Events coming up in Jewish Chicago

The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band's only Chicago-area Chanukah family concert will be at North Shore Congregation Israel. Joining them as a special guest artist will be singer-songwriter Rabbi Joe Black.

Sunday, November 17

Representatives from two minyans, (prayer groups), the Egalitarian Minyan and Kehillat Shalom, will tell stories of their beginnings, at a special program starting at 10:15 a.m., at Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, 4500 Dempster, Skokie. A light breakfast will be served. Fee for the program is $8 for members of EHNTJC and $10 for non-members and at-the-door. For further information or for reservations, call Ezra-Habonim, the Nile Township Jewish Congregation, at 847-675-4141.

Curt B. Witcher, manager of the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, will give two presentations at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook. “Using Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research,” beginning at 1 p.m., and “More than Surname Surfing: Best Practices for Using the Internet for Genealogy,” beginning at 2:30 p.m., are his topics at this special JGSI meeting. Sign-in begins at 12:30 p.m. For more information, see or phone 312-666-0100. Free and open to the public.

A holiday boutique will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by the Sisterhood of Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah Congregation, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette. Shopping opportunities from vendors with unique and creative merchandise for all ages – jewelry, clothing, craft items, toys, books, and much more. There will be a raffle with prizes donated by featured vendors and a lunch available for purchase. Free admission. For further information, call 847-256-1213.

Temple Beth Israel presents “Interfaith Families: A Day of Learning and Discussion,” beginning at 10 a.m.  The speaker is Marion Usher, renowned for her work with interfaith relationships. There is no charge for Temple Beth Israel members and nonmembers are $10 per session. Call 847-675-0951. TBI is located at 3601 W. Dempster St., Skokie.

Monday, November 18

Nefesh B’Nefesh, the organization dedicated to revitalizing Aliyah by minimizing the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles associated with the process, will be providing prospective Olim (immigrants to Israel) in and around Chicago with the opportunity to have all their practical Aliyah financial related questions answered. An “Aliyah Dollars and Sense” practical financial workshop will be held in Skokie with NBN professionals, a CPA and a certified financial planner who will cover topics such as budgeting, US and Israeli taxation, and financial planning. 7- 9 p.m. at Doubletree Skokie, 9599 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie.

Discover and learn Israeli songs in a series of biweekly music events.  An hour of sing-a-long followed by discussion and learning of songs. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Also Dec. 2 and Dec. 16 at Congregation Kol Emeth, 5130 W. Touhy, Skokie. For more information, visit

Wednesday, November 20

Ida Crown Jewish Academy holds Open House, 7 p.m., at 8233 Central Park Ave., Skokie. Tour the building and learn about its Judaic and academic programs, clubs and extracurricular opportunities. Register at Contact Suzy Nussbaum, Director of Admissions at or (773) 973-1450, ext. 152 if you have any questions.

Thursday, November 21

Rabbi Barry Schechter will teach a crash course in Hebrew writing.  Learn Hebrew the “write” way in just one session. Free. 6:30 p.m. Congregation Kol Emeth, 5130 W. Touhy, Skokie.

Friday, November 22

Steven T. Katz, head of the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies at Boston University, will return to Aitz Hayim to explore the rise of Hitler after the chaos following World War I.  He will look at how the world of the 1920s was vulnerable to the rise of Nazism in Germany and how the world responded. Katz will examine why nothing seems more crucial than understanding the rise of supremacist racism, hatred, and anti-Semitism. Katz has published numerous works on the Holocaust and Jewish philosophy. The Nov. 22 program begins with Kabbalat Shabbat services at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Shabbat dinner  at 7:30 p.m. At 8:15 p.m., Katz will present his program.  The cost of the Shabbat dinner is $20 and reservations are required by Nov. 20. On Nov. 23, the Shabbat service will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a luncheon and a continuation of the discussion with Katz. For more information on both programs or call 847.835.3232.

Darchei Noam Glenbrook, 3465 Techny Road, Northbrook, will host Emma Katz, Community Scholar of NILI.  Shabbat dinner and shiurim, including an afternoon women’s seudah shlishit hosted by a DNG member.  Email for more information. 

Sunday, November 24

Emanuel Congregation Holiday Market. Come join 40+ vendors for shopping at this fun and family-friendly event that helps give back to the community by supporting local artisans and fair trade vendors. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 5959 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago.

The Chicago Jewish Historical Society presents author Julien Gorbach to discuss his book, ‘Notorious Ben Hecht: Iconoclastic Writer and Militant Zionist.’ A social hour with kosher pastries and a book sale and signing will follow the program. 2 p.m. Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, 1224 Dempster Street, Evanston. General admission $10 per person at the door. CJHS and Beth Emet members free. or (312) 663-5634.

