Jacob Margulies has been a member of Congregation Etz Chaim since 2002. He is married to Ellyn and they have three children who all became b’nai mitzvah here. Jacob is president of Continental Envelope, a family business located in nearby Geneva. He is involved with the JUF, having been chair of Israel Solidarity Day (ISD) - Western Suburbs as well as serving on the TOV Board.
Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky, Senior Rabbi, came to Congregation Etz Chaim in 2005 from Congregation Beth Adam in Loveland, Ohio. Ordained in 2004 at the Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Cosnowsky had been the Student Leader Intern for URJ Outreach Fellows Program for Conversion Certification HUC, and continues her outreach work with the larger community through her work with DuPage United.
Rabbi Steven M. Bob has served as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim since 1981 and has played a key role in making Congregation Etz Chaim the warm welcoming community that it is. His delight in Torah, his sense of humor and fun, his love of teaching and learning, and his ability to connect with congregants of all ages are some of the gifts he brings to his role.
Anne Stein is the full-time Director of Education at Congregation Etz Chaim, overseeing our religious schoolprograms from pre-school through Confirmation. Before coming to Etz Chaim in 1991, Anne was the Director of Education at synagogues in Skokie and St. Louis. At the Mayer Kaplan JCC, she started the Shalom Sunday religious school program for newly arrived Russian children and their parents. In Dayton, Ohio, she developed the educational resource center at Temple Israel.
This month I am heading to San Diego to attend the URJ Biennial. It is scheduled to be 76 and sunny every day; it is a tough job but I am willing to make the sacrifice. I am looking forward to meeting other Reform Jews from around the country and other Congregational leaders. On Saturday I am going to partially celebrate Shabbat at the San Diego Zoo. I am very much looking forward to this.
On Saturday November 2, I was fortunate enough to attend a birthday dinner and a surprise birthday party all in the same day. My wife and I went to a friend’s house to have dinner and to celebrate some birthdays. We have been doing this the past several years with three other couples. One person of each couple has a birthday within two weeks of November 1 so we all celebrate together.
I had the pleasure of attending the JNF dinner on Sunday, October 6 in Wheeling. It was a great event with The Maccabeats and comedian Avi Liberman. I felt comfortable there, as I do here at Etz Chaim. Being around so many Jews made me feel at ease with myself and with the community. It made be proud that I am a Jew.
As I was making my Board High Holiday calls these past few weeks I was amazed at some of the responses. All of the congregants that I talked to were very happy that I had called. A few wanted to share a few things as well.
Shalom chaverim, hello friends. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead this congregation for the next two years. It is an honor that I am grateful for, and one that I do not take lightly.