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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

09/28/2023 05:00:09 PM


Rabbi Josh Whinston

The response to the High Holy Days has been overwhelmingly positive. We were able to meet the spiritual needs of so many members within our congregation and the wider community, making it a truly gratifying experience. Personally, I had an amazing time sharing the bimah with Cantors Hayut and Rose, along with Rabbi Fuechs. The inclusion of different voices in singing and reading greatly enhanced the prayer experience for everyone, including our prayer leaders.

I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the numerous volunteers and staff members who made the Holy Days possible. The Religious Practices Committee's dedication to preparations and on-the-day support, the leadership and trust of our Board of Trustees, and WTBE's successful post-pandemic Breakfast all contributed to our great success. And, of course, we can't forget the exceptional contributions of Kol Halev – you were truly magical this year. Alon Hayut, Yoav Hayut, and Casey, our new accompanist, elevated our spiritual journey. Tema Cohen and Susan Horowitz made great contributions to our young families at services. Lastly, I want to acknowledge our staff's unwavering commitment to our congregation, it is nothing short of extraordinary. Without their dedication, our holiday celebrations wouldn't be possible.

I am especially mindful of those who take the to reflect on my sermons and respond to my words. Along those lines, many folks have asked about my call to action regarding Israel, please see below for links. I am working on editing my sermons to post them on our website. They should be up in a few days.

Here's how you can get involved in advocating for judicial reform in Israel:

• To support liberal Judaism in Israel, join ARZA, the Reform movement’s Zionist organization. You might also consider a donation to the Reform Movement in Israel.

• Call the Israeli Consulate in Chicago (312-380-8800) and let them know that the future of the judicial overhaul the possibility of remove essential checks on power will have a detrimental effect on the Jewish community worldwide and certainly here in the United States.

• Reach out to your representative in Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the House Concurrent Resolution 61. Congress should be on the record supporting a democratic Israel.

Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784