Community & Connections

Community, Spirituality, and YOU

Congregation Etz Chaim has a distinctive culture of volunteerism and belongingness that helps to make our community vibrant and relevant. Together with the rabbis, the school principal, and staff, Congregation Etz Chaim members lead, guide, and perform the work of the congregation through various committees and social groups. This thread is woven through not only congregational projects but community ones as well.


The Brotherhood is an affiliate organization that provides an opportunity for the men of Etz Chaim to come together for fellowship, recreation, personal growth and mutual support, while at the same time supporting the mission and activities of the congregation.

Our mission is to provide service to the congregation and to develop Brotherhood (friendship, camaraderie, fellowship, and support) among our members.


The Sisterhood of Etz Chaim empowers women to connect with each other across generations and encourages the pursuit of Jewish values and communal learning. As a strong group of diverse women, we strive to serve the congregation and build nurturing relationships within our community.

Throughout the year, Sisterhood will be hosting a variety of fun events to create community, learn and explore Judaism.

Etz Chaim Committees

Etz Chaim’s distinctive ethos of volunteerism helps make our community a dynamic and vibrant one.

The Budget Committee oversees the synagogue’s annual budgeting process which projects operating income and expenses for the coming year. . View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Ed Levy at

The Caring Committee provides support for and assistance to Congregation Etz Chaim members in times of need. They aid congregants in several important ways; arranging rides, providing meals in times of illness, assistance with shiva and funeral arrangements, visiting a shut in, arranging rides to services, etc. . View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Renee Gossage Ray at

New! Mid-Life Adventure Group- This new group is for adults who may be empty nesters or have children out of school who wish to do activities and excursions with their Etz Chaim friendships they have made. Click here to learn more.

Young Professionals Group- Meets once a month for dinner and a fun activity. Click here to learn more.

Mah Jongg- Its time to order your Mah Jongg Cards! Click here for more information

2nd & 4th Thursday nights starting at 7:00 PM
RSVP: Elaine Davison

Jewish War Veterans meet at 10:00 AM the second Sunday of the month at Etz Chaim. Contact Bruce Mayor with any questions or interest.

Monday Night Pinochle: 7:00-10:00 PM contact Harve Bogolub. This is for beginners too, Harve will teach how to play pinochle.

Wednesday Morning Bridge 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM contact Fran Dvorkin

Evening Book Group meets on a Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM. For more information please contact Ellyn Margulies. The Evening Book Group is presented by the Library Committee.

View the committee guide for more information.

The Facilities Committee is guided by the need to economically provide facilities that are safe, secure, functionally attractive, maintainable and energy efficient. The committee is responsible for all the infrastructure of the synagogue facility as well as the outdoor landscaping. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Doug Longman at

The Inclusion Committee provides guidance for inclusion opportunities for students and adults in the congregation. Etz Chaim is committed to be an inclusive congregation. They strive to make all feel welcome and that they belong in our community. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Rachel Wood at

The Library Committee staffs the library and oversees purchases for the collections, as well as leads the book discussion group. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Nicole Coover-Thompson, Librarian, at
Contact Patricia Rosenmann, Library Committee Chair, at

The Lifelong Learning Committee (LLC) seeks to build community by offering a variety of educational and cultural opportunities that enable adults of all ages to connect with one another.  Learning sessions are led by  our rabbis and  lay leaders, as well as by outside educators and professionals from the wider Jewish community. Our cohorts have included the Florence Melton School for Adult Jewish Learning, the Hartman Institute, Chai Mitzvah and the Spertus Institute. In addition, the LLC collaborates with other committees within our congregation  to provide films, book talks and interfaith outreach activities. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Barb Turner and Kenya Madison-Gabler at

The Membership Committee communicates with all prospective and new members. View the committee guide for more information.


