Founded in 2003, DuPage United is a non-partisan organization made up of organizations including church, synagogue, and mosque congregations, education associations, and civic organizations. Also eligible for membership are business associations, parent-teacher and student organizations, labor unions, health care and educational institutions and other community organizations.
Rabbi Cosnowsky will be on sabbatical from February 4 to March 4, 2020. This will be her first sabbatical after serving our congregation for the
past 14 ½ years. Please read her column for the instructions on how communication will be handled for the month she is away.
I began writing this column on Thanksgiving Day for the January 2020, newsletter. Later today, most of our family will be able to gather for dinner. My wife and I have talked to our children who live out of state. We may not be physically in one place; we can be emotionally connected.
I want to take a bit of space in this month’s bulletin article to let you know how thankful I am to be the religious school principal at Etz Chaim. Working with our staff, engaging with the families, and interacting with our students bring me such joy. I am grateful to all of you who help make this happen
This month we will celebrate the holiday, Hanukkah. There are many rituals and festivities associated with this holiday. We kindle the Hanukkah candles each night to spread and increase light and warmth even in the darkest and coldest times of the year. We spin the dreidel with its four Hebrew letters, nun, gimel, hay, and shin, making the acronym, Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, meaning a “great miracle happened there.”
September and October were busy months for our congregation. We kicked off with the beginning of religious school which included the Brotherhood’s picnic and games. That was followed by the family picnic celebrating our 60th year and the beginning of Selichot starting the High Holiday ‘season.’ And for both of these events the rainy weather let up so that we could enjoy our outside activities. The participants were grateful for the break in the weather.
Now that the fall holidays have passed, it’s exciting to look ahead and see what wonderful possibilities exist for further learning, study, worship and transformation.
Our entire religious school is learning W.O.W. What is W.O.W.? It’s the Hebrew Word of the Week that teaches us something Judaic. The primary grade students and their families have learned “Ah-rone Koe-desh”, Holy Ark, by means of a puppet show! The intermediate and upper grade teachers share the W.O.W. on Sundays with their classes.
We find ourselves amid the Days of Awe. These begin with the welcoming of the New Year on the evening of Rosh Hashanah, and end with the shofar blast at the conclusion of the N’ilah service on Yom Kippur.
With the approach of Rosh Hashanah at the end of this month, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the fact that this year, 2019-2020, is Congregation Etz Chaim’s 60th anniversary. Sixty years of providing a center for Jewish life in the far western suburbs.
There has been a lot of planning these past few months to hold a large, festive, multigenerational temple community picnic on Selichot. This will take place on Saturday afternoon, September 21st at 4:30pm, which is 10 days prior to Rosh Hashanah.