The Midwest region includes congregations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Our synagogues and Havurot range in size from 14 to 850 households.
As the JRF and the RRC continue to restructure our movement for a better future, JRF has created a timeless Legacy Tribute Book in honor of our congregations. This keepsake memento will walk our members through the years of Reconstructionist history and highlight each of our communities in story and pictures. We are looking for your help to make this once-in-a-lifetime tribute book a reality. Would you consider making a gift to the JRF to support our lasting legacy?
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TOASTING OUR PAST- TASTING OUR FUTURE
MIDWEST LEGACY EVENT/ HOUSE FUNDRAISERS, 2012
Legacy House Party celebrating your congregation and the Reconstructionist movement
(FRCH/JRF established 1955)
- You may be aware that every year, each region has some sort of event designed to celebrate the movement and recognize the accomplishments in the region and by its members, but also fundraise for the movement's sustenance. This year, because we are getting closer to the restructuring of the movement, the events will be centered around celebrating the history of the movement. The Midwest Regional leadership has decided to make this simpler than a the typical, large, central, big ticket price event, and instead, give each congregation the opportunity to celebrate yourselves in the context of being part of the movement and use it as a modest fundraising event for the ongoing sustenance of JRF.
SO we're asking each cong to hold a House Party celebrating your congregation and the Reconstructionist movement, with the goals:
GoaTo have about 20-30 congregants over to a designated house for a celebration and a look back at your synagogue accomplishments during the years with FRCH/JRF.
- To show the JRF provided DVD (includes photos from member congregations) on a TV screen, running throughout the evening.
- To have a Legacy book or two for viewing during the evening,
- To take orders for the book if anyone wanted to have their own copy. (JRF will provide)
- serve wine and cheese or champagne and chocolate and strawberries and call it for a couple of hours, weeknight or weekend.
- charge suggested $36. to attend the event (all proceeds going to the JRF event, you know your communities best- adjust as needed. Also consider getting higher donation from members with more resources to underwrite for those who may not be able to afford).
- answer questions , using up-to-date information about the restructuring process and invite discussion, enthusiasm about what happens next to our movement.
JRF Legacy “yearbook” (Being handled by Beit Devorah: JRF central Office in Philadelphia- go to http://jrf.org/jrf-salutes-legacy-book)
- As the JRF and the RRC (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College) continue towards restructuring the movement, we are celebrating the legacy of our first half-century as a congregational movement. We want to create a Legacy book to highlight JRF and our communities. Our goal is to recognize every congregation, your leadership and your self-defined major achievements. As we move forward in the process of restructuring of our central institutions (coming out of the unification vote in April 2011) we celebrate the evolution of FRCH/JRF through the years, (soft-cover book format, with lots of pictures)
- We will highlight each of our congregations
- We will highlight important or historic events in our history
- We will do a mailing and offer this book to donors who give at the $118 level or higher
Being obtained from congregations through central office and website uploading: your name, your congregation name, congregation city and state, the year your congregation was founded, highlights and proud accomplishments from your congregation (e.g. you were the first green synagogue in your community, largest number of children at Camp JRF, helped to start a community organizing initiative in your community, interfaith relations, building a building, etc.), a paragraph about your congregation, then up to 10 photos representing different areas of congregational life from such as:
- Education Highlights
- Camp Highlights
- Congregational Leadership and Governance
- Capital Campaigns
- Regional Events
- Conventions- Years and Themes
- Noar Hadash
- Ritual and Spiritual Practice
- Tikkun Olam (internal policies/programs, external activism)
- Harmoniyah- Music and Liturgy
JRF invites our Midwestern Region's congregants to join us for our annual celebration! Register today
The event will be Thursday June 23rd at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois and will include dinner and a concert with k.d.lang. (www.ravinia.org)
This year’s theme will be Ohel: Together Under One Tent. We want to reinforce the message that Reconstructionism remains an open tent for all who value progressive Judaism. As part of the event, we will honor individuals from each participating congregation who have contributed to creating a "Big Tent" for Judaism or securing the ohel/tent that is your congregation. This might mean helping the congregation through an important transition, securing it financially, or creating an ohel that is both open and inviting. The program will include a special tribute to the honorees of each congregation.
Alan Rubin and Neal Rubin, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL
Fred Andes, Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue, Nothrbrook, IL
Leah Kamionkowski, Kol Halev, Cleveland, OH
6:00pm- Dinner and program under the tent
8:00pm- k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang, with special guest The Belle Brigade, in the pavillion
Event Chairs: Carole Caplan and Reese Gratch- JRC; Deborah Newberger- Shir Hadash
Host Committee (in formation)
Freddi Greenberg and Dan Pinkert — Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Rabbi Brant Rosen — Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Cantor Howard Friedland — Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Mary Jo Barrett and Dennis O’Keefe — Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Halle Barnett — Kol HaLev
David Conn —Kol HaLev
Rabbi Eitan Weiner-Kaplow — Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue
JRF supports the work of our own and other denominational rabbis and social justice advocates in the struggle to preserve worker's rights in Madison, WI and around the United States. read more »
JRF invites our Midwestern Region's congregants to join us for our annual celebration, this year to be held at Ravinia. The event is on Tuesday, July 20 at 6:00 pm, and will feature Peter and Paul in a tribute to Mary.
We will be honoring our Moreh Derekh (Those who show us the path) Honorees:
Steve Blonder - Four term president of Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, Steve led the synagogue through a significant transition and transformation.
Deborah Newberger - Deborah Newberger is a two-term past president of Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue in Northbrook, IL. A member since 1997, Deborah has served on the board of directors, youth group committee, fundraising committee, sabbatical committee, and is currently chairing the capital campaign committee -- working to secure a permanent home for Shir Hadash.
Carole Caplan - Carole Caplan is proud to be a past president of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, IL, and to have helped build their new building as the "greenest" house of worship in America
Marc Hurwitz - Two-term President of Congregation Shir Hadash synagogue in Milwaukee, WI, has been a member since its founding in 1989. He chaired the Membership committee for 10 years, and has been actively involved in special programming and the development of the congregational school.
For more details and to register, contact Melanie Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.870.2483
Well over 100 guests came together on Sunday, May 20 to honor Ruth Brin and the literary contributions she has made to our Mayim Rabim and far-reaching Reconstructionist communities over several decades. read more »
Among those who spoke about Ruth and her work were Leah Kamionkowski representing the Reconstructionist Midwest Region, and Mordecai Specktor of the American Jewish World. Robin King Cooper acknowledged Ruth’s enthusiastic support of Mayim Rabim, and read greetings from Rabbi Renee Bauer.
Just a year and a half old, Congregation Kol HaNeshama, founded by a small group of year-round and seasonal residents, has already established itself as a creative force in Sarasota, and has now joined JRF as the 106th affiliate. Since its inception it has grown to 38 households, and is operating on a 12-month calendar, including all major holidays. read more »
JRF is proud to announce that the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC) in Evanston, Ill. has been awarded First Place (tie) in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's Greenie Beanie Awards, a special competition in honor of Tu B’Shevat. And on February 6-7, at JRC's Tu B'Shevat Seder & Scholar-in-Residence Shabbat, the congregation will be presented with the Shalom Center's Green Menorah Award. read more »
As part of JRF's Sustainable Synagogue Initiative, JRC was acknowledged at the JRF 2008 biennial convention in Boston in November for being the "greenest shul in North America" and for its ongoing green policy development.