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As we approach Shabbat, we wanted to share some updates on safety and our building for this week and moving forward.
Our Safety Committee, led by Josh Gutstein has been hard at work! We will continue to have our program of greeters welcoming people into the space, an additional guard from our security company, and more. Here are a few important updates:
Entry into the Building
The consultants, police, are unanimous: controlled entry makes our building makes it safer. To that end, we will be limiting our entry from three to two entrances. It would be ideal to have only one, but until we can move the elevator to be accessible to the main entrance we will need the alley door. For that reason, we are again, paying for an additional armed guard, one at the front door, and one at the elevator door.
Stroller Parking
We are blessed with so many young families in our community! And with those young children come strollers - sometimes up to 50. To date we have had the rotunda as a parking area for these - as a result we are now facing a vulnerable and impassable rotunda with unguarded access as well as a fire hazard as the doors are blocked by the strollers.
To remedy this double hazard, we are asking everyone to park strollers in one of four, exterior locations: on the grass in front of the building, in the handicapped parking on the side of the building, and in the parking lot across the street or outside of the rotunda, under a small overhang.
We recognize the inconvenience and are actively exploring options to make it better. We know that the timing is difficult as we approach winter and ask for your patience as we explore, as quickly as we can, what other options might be available.
David Rubin - President
Josh Gutstein - Safety Committee Chair
Rav Ari

                                         Shabbat Vayigash


Bruchim Habaim! Welcome!

7 Tevet 5779

This Week’s Schedule
Friday, December 14
Shacharit: 7:15 am
Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Maariv: 4:10 pm
Candle lighting: 4:00 pm

Shabbat December 15
Shacharit: 9:00 am
Drasha: “Mystic or Madman?
The Ishbitzer Rebbe”
Mincha/Seudah Shlishit: 4:00 pm
Havdalah: 5:05 pm

Sunday, December 16
Shacharit: 7:15 and 9:00 am
Mincha/Maariv: 4:10 pm
Tuesday, December 18
Fast of Tevet
Start of Fast: 6:02 am
Mincha/Maariv: 3:55 pm
End of Fast: 4:58 pm
Daily Shacharit
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 7:00 am
Wednesday & Friday: 7:15 am
Daily Maariv
Monday, Wednesday & Thursday: 8:00 pm
For the safety and security of our kids, children must be in groups or in shul with you. Children cannot be in the hallways or social hall without supervision. If children are found wandering the building, they will be brought directly to you. Thank you for your partnership to keep our children and shul safe and peaceful.


Mazal Tov!
Mazal Tov to Elissa & Meyer Emanuel and big sister Arianna on the birth of a baby boy on December 9!
Mazal tov to Muriel & Bernard Finkel on their 67th wedding anniversary on December 23!
Greeters of the Week
Michael Anderson, Nina Black, Mark Bromberg,
Batya Gilbert-Koplow, Meira Goldman, Avery Hart,
Noah Mishkin, Bob Rubin, Jeffrey Schvimer, Marc Swatez
Todah Rabah
Kiddush this week is sponsored by Debbie & Dan Eisenstein in honor of David Rubin for his encore term as President, and Rick Arons, Chairman of the Board, in appreciation of their dedication and leadership this past year.
Seudah Shlishit is sponsored this week by Sol & Georges Elgrably in memory of Sol’s mother Esther Cohen; by Aviva and David Rubin for the yahrzeit of David’s mother, Frances Rubin, and in honor of Joel Rubin’s big birthday; and by Monica & Rich Magid for the yahrzeit of Monica’s mother, Eva Hofman and conclusion of kaddish period for her sister, Barbara Sporn.
Sunday breakfast is sponsored by the synagogue at 9:45, followed by the Annual Meeting at 10:00. All are encouraged to attend.

Upcoming Events at Skokie Valley

Annual Membership Meeting and Election of Board of Directors, Sunday, December 16.  Breakfast begins at 9:45 and the meeting will be from 10:00 am to 10:45 am in Israel Hall.

Show your appreciation to our outgoing President and Board members and meet and vote for the new slate of officers (Click here for the list) and our newly promoted Executive Director.

Let's celebrate our successes over the past year and learn what is planned for the year ahead. If any parents of young children do not have childcare and would like to attend, please let us know and we will arrange babysitting.​​​​​

If you cannot attend, you may vote online by clicking here 


Coat Drive: We are collecting new and gently used (and clean) coats, hats, gloves and boots and other cold weather gear for our friends in the Rohingya refugee community. The need is great and immediate, so please be generous and prompt. There are boxes next to the front door of the shul and outside the office.


Lost and Found: There are several coats and accessories that we’ve gathered on a coat rack in the lower level outside of the Men’s Club Lounge. Anything that isn’t claimed by December 23 will be donated to Rohingya refugees.


December 22, 9:00 pm: Broomball is back! Put on your padded pants and sign up here!!

December 24, 4:30 pm: Annual Miriam Bromberg Cookie Bake! Cookie decorating and crafts for kids! Pizza and snacks! Packing Bracha Bags for homeless, winter coat/gear collection for refugees. To donate items for Bracha Bags from our Amazon wish list click here. To donate money, click here.

Save the Date!  January 18:  Family Shabbat dinner, details to follow! 

