Events coming up in Jewish Chicago

“A Jewish Founding Father? Alexander Hamilton’s Hidden Life” Join Professor Andrew Porwancher (University of Oklahoma) as he details his adventure to uncover the heritage of the famous Founding Father.

Saturday, February 16

Temple Beth Israel, 3601 W. Dempster St., Skokie, presents an evening with novelist James Carroll (“Constantine’s Sword-The Church and the Jews”),7 p.m. Cost is $5 per person, includes desserts and coffee.  Q&A follows hisbrief lecture. Open to the community. For more information call 847-675-0951 or visit

Sunday, February 17

Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, will present the film ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife,’ which tells the true story of Jan and Antonina

Zabinski, and how they rescued hundreds of Jews from the Germans by hiding them in their Warsaw zoo. After the screening, a discussion will be led by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz, faculty member, Spertus Institute and History Professor Emeritus, Loyola University. This program will began at 2 p.m. and is offered free of charge as part of Coming Together in Skokie, a series of programs and events, with each year spotlighting a specific national, cultural or ethnic group. Polish Culture is the focus of the 2019 initiative.

Tuesday, February 19

A night of Israeli dancing, led by a trained dance specialist, starting at 7:30 p.m., at Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, 4500 Dempster, Skokie. Cost for the evening is $5 per person. For reservations or further information, call the synagogue office at 847-675-4141 or go to the web site at

Thursday, February 21

‘A Conversation on Faith and Torah’ with author Scott Shay and Rabbi Leonard Matanky will be held at 4 p.m. at Ida Crown Jewish Academy, 8233 N. Central Park, Skokie. Shay is the author of ‘In Good Faith: Questioning Religion And Atheism’ and is an alumnus of ICJA. For more information, call (773) 973-1450.

Friday, February 22

Don’t tell Yiddish singer Jane Peppler that Yiddish no longer has relevance in the music world.  She  performs with world-music ensemble Mappamundi and has made five Yiddish recordings, one being “Cabaret Warsaw,” connected with a Mappamundi touring show, and three being connected with her “Yiddish Songs from Warsaw 1929-1934: the Itsik Zhelonek Collection” research project and songbook. Jane will bring her Yiddish songs to life on Feb. 22 and 23 at Aitz Hayim for Jewish Living, 1185 Sheridan Road in Glencoe.  Many of these melodies were thought be lost forever before Jane rescued them from the world of obscurity to make them as relevant today as they were back in the 1930s. There are two opportunities to explore her melodies: Feb. 22, beginning at 6 p.m., that will follow a Kabbalat Shabbat dinner, at $20 per person (reservations required).   She also will perform during a Shabbat service on Feb. 23 beginning at 10 a.m., with a lunch that follows.  For more information, visit  or call 847-835-3232. 

Saturday, February 23

Shabbat Yoga, a gentle, relaxing yoga session inspired by Shabbat as a rest day, open to all levels, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Brings together Jewish spiritual heritage and the healing practice of yoga.  Open to the community at no charge at Congregation Beth Shalom, 3433 Walters Ave, Northbrook, 847-498-4100.

Sunday, February 24

“A Jewish Founding Father? Alexander Hamilton’s Hidden Life” Join Professor Andrew Porwancher (University of Oklahoma) as he details his adventure to uncover the heritage of the famous Founding Father. Learning Dutch, travelling to several Caribbean islands and retracing the footsteps Alexander took on his way to becoming an American icon are only a few of the topics Porwancher will discuss. 1 p.m. at UIC College Theatre, L285 Recital Hall (1044 W Harrison St. Chicago). Free admission; coffee and tea will be provided. Register at or contact Josh Magid at

A class in “Yiddish – Proverbs, Idioms and Curses to Tackle Life,”highlighted by a slide presentation and translations, will be presented at Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Cong., 4500 Dempster, Skokie, starting at 6 p.m. Fee for the event is $5 for synagogue members with paid reservations.  Non-members and at-the-door fee is $8. For further information, contact the synagogue office at 847-675-4141 or go to

Game Day hosted by Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood at Ravinia Green Country Club, 1200 Saunders Rd, Riverwoods. Come play Mah Jongg, Canasta and Bridge. Registration/Brunch begins 10:45 a.m., games from 11:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. Cost $50 per person. Contact Andy Widen at or call 847-498-4100.

