August 17, 2020

This Week’s Updates

Dear Friends,

One of the requirements of Jewish prayer is the presence of a community – the presence of ten. While circumstances prevent us from being together physically, the need to feel a sense of community, to see the faces of our friends and neighbors, even over a computer screen, is a need that all of us share. Please scroll all the way down for a comprehensive list of all our virtual offerings. All information and classes will continue to be posted on this page of our website.

Rabbi Sid

A Message from your TBE Board of Directors and their families

Click here to request a link to a specific class


  • Monday, August 17 – Healing Service at 5:30 pm – Take a break from the world around us to be refreshed and renewed during this short service with Cantor Kahan. No service on July 6.
  • Wednesday, August 19- Wednesday Morning Minyan at 7:45 am Schmooze / 8:00 am Service – Join this casual minyan service led by Mark Trachtenberg and Doug Schwartz. Book provided on Zoom screen; no prayer book needed.
  • Friday, August 21 – Kabbalat Shabbat Service at 6:00 pm –  Join Rabbi Helbraun and Cantor Kahan virtually as we offer prayers from the heart. We hope that our words will usher in a period of transition – from weekday to Shabbat, from a period of anxiety to a respite of peace. We also hope to see your faces on our computer screen, to feel a sense of connection in knowing that we are here together, in hope and prayer, in love and care, in spirit and soul. And come a little early starting at 5:30 to schmooze with fellow TBE members. Click here for a digital copy of Mishkan T’filah.
  • Saturday, August 22 – Casual Minyan at 9:30 am – Join this casual minyan service led by Rabbi Helbraun. Click here for a digital copy of Mishkan T’filah.

Classes for Adults with Rabbi Sid

Classes are on Summer Break beginning July 3. Classes will resume in October following High Holidays. check your email for details.

  • Book of Genesis – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people lament that, now that they’re adults, they wish they would have learned more about Judaism when they were kids. I usually respond that it’s not too late. And they say: If only I had the time… Well, it’s not the way I would have wanted, but right now it seems that many of us have a little bit more time available than we expected we would. So join me on Monday nights from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, and together we can explore the book of Genesis – the most interesting book of the Torah. We’ll begin at the beginning and take it a week at a time. No homework, no exams, no excuses needed if you have to miss a class – just an opportunity to learn together. If you don’t have a copy of the Torah at home, here’s a link to a terrific website where you can find one. (They also have an app.) Looking forward to sharing a new experience with you!
  • Responsa Literature: Applying Jewish Values to Issues of TodayJoin Rabbi Helbraun as we discuss how to apply Jewish traditions to our ever changing world. We’ll explore the world of Jewish Responsa literature, studying foundation texts and how they might apply to our world and lives.
  • The Rest of the Bible: The Books of the Prophets – Join Rabbi Helbraun for a casual Friday morning Torah Study as we look at The Book of Joshua. No prior knowledge needed.

Learning for Pre-K through 7th Grade

Social Opportunities for Kids & Adults

  • Next date TBA! – Shabbat Singing for Pre-K – 1st Grade from 12:30 – 1:00 pm – Join Cantor Adam Kahan in song to welcome Shabbat with fun and joyous music!
  • Wednesday, September 2 – Sisterhood Book Club at 12:30 – 1:30 pm on July 1 – Join Sisterhood for the next book discussion virtually. Click here for all upcoming book selections.

Other Opportunities

Interested in lending a hand?

  • Click here to become a TOV volunteer during COVID-19 with the JUF (Jewish United Fund). This interest form will capture your areas of interest and availability in helping our community during this time.

March 16, 2020

Click here to read a comforting message from Rabbi Helbraun

March 15, 2020

Dear Temple Beth-El Community,

Please visit this page continuing forward for the latest information regarding Temple Beth-El’s policies and procedures relating to the COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to stop the spread of the virus in our community. Click here for the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).


We will be communicating with you via Constant Contact mass emails. If you are already subscribed and receive our weekly emails regularly, just check your inbox for future updates. If you have unsubscribed from receiving emails from us and would like to be informed via email, please click here to re-subscribe. You may choose the email list “Important Updates” to only receive this type of communication in the future.

Important TBE Updates From Rabbi Helbraun

Judaism teaches the supreme importance of self-care; that saving a life takes precedence over Shabbat, and that, when “fulfilling a mitzvah” puts one’s life at risk, we should “sin today” in order to have the opportunity to do many more mitzvot in the future.

As we are all aware, we are facing an extremely serious threat to the health and well-being of our country and world. Because COVID-19 is present for many days before symptoms become apparent, it typically spreads without warning. Thus, the only way to slow down the transmission of the disease is to institute social distancing measures.

China and Singapore, two countries that have instituted these practices, have been able to limit its spread to manageable numbers, so that those in need have been able to receive medical care. In other places, like Italy, situations are developing where the number of cases is overwhelming their available treatment resources. Clearly we have entered a period of time where each of us needs to prioritize our own health and well-being by limiting our exposure to others – for the sake of ourselves, and the sake of others.

For this reason, following the lead of local governmental officials, and with the ongoing advice of medical professionals in our community, Temple Beth-El is instituting the following actions:

Office Hours: The decision has been made to close our building and offices for all activities to exercise social distancing. Althought the synagogue office is closed, all staff is working remotely and checking email regularly. Feel free to contact any member of our staff by email. We are available to you! If you cannot reach us by email, do not hesitate to call any of the following staff and clergy:

  • Janice Hadesman  847-650-0396
  • Rabbi Helbraun  847-902-2664
  • Cantor Kahan  773-871-5945

Religious School will be closed this week (beginning Sunday March 15) through the end of Spring Break (March 31). A determination about reopening will be based on local governmental decisions and the advice of medical professionals in our community, and will be communicated through a Constant Contact email.

All Meetings and Classes are cancelled. However, virtual meetings/classes are being scheduled through Zoom. Links for these links classes will be sent out in separate emails. 

In the next few days, look for more emails with links to educational and spiritual opportunities as well as other updates.

We strongly encourage you to stay home if you are feeling unwell or are in a high-risk category for the COVID-19 virus (over 60 and any age with underlying health issues). Continue to practice rigorous hand-cleaning protocols, avoid touching your face, and cover your mouth/nose when sneezing/coughing.

Please know that our clergy and staff are here for you. If you need groceries, medications, supplies or someone to talk with, please do not hesitate to call us.

We know this is a confusing, painful and potentially lonely time. We love you all and have made these difficult decisions out of that love and our hope to stay connected as much as possible.


Rabbi Sidney Helbraun

President, Judy Rosen

Executive Director, Janice Hadesman

Cantor Adam Kahan

Director of Lifelong Learning, Mandy Herlich

Questions or concerns? Fill out the form below.

© 2015 Temple Beth-El. All Rights Reserved