Author Archives: ravmarc

Update of January Calendar


Here’s an update of the January calendar; we have quite a month of activities planned to beat away the winter cold/blues:

Friday night, Jan. 6, Kabbalat Shabbat @ Melinda Remaly’s home.  Tentatively planned: Sue Levin will share a fascinating learning session on the “three pillars of Judaism”, taking us on an exploration of the core values of Judaism.

Sunday morning, Jan. 15: B’Chavana Town Hall Meeting.  Time and place to be determined.

Sunday morning, Jan. 22, 10:00 am @ Campbells.  Lonnie Nasatir, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, will speak on “Racism, Anti-Semitism and America Today – And What We Can Do”.  Gail Wright and Jane Grossman are also planning a brief tzedakah program in connection with immigration and HIAS, building on Gail’s presentation at Sukkot.

Sunday afternoon, Jan. 29: Challah Baking @ Jane & Steve Grossman’s.  Come to learn, come to bake, come to eat.  Time tbd.

As you see, with all of these activities we’ll not meet for Shabbat morning tefilot in January.

I’m still working with Congressman-elect Brad Schneider to set a date. I’ll post that as soon as I know.



Thanks; Calendar Stuff


We had a great morning of singing, praying and learning (and eating as well, of course). Thanks to Leslie and Kevin Harrison for bringing us together in the warmth of their home, as well as to Anita for sharing with us her knowledge and insights about the mitzvah of wearing the tallit.

Regarding upcoming calendar items:

  • Because of the timing of Chanukah this year and some travel plans there will be no annual B’Chavana party.  We look forward to one next year.
  • Lonnie Nasatir, Regional Director of the Great Chicago/Upper Midwest area for the Anti-Defamation League, will speak at a brunch on Sunday morning, Jan. 22, 10:00 am, location tbd.  His topic will be: “Racism, Anti-Semitism and America Today – And What We Can Do”.
  • With a plethora of programming scheduled in January, and the “town hall” still to be scheduled, be on the lookout for further announcements and adjustments.

Shavua tov,

Upcoming Shabbat: New News (& Reminder)


Everything for this coming Shabbat morning remains the same except for this: Randi, Anita and I will continue teaching in our year of “Learning for Jewish Living”.  But we need your help.

If you plan to attend, identify which two of these Jewish skills you would be interested in learning about: singing Shabbat evening kiddush; wearing a tallit; wearing tefilin; making havdalah; or singing birkat hamazon (blessing after a meal).  We will offer three of them and you will be able to “sign up” for one.

Leslie and Kevin Harrison will host: 716 N. Greenwood Dr., Palatine. Leslie’s contact info: (847) 207-2266;

SPECIAL NOTE: We’ll return to our usual Shabbat morning format. Make sure to use this link right away to indicate your participation in the potluck luncheon: Leslie’s Potluck Luncheon.
9:45     Gather & schmooze
10:00    Tefilot & learning
12:15     Kiddush & potluck luncheon

I  look forward to sharing Shabbat with you.


Great Upcoming Programming


Please note the following upcoming wonderful B’Chavana programs from now through the spring:

January 29th, Sunday afternoon, A TASTE OF CHALLAH. Bread making becomes the way that Shabbat bonds two worlds, the spiritual and physical in which we live. Now we will learn to make our braided dough in the kitchen of Jane Grossman. We welcome seasoned bakers, novices in the kitchen, and everyone in between.

February 9th, Thursday evening, “Tu B’Shevat, the new year of trees”. We will be exploring “the seed within” through Jewish text, partnered study, and mindfulness exercise. We will be collaborating with OROT, a center for new Jewish learning and practice, and will use this as a window into meaningful and intentional living.

February 17th – 19th, KALLAH, from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. Our 4th annual Kallah will convene on the beautiful shores of Lac La Belle at OSRUI. Our learning theme will explore the mitzvah to “love thy neighbor as yourself”.

March 2nd, Thursday evening, Shabbat – Finding Rest Within”. We will be cultivating a personal Shabbat practice through candle lighting, prayer, and song. We will once again collaborate with OROT.

March 11th, Saturday night, PURIM. A Jewish festival in which we read the book of Esther and celebrate a night of dress up, laughter, and drinking. Don’t forget the Hamantaschen!

April 2nd, Sunday, Community Passover Seder, the first ever for B’Chavana.

May 13th, Saturday evening, CHAGIGA. We will celebrate our growth and accomplishments in our 6th annual festival since the beginning of B’Chavana. We will have a Havdalah ceremony with song and dessert included.

May 30th, Tuesday night, SHAVUOT, the story of revelation and fulfillment of the covenant. We will have story telling in the style of a MOTH podcast in order to celebrate the diversity and commonality of the human experience.  The MOTH’s stories are true first person narratives told live with or without notes about the topic of weaving memory.

Many thanks to Rachel Levin for planning many of these programs.


Link to Invisibilia’s “Flip the Script”

Sorry, friends, I forgot to include the link the other day to the podcast that we listened to on Friday night.

Here it is: Invisibilia: Flip the Script.


Holiday Mitzvah Opportunity

Dear Members of B’Chavana,

The social workers in my school district, Wheeling School District 21,  help families every year during the holiday season.  This year,  London Middle School needs help with their Holiday Giving Tree.

Families submit requests for items needed for their children at the holidays.  {These gifts are necessities, like clothing – not toys, etc.}  Right now there are ten students on the list with no sponsors. It would be greatly appreciated if you could help us fill these requests.

If you can help, please e-mail me at as soon as possible.  I will send you the age and items requested for a particular student.  Gifts should be around $40 to $50.  I need to collect the gifts by Sunday night, Dec. 11. Please feel free to call me with any questions – 847-323-5173.

Maureen Shayman

B’Chavana Looks Forward: Share Your Thoughts & Feelings


B’Chavana is now in its 6th year and we are trying something new.

The Va’ad (leadership team) is choosing to pause, reflect, and learn what our membership is thinking and feeling about B’Chavana – what the community provides to each of us and what we can give back.

We also want to understand what suggestions you have for B’Chavana as we move forward.

Be on the lookout for a note from me, on behalf of the Va’ad, inviting you to take a survey. It will only take a few minutes to complete but the few minutes you take are important to us.

Our collective responses will help guide us as to how to improve and expand  upon our B’Chavana success.

Once we’ve digested the survey responses, we plan to set up our first annual town-hall meeting to drill further into the responses you have provided.

Thank you,

Renee Hochberg, Membership