Monday, February 25

No Shame On U will screen ‘Angst,’ a documentary film designed to raise awareness around anxiety at 6:30 p.m. See interviews with kids, teens, educators, experts, parents and a special interview with Michael Phelps. The goal of the screening is to help people identify and understand the symptoms of anxiety and encourage them to reach out for help. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.  Ida Crown Jewish Academy, 8233 Central Park Ave,, Skokie. Snacks will be served. Dietary Laws observed. General Admission: $10; Students: $5. Registration:

Facets Cinémathèque presents the film, ‘Ushpizin’ as part of The Second Annual Religion in the Frame Film Festival. Moshe and Malli are an Orthodox Jewish couple who find themselves on the eve of Sukkot (a harvest festival commemorating G-d’s protection of the Israelites when the left Egypt), without any money to observe the holiday properly. But then miracles start to happen—or are they actually tests of faith? This comic film is a rare collaboration between secular and ultra-Orthodox performers and artists, shot partly inside Jerusalem’s insular ultra-Orthodox community. 7 p.m. Free admission, donations requested. The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

Tuesday, February 26

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will present ‘50 Children: Rescuing the Collections’ at noon at Mesirow Financial, 353 N. Clark St., Chicago. The documentary chronicles the efforts of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus—two Americans who rescued 50 Jewish children from Vienna in the late spring of 1939.  Speakers will include Paul Beller, one of the 50 children;  Steve Pressman, filmmaker; and Fred Wasserman, Acquisition Curator, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. RSVP online or by contacting the Museum’s Midwest Regional Office at 855.218.6836 or

Sunday, March 3

“Who Was B. Berman? A Case Study in Getting Past a Genealogical Brick Wall” is the topic of a presentation by genealogist Martin Fischer to be delivered at 7 p.m. at a Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois west suburban meeting at Congregation Beth Shalom, 772 W. 5th Ave., Naperville, Ill. Sign-in and networking will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, see or phone 312-666-0100.

Saturday, March 9

‘Big Little Laws’ a whodunnit, will be presented by the Chicago Bar Association and hosted by the Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah Sisterhood at 8p.m. Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah Congregation, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette. Tickets: $39, purchased by Feb. 28 and $42 thereafter. Call 847-256-1213 or contact

Sunday, March 10

The Chicago Jewish Historical Society presents Eric Benjaminson, American career diplomat, historian and author in an illustrated talk, “A Regiment of Immigrants: The 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry and its Jewish Community-founded Company C during the Civil War.” 2 p.m. Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. Sheridan Rd. A social hour with kosher pastries to follow. General Admission $10 per person at the door, CJHS and Emanuel members free. (312) 663-5634 or

Sunday, March 17

Three speakers with opposing viewpoints will discuss immigration when Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadershippresents its 2nd Annual Critical Conversations program, at 4 p.m. Scheduled to participate are former New Mexico GovernorBill Richardson, GOP strategist Ana Navarro, and CNN Senior Political Commentator Rick Santorum. Tickets are $36. VIP tickets for $100 include VIP seating and a post-program reception with the speakers. Spertus Institute is located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Tickets are on sale now, online by credit card only, at 

Congregation Beth Shalom will hold a Purim Carnival from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Fun for all ages including arts & crafts, face painting, young family area, games, food, and don’t forget to wear your costume. No entrance fee – 10 shekels (tickets) for $5 for games, food, etc.  3433 Walters Avenue, Northbrook, 847-498-5352.

Sunday, April 7

“Resurrecting Grandpa’s Store” is the topic of a presentation by genealogist Scott Meyer to be delivered at 7 p.m. at a Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois west suburban meeting at Congregation Beth Shalom, 772 W. 5th Ave., Naperville, Ill. Sign-in and networking will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, see or phone 312-666-0100.

Sunday, April 14

“Jewish Hidden Treasures” with Arthur Feldman. Is that Judaica item in your attic a trinket or a treasure? Have your items professionally appraised and learn their historical significance.  2-4 p.m. at the BJE Campus, 3320 Dundee Road, Northbrook. Register at or contact Rolly Cohen at 847-291-7788 ext. 1304 or

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