynn Wax

Past Presidents

Gary SchaffelMartin Salomon z'l    Marshall Krolick
Bonnie LitchJim OstachZelda Wise
Terri ArgentarSandee HollebAlbert Wagner z'l
David Wax z'lDr. Milton SalzerMarvin Glanzrock
Patti FrazinJoseph Ernsteen z'l   Gerald Hibnick z'l
Gideon SchlessingerStanley Swig z'lBertram Sinker z'l
Tracy FriendSandra LeonLeon Rabin z'l
Terri ArgentarGerald Loebman z'lRobert Tauber z'l
David GatesJames HarfieldArnold Preis z'l
Shirlee Cohen  


We are fortunate to have a clergy team made up of some of the true stars of American Jewry. Each of them maintains a national and local reputation for excellence as they nurture the spiritual needs of our community. The rabbis and cantors function in a true sacred partnership with the rest of the professional staff, the lay leadership, and the Board.

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar
Rabbi Fenster
Rabbi Jason Fenster









Cantor Frost
Cantor Jennifer Frost
Cantor Green
Cantor Rayna Green