Once again it is time to collect food and other necessities for needy families in our community. The food you donate will be distributed to Respond Now and The Ark. All of it will go to people who are in desperate need. This year we have received a special request for diapers. Respond Now and Gifts from Liam are collaboratinng to collect diapers, to be distributed through Respond Now. Diapers of all sizes, as well as wipes and ointments, are welcome. Size 3 and size 4 diapers are in greatest demand. Please drop your donation off at the temple between now and Friday, October 13. If you need help bringing your donations into the foyer, let us know and we will be happy to help! We also support MAZON, a Jewish Response to Hunger. MAZON is a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger among perople of all faiths and backgrounds in the Unites States and Israel. Please be generous.
In the spirit of working together to provide synergy in the South Suburbs of Chicago, the Cooperative Jewish Council includes south suburban synagogues, the Jewish Federation of Chicago, the Jewish Community Center (Southern Region), B’nai Brith, National Council of Jewish Women and Hadassah. The CJC promotes communication and cooperation among these institutions and behalf of a Jewish community of approximately 12,000 people who live in the south suburbs of Chicago, as well as the growing southwest suburbs, along the I-80 corridor.
The leaders of these local organizations work together on joint programming, to support each other’s activities and to strengthen the services offered for Jews in the south suburbs. The Cooperative Jewish Council produces a community newsletter, hosts community-wide Shabbat events and offers interesting speakers and programs throughout the year.
While in some communities, similar organizations may choose to be more competitive and divisive, the spirit of cooperation embodied in the Cooperative Jewish Council is indicative of life in the south suburbs of Chicago. The tight-knit Jewish community,bined with the wonderful lifestyle possible in Chicago’s south suburbs make Homewood, Flossmoor and the surrounding towns an ideal place to live, commute to downtown and raise a family.
The Jewish Federation can help south suburban seniors grab a cab for less. The Shalom Taxi program offers one-way trip vouchers to Jewish Southlanders age 60 and older. The cost is just $2.50 each way. They can be used for medical trips, grocery shopping, banking or visiting friends in hospitals or nursing homes. Eligible seniors may purchase up to 10 vouchers each month. Transportation is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To register, call Alene Rutzky, Jewish Community Services Coordinator, at 708-798-1884.
The south and southwest suburbs of Chicago are home to a close-knit, inclusive Jewish community of several thousand, which stretches from the Indiana border to Joliet and is enriched by many interfaith families.
The towns around I-57 and I-80 support two congregations, one Reform and one combined Reform and Conservative, which were founded in the 1940s and early 1950s. Further west, Joliet Jewish Congregation was founded over a century ago and is believed to be the first synagogue organized in the United States to simultaneously serve orthodox, conservative, and reform members in one congregation.
Our community also enjoys the support of very active chapters of NCJW, Hadassah, B’nai Brith, Women of Reform Judaism, and both the AZA and BBG youth organizations.
Our Cooperative Jewish Council is a unique group that adds special strength to our community. Formed in the early 1990s, CJC promotes communication and cooperation among the area synagogues and other local Jewish organizations and with the Jewish Federation of Chicago. Through CJC and other cooperative efforts we share periodic community Shabbat services rotated among the synagogues, as well as other community events and activities through the year, such as joint observances of Yom HaShoah, Yom HaAtzma-ut, special adult education programs, and showings of films of Jewish interest.
Annual Food Drive and Ongoing Hunger Relief Efforts:
BYBS members begin the Jewish New Year with an annual food drive. The food collected goes to local food pantries and The Ark’s kosher food pantry. The blue barrel in our entryway lets members drop off donations for distribution to local agencies on a regular basis. BYBS is a Mazon Partner Congregation.
South Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter):
Our members, from b’nei mitzvah students with their parents through our most senior members work together once a month to serve the homeless population in our midst. A choice of volunteer opportunities is available, from purchasing or cooking food, serving meals, setting up and manning the overnight shelter.
Cancer Support Center, Annual Walk of Hope:
BYBS fields a team of walkers for this community-wide event to raise funds and awareness for the Canter Support Center.
Hanukkah Toy Drive:
School families and the larger congregation donate toys for distribution to needy families through our local JUF social services office.
Spaghetti Dinner and Dessert Auction:
School families organize and run this event for the entire congregation. Delicious desserts are auctioned at a premium, with funds donated to a charity chosen by our school.
BYBS organizes and hosts blood drives several times throughout the year.
The Klezmedics is a group of professional people who love music. The group is made up of eight men and two women. The name Klezmedics is a play on words because most of the group’s members are physicians. The Klezmedics has a large repertoire of songs from Yiddish origins as well as some more contemporary Jewish and Hebrew melodies.
They have played at many of our temple functions, such as Deli Night and Music Shabbat, and also at weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs. The Klezmedics have played at a Chanukah Party in Glencoe, Illinois, a temple anniversary in South Haven, Michigan, and a temple fund raiser in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They have also performed at Flossmoor Fest, Walk for Israel, the URJ Regional Biennial in Milwaukee, as well as luncheons for Jewish organizations.
The Klezmedics is directed by Jim Mollin, who also arranges most of the music and plays piano. The other members include Megan Heng – baritone, John Kern – saxophone, Joel Cahan – clarinet and vocals, David Gottlieb – clarinet, Jeremy Marks – percussion, Allan Ruby – violin, Matthew Lipman – viola, Mike Anger – guitar and banjo, and Gae Mollin – synthesized bass. The group has recently released a CD called “Just for Fun.” This collection of their favorite numbers is available at the temple gift shop. For more information call Jim Molllin at 708-891-5160.