Temple Beth Israel presents Sunday Morning Seminar featuring author Rachel Dewoskin, 10 a.m.  Dewoskin will discuss her new book “Someday We Will Fly.” Free and open to the community. 847-675-0951. TBI is located at 3601 W. Dempster St., Skokie.

Sisterhood Temple Beth Israel, 3601 W. Dempster St., Skokie, presents its annual “Artisan Faire.” 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Handcrafted wares created by local artists include jewelry, knits, children’s clothes & accessories, ceramics, cards, fused glass, prints, soaps, Judaica and other fabulous products. Free gift wrap. Free admittance. Food available for purchase. For more information call 847-675-0951.

Monday, November 25

Congregation Beth Judea (Corner of N. Ill. Rt. 83 & Hilltop Road, Long Grove) will host Mike Berman of NBC5 Chicago Sports as he talks sports and journalism An informal pizza dinner is at 5:45 p.m with Berman’s stories, questions and answers at 6:30 p.m.  Cost is $8/adult 20 and over, $6/person 20 and younger.  Call 847-634-0777 to RSVP or further information.

Sunday, December 8

Congregation Kol Emeth is hosting a craft fair just in time for Chanukah.   Find unique holiday gifts. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 5130 W. Touhy, Skokie. 847-673-3370 or

Congregation Beth Judea Sisterhood (Corner of N. Ill. Rt. 83 & Hilltop Road, Long Grove, Illinois) will be holding its annual Chanukah Bazaar from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  A large selection of Judaica including dreidels, menorot, and other Jewish holiday necessities, along with children’s books and toys will be available. Visit or call Lisa Neiman at 847-634-0777 for further information.

Wednesday, December 11

‘What Were We Watching? Americans’ Responses to Nazism through Cinema, Radio, and Media’ will be presented from 7-8:30 p.m. Stories about World War II and the persecution of Europe’s Jews were a constant presence in American movie theaters and living rooms throughout the 1930–40s. Award-winning films such as Mrs. Miniver, The Great Dictator, and Casablanca shaped Americans’ understanding of the Nazi threat and persecution of Europe’s Jews, while newsreels and radio programs offered a brief glimpse into world events and the range of opinions on the war effort. Learn how Hollywood and leaders in entertainment and government battled for the hearts and minds of Americans. Speakers will be Thomas Doherty, Professor, American Studies, Brandeis University, and Author, ‘Hollywood and Hitler, 1933–1939’ and Gretchen Skidmore, Director, Education Initiatives, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The program is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. RSVP online or by contacting the Museum’s Midwest Regional Office at 855.218.6836 or

Saturday, December 14

The Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago will sponsor the Annual Rabbi Isaac Mayefsky Memorial Lecture.  The theme will be “Inspiring Our Children in 2020” and will be presented by Rabbi Levi Feldman. Feldman will address how to enhance your relationship with your child, build your child’s confidence, increase your child’s cooperation, and inspire your child to go the extra mile. The program will provide parents with skills that can be employed for all children, toddler to teenager. The lecture will take place at The Associated Talmud Torahs, 8233 Central Park Avenue in Skokie.  Admission is free. For more information, call 773-973-2828.

Sunday, December 15

The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band‘s only Chicago-area Chanukah family concert will be at 1 p.m. at North Shore Congregation Israel, 1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe.   Joining them as a special guest artist will be singer-songwriter Rabbi Joe Black. Rabbi Black and Maxwell Street will be playing songs from their album, “Eight Nights of Joy,” a Jewish holiday album featuring classic Chanukah sing-a-long songs such as “Oh Hanukkah” and “The Dreidel Song,” as well as Rabbi Black’s contemporary Chanukah songs like “Judah Maccabee” and “Soufganiot.”  Advance online tickets are $18 (kids 12 and under $12); tickets at the door are $22 (kids 12 and under $15).  For more information, call (847) 675-4800 or email

In honor of national Jewish Book Month, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, presents a conversation with Howard Reich, son of Holocaust survivors, award-winning journalist, and author of the new book, ‘The Art of Inventing Hope: Intimate Conversations with Elie Wiesel.’2 p.m. The book will be for sale at the event, and a book signing will follow the program. Tickets, priced at $18 ($10 for Spertus members and $8 for students), are available for purchase online at

Congregation Beth Judea (Corner of N. Ill. Rt. 83 & Hilltop Road, Long Grove) invites the community to join us at Hawthorn Mall as we celebrate Chanukah with other Jewish families in the area.  Program is from 10-11:30 a.m., includes live entertainment and is free and open to all.  Further information is available at 847-634-0777.

1 Comment on "Events coming up in Jewish Chicago"

  1. I want to register for the Holocaust Memorial Museum event tonight, December 11, at 7 pm at Congregation BJBE in Deerfield, Il.
    My phone number is 847-624-6993.
    I am a member of Congregation BJBE. Please confirm my registratiion.
    Thank you.

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