Events coming up in Jewish Chicago

The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern University will present ‘Nicole Krauss: A Literary Conversation.’

Saturday, March 16

Makom Shalom will hold a night of entertainment and festivities. The event will be a celebration of the past, present and future of Makom Shalom, Chicago’s original and only Jewish Renewal congregation, as well as a celebration of its founding rabbi and current spiritual leader. Rabbi Allen Secher, the founder of Makom Shalom, will share his stories. Rabbi Michael Davis will present a serenade of popular show tunes. Charlene Brooks will perform swing, Yiddish, Latin, and Broadway music. 7 p.m. at Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 N. Broadway, Chicago. Tickets for adults are $50 and there will be no charge for children twelve and under. For more information contact (224) 326-3883.

Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Cong., 4500 Dempster, Skokie, will present a laugh-filled musical Purim Shpiel entitled  “Young Esther Stein – A Not-So-Scary Purim Parody,” a take-off on the movie “Young Frankenstein,” and much more. The Shpiel will be presented for two weekends in March starting Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m., and continuing Sunday, March 17 at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at 8 p.m., and concluding Sunday, March 24 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and $10 for children under age 12 with a reservation by Thursday, March 14.  At-the-door tickets are $25 and $12. For further information or for reservations, call the synagogue office at 847-675-4141.

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.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah Congregation Purim Carnival, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Featured will be games, inflatables, fun, food, Potter paraphernalia and  photo station, prizes, butterbeer, magical triangular treats and lots more.

Wednesday, March 20

Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah Congregation, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette will have a “Lil Purim” event for young families. Includes a pizza dinner. 5 to 6 p.m. RSVP – or call 847-256-1213. Following, at 6:30 p.m., Harry Potter and the reading of the Megillah – the Purim story told through Potter pics and videos, Hogwarts Dessert Bar, roaming magicians and more.

Wednesday, March 27

A special program centering on “Nutrition for Health and Wellness” will be hosted by the Sisterhood of Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, 4500 Dempster, Skokie, starting at 10 a.m. Dr. Jerry Gore, of the Center for Holistic Medicine in Riverwoods, will be guest speaker. Cost for the program is $5 per person for Sisterhood members and $8 for non-members and at-the-door. Refreshments will be served. For further information, call the synagogue at 847-675-4141.

Thursday, March 28

Debbie Sue Goodman will present ‘An Evening of Comedy & Music’ at Rock House, 1742 Glenview Rd. in Glenview. 7 p.m. No cover charge. Call 224-616-3062 or go to

Saturday, March 30

Temple Beth Israel, 3601 W. Dempster St., Skokie, presents “A Fun Evening of Bunco,” sponsored by Sisterhood of TBI. 6 p.m. dinner and game.  Costs for the evening are $25 per adult (over 21 please). Contact 847-675-0951 or visit

Sunday, April 7

Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah Congregation presents a concert fundraiser, ‘Building Harmonies Together’ featuring Corky Siegel, Howard Levy, SHIFT Englewood Youth and Jr. Klezmer Orchestras, Cantor Pavel Roytman and BHBE Academy students. 4 p.m. at BHBE Congregation, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette. General Admission $18  Sponsorship Tickets available. 847-256-1213.

“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.

Monday, April 8

The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern University will present ‘Nicole Krauss: A Literary Conversation’ at 7 Norris University Center, McCormick Auditorium, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston. Krauss, one of the most important Jewish American novelists writing today, is the author,  most recently, of “Forest Dark” (2017), which takes place in Tel Aviv, with two protagonists on spiritual quests to free themselves from their respective obsessions. For more information, call Nancy Gelman at (847) 491-2612.

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

Sunday, May 19

Composer-soprano Patrice Michaels performs songs from her new album Notorious RBG in Song (Cedille Records, 2018) at 2 p.m. at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Through a one-act dramatic concert, Michaels will bring to the stage music and stories exploring the life and work of US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an equal rights advocate who has become a pop-culture icon known to fans as Notorious RBG, a wry nod to fellow Brooklynite, rapper Biggie Smalls, the Notorious B.I.G. Michaels is the daughter-in-law of Justice Ginsburg.   Her son, Cedille Records founder James Ginsburg, will participate in a Q&A following the concert, which runs 75 minutes with no intermission. Tickets, priced at $18 ($10 for Spertus members and $8 for students), are available for purchase online at

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