Events coming up in Jewish Chicago

Congregation Beth Shalom Distinguished Speakers Program presents Daniel Silva, New York Times bestselling author.

Tuesday, June 11

The “joy of klez” returns when the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band Sextet returns as part of the YIVO Summer Concert Series. 7 p.m. at Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook.This smaller ensemble will feature duets in the style of the Barry Sisters with Lori Lippitz and Natasha Bodansky, soulful clarinet improvisations by the legendary Don Jacobs, and the lightning-fast fingers of violinist and band director Alex Koffman. Chicago YIVO’s dedication to the preservation and promulgation of Yiddish in Chicagoland dovetails with the Klezmer Music Foundation’s mission to keep klezmer and Yiddish music alive. The show is free and open to the public. (847) 272-6224. 

AJEC presents ‘Anti-Semitism in Our Backyard,’ a lecture/discussion about current anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States and the Chicago area and how to respond.Discussion will be led by attorney Michael Rothstein, National Commissioner of the Anti Defamation League and former Chair of the ADL Midwest Board of Directors. Sponsor: AJEC Adult Jewish Education Co-op. 7 p.m. at Congregation Or Shalom, 21 W. Hawthorn Pkwy, Vernon Hills. Free. 847-363-0000.

Wednesday, June 12

A new biography of Rabbi Neil Brief, “Neil Brief: A Rabbi, No More, No Less” will be the focus of a book discussion hosted by the Sisterhood of Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, 4500 Dempster, Skokie, starting at 10:30 a.m. The discussion will be led by Judith Rae Ross, author of the book and a former professor at DePaul University in Chicago. Rabbi Brief was the spiritual leader of what was then Niles Township Jewish Congregation, starting in 1971. He served in this position for 33 years, before becoming Rabbi Emeritus in 2004. For further information or for reservations, call the synagogue at 847-675-4141.

Thursday, June 13

The Sweet Singers of Congregation Ezras Israel will present a Program at Lincolnwood Place, 7000 McCormick Blvd., at 7 p.m. Jennie Gardner Spallone will read from her newest book ‘Smashing Castles’ about how a young autistic woman discovered her authentic self. Learn about Jennie’s 18 month journey of life-coaching a 26-year-old Jewish woman from basic grooming skills to receiving her competent communicator and competent leadership awards through Toastmaster’s Intl. Book discussion/reading/raffle/signing. 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Hawthorn Mellody, 901 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills. For more information, call 847-293-5696.

Sunday, June 16 

“Jewish Thinkers in the Modern Age” discussion series continues at Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob, 8825 N. East Prairie Rd., Skokie, with Dr. Sam Fleishacker on “Mendelssohn: Between Tradition and Enlightenment.” Fleischacker is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Discussion series will extend throughout the summer, led by a variety of speakers who are scholars and experts on important figures in modern Jewish history. Free, refreshments served. For more information, 847-674-3473. 

Sunday, June 23

Congregation Beth Judea’s Men’s Club (Corner of Ill. Rt. 83 & Hilltop Road, Long Grove) invites the community to join us at 4:30 p.m. for dinner and a Texas Hold ’Em Poker tournament.  Registration begins at 4:15 p.m. with a dinner break at 6 p.m.  Cost is $45 in advance, $55 at the door and an optional $20 Rebuy.  RSVP and further information can be found at or you can call Lisa Neiman at 847-634-0777.

Friday, June 28

Skokie’s Temple Beth Israel presents Shabbat at the Park, 6 p.m., Lovelace Park, 2740 Gross Point Rd., Evanston. This outdoor experience will be held under the shelter even if the sun doesn’t shine. Games and activities for kids of all ages. Attendees should bring their own dinners and a dessert to share.  For information call 847-675-0951.

Chabad of Northbrook holds a community Shabbat dinner featuring Rabbi Matisyahu Devlin, speaking on ‘From Alter Boy to Rabbi.’ Devlin, the son of a Jewish mother and devout Catholic father, will share his tale of growing up in the church until that fateful night in a Manhattan coffee shop. Shabbat dinner 7:30 p.m. (services: 7 p.m.) at Chabad  of Northbrook 2095 Landwehr Rd., Northbrook. Adult $28, Child $12. Reservation required. 847-564-8770.

Friday, July 19

Congregation Beth Shalom Distinguished Speakers Program presents Daniel Silva, New York Times bestselling author, at 8 p.m. Silva will be interviewed by Jamie Gangel, CNN Special Correspondent. The event is open to the community and is free of charge. 3433 Walters Ave., Northbrook, 847-498-4100.

Sunday, July 28

Sisterhood Temple Beth Israel, 3601 W. Dempster St., Skokie, presents “Mahjongg Madness,” 12:30 p.m. registration, 1 p.m. games begin. Open to the community, $20 per person.  Prizes, snacks, raffles. All levels welcome. Bring your maj set, and two snack tables.  Card tables for playing will be provided. For more information call 847-675-0951. or visit

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