January 19: Name Tag Shabbat

January 13, 1:15 pm: Skate and Service! Join us for service projects and ice skating with friends. Sign up here

Tot Shabbat! Tot Shabbat is for children between the ages of 0-4 and each child must be accompanied by an adult. For children already in groups, we ask that you pick up your child and head upstairs. This week we will be meeting in the back of the social hall from 10:30-11:15 am for songs, tefillah, and fun!

The Green Team has brought a new initiative to Skokie Valley and Kol Sasson as we take another step toward greening the shul. Beginning Shabbat November 3, we will begin composting our food waste and disposable utensils. Doing so will help us divert thousands of pounds of waste from landfills and create rich fertilizer to further green our village. We need your help!! To donate to help with the added expenses, click here or go to

Coffee Klatch, located in the social hall, is an opportunity for folks from both congregations to come together each week to deepen our community connections and enjoy some good coffee. Want to see the cold brew and delicious creamers continue week to week? Consider sponsoring! $20 for 1 Shabbat. Click here or go to
Do you know someone who has recently moved to Skokie and might like getting to know our community? Please reach out to Brian Altgold or Michael Anderson from the membership committee, so that we can welcome them!
We are so fortunate to have had so many new families join our shul over the last few months. If you would like to host new families for Shabbat meals please contact Rachel Stein


If you would like to sponsor a Kiddush, we ask that you notify us no later than the Monday before that Shabbat so that the food can be ordered.  Please contact Tammi Finestone at or call the office.  Thank you for your help!
Shul Directory: Need contact info for a fellow member of SVAJ? Use the online shul directory! On the navigation bar at the top right of the home page, click on "Contact." Then, on the dropdown menu, click on "Directory." (Or click on this link). Note: you must be logged in to access the Directory.  
Add your photo to our Shul Directory! Click on "Directory" under the "Contact" menu in the top right corner.  Then click "Edit My Account Info". You can upload your photo so we can get to know each other better!


This Week’s Classes at Skokie Valley
Parashat Hashavuah with Jed Abraham is on hiatus and will resume in January.  Date TBA.
Monday 8:15pm (right after maariv): Weekly Talmud class with Rabbi Steven Mandel, Masechet Megilla.
Tuesday at 2:00pm: The Book of Genesis with Rav Ari in Israel Hall.
Wednesday at 7:00pm: Intermediate Hebrew-Mastering the Siddur with David Lerner.
Thursday at 8:15 (right after maariv) Weekly Torah Portion (Parsha shiur) with Rav Ari.
Hakarat Hatov – Recognizing the Good

Many thanks to all the 2018 Board members for their hard work and dedication helping Skokie Valley grow and reach even higher in the future!  Yasher Koach!
If there is someone whom you would like to recognize, please submit their name and a short paragraph (75 words or less) on the positive impact they are having to Submissions may be anonymous.

Ways to Support Skokie Valley

Legacy Giving: If you or someone in your family is interested in establishing a legacy gift to Skokie Valley please contact us.
Shop on Amazon and support Skokie Valley at the same time! Make you shopping count! It works! Go to this unique link, which will bring you to our Amazon Smile page, and shop as usual. For everything you buy, Amazon will donate a small part of your purchase price to Skokie Valley. It’s that simple. Tell your friends and family to go to when they shop and designate Skokie Valley as their chosen charity. Shopping and prices are the same, and you retain your Prime membership benefits.  We are now a registered and approved charity with, which enables companies to direct grants to approved organizations. Find out if your company participates with Benevity, and encourage them to consider Skokie Valley in their giving programs. Click this link for more details.
JUF Donor Advised Fund: A charitable giving account that allows you to recommend grants to qualified charitable organizations of your choice, take advantage of the highest charitable tax deduction available, and make your charitable giving simple, effective and satisfying. Go here for more details!

Beyond Skokie Valley

Sunday, December 16, 1:00 to 2:00 pm: Keshet Lauren Rosenblatt Memorial Concert in Skokie Valley’s social hall. The concert will be led by Todd Kessler, who will sing Chanukah, Jewish and pop music to delight the audience of all ages. Call Keshet at 847-205-1234 to get advance tickets.
Tuesday, December 18 from 6:30-10:00 pm Join Nefesh B’Nefesh for the NBN Aliyah Talks and Fair in Chicago on at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago North Shore - Skokie, 9599 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie. This is your chance to have all your Aliyah questions answered under one roof! Six short, TED-like talks on the Israeli Healthcare system, Insurance in Israel, Your Taxes in Israel, Financial Planning for Aliyah, Finding Your Home in Israel, and Shipping will be given along with an Aliyah Fair with Israeli vendors and service providers. For more information and to register please visit NBN.ORG.IL/Chicago

March 24-26, 2019:  AIPAC Conference:  Please join Rav Ari at this most crucial time in history for the 2019 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. March 24-26, 2019! With 18,000 delegates, AIPAC's Policy Conference is the largest 3-day pro-Israel conference in North America. Our goal this year is to bring 20 members of the Skokie Valley community to D.C. to: Engage with pro-Israel advocates from all over the country, Learn with experts from across the spectrum of policy issues and political thought and Lobby our Senators and Representatives on issues critical to Israel’s security.

There is a mailbox on the wall outside the shul office door for after hours deposits. Please put any envelopes, checks, etc. in the mailbox and not under the door. Thank you!

Have an announcement for the bulletin? Please send information to Carin Netter,

Tue, December 18 2018 10 Tevet 5779