Sign In Forgot Password
Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob - Spring 2021 Updates
 
So much has happened over the last year and so much is changing now. We want to share this with you to get a glimpse of what you and your shul have accomplished and what you can expect in the weeks and months ahead.
 
While we aren’t yet gathering in the sanctuary by the hundreds on Shabbat, over the last year we have gathered thousands into our social hall and tent, ran 6 different services on the high holidays, expanded our daily tefillot to include mincha all year long, made a consistent minyan through the difficult winter, included hundreds of people using zoom, all without a single case of COVID transmission. Moving forward we are steadily increasing our attendance each week and incorporating more ruach, drashot and energy into our tefillot.
 
While we aren’t yet enjoying in-person classes, we expanded our weekly Torah learning opportunities, brought in high caliber scholars and welcomed learners from across the globe into our offerings. Moving forward we hope to resume in person learning in the next few weeks while retaining our many zoom offerings.
 
While kiddush in the social hall is suspended, we have organized “kiddush-to-go” across Skokie, food basket pickups at shul, drive-throughs, and we held our first outdoor kiddush after shul in the tent last Shabbat. Moving forward you can expect regular outdoor kiddushes each week after shul in the tent, weather permitting.
 
While we didn’t get to enjoy our regular holiday programming, we arranged blockbuster COVID holiday programming including ice cream and pizza trucks, fire jugglers, gift baskets, comedians, and more. Moving forward you can expect continued, creative holiday programming and please God an in person-tikkun over Shavuot!
 
While we couldn’t offer our regular in-person youth programming, we offered groups for the holidays, led in-person family programming all summer long, held in-person Simchat Torah parades, Purim dance parties, and Pesach frog-hunts, transformed the social hall into a safe space for community members to play and gather, in addition to family-friendly kabbalat shabbat, havdalah and other offerings on zoom. Moving forward you can expect groups to resume outdoors in the tent, weather permitting, as well as additional in-person activities for kids.
 
While we couldn’t offer some of our regular chessed activities in-person, we distributed hundreds of seders and meals-to-go, organized drives to support The ARK and the homeless, responded to the racial unrest last summer with support to affected communities, and launched a new initiative called Solu to take our chesed to the next level. Moving forward you can expect more quantity and quality in our chessed and service with programming with the launch of Solu and the hiring of Avidan Halivni to lead it!
 
While the sanctuary was not being used, we took advantage of an incredible opportunity of a large gift conditioned on immediate use for the building, and a mostly unoccupied premises to move forward on a sanctuary renovation that had been in the initial stages. We used these circumstances to review all of our aging mechanical systems in the building and indeed have expanded the project to encompass these necessary upgrades and replacements. The long journey to build a more accessible, safe, functional and beautiful sanctuary is now in a new stage - as construction has begun! Moving forward you can expect regular updates on the progress and please God a beautiful new sanctuary and bathrooms in the coming months!
Wed, October 20 2021 14 Cheshvan 5782