December 2, 2020


Dear Friends,

We hope this letter finds you well and staying safe.

As we are all aware, the number of Covid cases in Illinois are increasing. As a result, the Illinois Department of Health issued new guidance urging residents to stay home and only leave for “essential activities.” We know how disappointing it is to be in this situation but hope that everyone realizes how important it is to follow these guidelines.

A few weeks ago, Temple Beth-El had one of our maintenance staff members test positive for Covid. She is now recovering at home and we all wish her a speedy recovery. Fortunately, due to the procedures we have in place, no one on our staff or building was affected.

Throughout this pandemic, we have actively received advice from medical professionals in our community including our Temple Beth-El COVID Team and have followed the guidance of local governmental officials. In light of our current situation, we want to inform you that Temple Beth-El is instituting the following actions:

Office Hours: Our office remains open, however staff are only present during limited hours. When not in the building, staff is working from home, where they check their voicemail and emails regularly. If you need to come to the building, please call ahead (847-205-9982). If you cannot reach a member of the staff by phone or email, do not hesitate to email Janice Hadesman.

Religious School: Our School year began in September with some students attending in person, and others choosing to learn online. As of Sunday, November 15 parents have been notified that all students will move to online learning. Music and Art will continue to be a vital part of our curriculum. Please remember to pick up your child’s supplies at the fron doors of the temple so they can work successfully from home. A determination on returning to in person sessions will be based on the guidance of local governmental officials, along with the advice of our COVID team, and consultation with medical professionals in our community. School Families will receive updates to our policy through email.

All Meetings and Classes will continue being offered online. Approximately 80 people attended our last successful program sponsored by our Sisterhood and Men’s Club where they learned about Billy Joel, his life and his music. It’s never too late to join any of our ongoing adult ed classes offered weekly by Rabbi Helbraun, Ari and Rabbi Weissberg. Please refer to our weekly eblasts for a listing of all additional opportunities and as well as zoom links.

We strongly encourage you to follow all recommendations issued by the State of Illinois, and to go out only when needed. Continue to practice rigorous hand-cleaning protocols, avoid touching your face, and cover your mouth/nose when sneezing/coughing.

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

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

L’Shalom,

Rabbi Sidney Helbraun
President, Don Solomon
Executive Director, Janice Hadesman
Cantor Adam Kahan
Director of Congregational Learning, Ari Moffic


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


Services


  • Every 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.
  • Every Friday – Kabbalat Shabbat Service at 5:30 pm Schmooze / 6:00 pm Service –  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 pm to schmooze with fellow TBE members. If you can’t get on Zoom, join us on Facebook Live. Click here for a digital copy of Mishkan T’filah.
  • Every Saturday – 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

Click here to see all of the Adult Class Offerings and then sign up here.


  • NEW: Intermediate Adult Hebrew
    Mondays (Jan. 11 – May 10)
    6:00 – 7:00 pm
    Led by: Rabbi Ari Moffic
    Cost: $20 Members, $165 Non-Members
  • Book of Genesis
    Mondays (Ongoing)
    7:30 – 8:30 pm
    Led by: Rabbi Helbraun
    No Cost
  • Talmudic Treasure
    Tuesdays (Ongoing)
    9:30 – 11:00 am
    Led by: Rabbi Weissberg
    Cost for 2020-21: $125 Members, $150 Non-Members
  • The Rest of the Bible: The Books of the Samuel
    Fridays (Ongoing)
    9:30 – 10:30 am
    Led by: Rabbi Helbraun
    No Cost

Learning for Kindergarten through 12th Grade


  • Please click here to learn about our Hybrid Religious School plans for 2020-21. There is still time to try out a class and join Religious School virtually!

Social Opportunities for Kids & Adults


  • First Wednesday of every Month – Sisterhood Book Club at 12:30 – 1:30 pm on Zoom – Join Sisterhood for the next book discussion virtually. Click here for all upcoming book selections.
  • Shabbat Yeladim – First Friday of every month! – Join Rabbi Helbraun, Cantor Kahan & Rabbi Ari Moffic for a fun half hour Shabbat experience for families with children ages 7 & younger on zoom. Older siblings and grandparents are welcome to attend & participate! Join us at 5:00 pm for singing, story, and Shabbat blessings. Click here to sign up for the Shabbat Yeladim email list and a a new program will be emailed to you the 1st Friday of every month – and you can watch at any time!

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).

Communications


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 Janice Hadesman at 847-650-0396

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.

L’Shalom,

Rabbi Sidney Helbraun
President, Don Solomon
Executive Director, Janice Hadesman
Cantor Adam Kahan
Director of Congregational Learning, Ari Moffic

Questions or concerns? Fill out the form below.

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