The Religious School Committee of Congregation Etz Chaim is a group of dedicated parents, teachers and volunteers that meets once a month to support the religious school staff in accomplishing their mission, as outlined in the religious school handbook. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Jody Freeman at

The Retreat Committee oversees the planning of our congregational retreat to OSRUI. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Karen Butterfield at

The Ritual and Religious (R&R) Committee reviews and guides the congregation in worship and ritual observances. The committee discusses current practices to ensure that they are meeting the needs of the congregation. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Marcey Siegel at

The Social Action Committee plans activities to engage the congregation in tikkun olam (repairing the world). View the committee guide for more information. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Marla Gerard at

The Ways and Means Committee holds the primary fundraising responsibility for Congregation Etz Chaim. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Laura Pietrzak at

The Youth Committee oversees our youth groups and college outreach. View the committee guide for more information.

Contact Adam Roubitchek and Jessica Schwarz at

Mid Life Adventures Group

Those who are “Empty Nesters” are encouraged to join us.

For many congregants, once their children have gone through Confirmation, many parents do not attend synagogue events as frequently, but still maintain friendships they have made.

The Etz Chaim Mid-Life Adventure Group is a new group whose purpose is to connect and reconnect old and new members in this great new phase of life. We plan to do this through fun activities which will include social, cultural and secular activities to enrich the fabric of our congregational community.

If you are interested in being a part of planning and/or implementing upcoming events, please let us know - we would love to have your input!

Other activities we are considering on our tentative calendar include:

Party Bus and Downtown Trip
Kane County Cougars Game
Arlington Racetrack Outing
Holocaust Museum Visit
And many more!

Please contact Rabbi Cosnowsky for more information at

Young Professionals

The purpose of this group is to provide a channel by which young professionals

The Young Professionals Group is for congregants in their 20's-40's. The purpose of this group is to provide a channel by which young professionals can add value to their Etz Chaim experience by providing a social group to interact with.

This group usually meets about once a month for dinner and a fun activity such as Kareoke, Whirly Ball, Hiking and more!

If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Kamil at

Youth Group

At Etz Chaim we strongly believe that children have to enjoy coming to the synagogue or they simply won’t come.

All of our youth programs are planned with this in mind. The result is that our young people continue their involvement well past their bar/bat mitzvah, through confirmation and beyond.

Etz Chaim’s peer-group programs include: Junior and Senior Youth Groups, Kadimah, and B'yachad, Junior Choir, summer day camps for young children, Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) summer camp in Wisconsin for older children, Israel trips supported by the Send-a-Kid-to-Israel Partnership (SKIP) program, and outreach to our students away at college. Our young people also take part in congregational family programs, mitzvah projects, and social action programs.


The purpose of the Senior Group is to give people who consider themselves a ‘senior’ an opportunity to learn, to participate in discussions, and to socialize.
Seniors Group2

Lunch ‘n Learn – Sponsored by Seniors but Open to All, usually meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Gathering in the synagogue Social Hall, folks typically over 50 meet at 12:00 PM for an optional lox and bagel lunch followed by either a presentation, a documentary, a movie, or a discussion at 12:30 PM.

Sometimes a speaker, drawn from our community, an organization or nearby academic institution, initiates a discussion. Programs have included field trips to the Milwaukee Jewish Museum and the Oriental Institute in Hyde Park (additional cost), concerts of Jewish music by our rabbis and legacy writing. Films have covered a variety of Jewish themes and historical events.

Currently the cost for optional lox & bagel lunch is $11 per person, but participants are welcome to bring lunch. Coffee, tea and dessert are typically provided at no cost.

Programs are publicized a few weeks prior and appear on the CEC website calendar. To receive more information or to suggest programs or films, please contact Mark Turner, Senior Program Coordinator at or call the synagogue office, 630.627.3912.

Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County, a Reform synagogue in Lombard, serves almost 500 families in the western suburbs of Chicago. We have a tradition of having an inclusive community which welcomes everyone- Jews by birth, Jews by choice, non-Jewish family members, singles, LGBTQIA2+ and people of all ages and abilities. We are a caring community that draws strength on our commitment to honor and respect the diversity of our membership.


Congregation Etz Chaim

Reform Congregation Serving DuPage County Illinois