October 05, 2008   6 Tishrei 5769

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Give a Little – Get a Lot

There are many ways that you can participate in Congregation Solel. Serving on a committee or working on a special project is a wonderful way to connect with fellow congregants and to contribute to the congregation. If you are interested in becoming more involved, we would love to have you.

Partial Schedule

Click here for the detailed year's schedule; also watch the Solel Calendar. Usual meeting days are as follows:

Board of Directors
third Thursday, 7:30pm
Executive Committee of the Board
first Monday, 7:30pm
Religious School Council
second Thursday, 7:30pm
Religious School Council Executive Committee
last Tuesday, 7:30pm

Contact the Office, 847-433-3555, or watch the Solel Calendar for meetings of other committees.



The Human Needs Committee provides tzedaka, which has been contributed by congregants to the Human Needs Fund. The primary purpose of the Fund, for which a substantial reserve is maintained, is to help Solel members who are in need of temporary and/or emergency service. Significant percentages of the Fund have gone to support the Shabbat Basket Program and Congregation Chesed (Almaty). We also support local food pantries, shelters, health services, local affordable housing programs, community mentoring programs for school aged children, and other important endeavors


Chavura is the Hebrew word for "fellowship". A chavura at Solel is a group of people some of whom may know one another (but most of whom do NOT), who commit time and energy to one another for the purpose of forming an "extended family" within our congregation. I like to think of it as a circle within a circle. Our committee facilitates the formation of these groups by reviewing the applications. Talking to people who have contacted us, and inviting those with common interests and goals to meet one another. The job is somewhere between being a yenta and a social worker.


The earliest traditions at Solel focused on social action: against poverty, discrimination, racism, and the ravages of war and for help for Israel and a better life for all. The committee arranges for speakers and programs at Solel and other community locations. It also arranges for action groups to march, solicit, petition, and do whatever it takes. Get more information about their next project.

The Solel / Chesed Connection

Congregation Solel is a participant in the Yad L'Yad (Hand to Hand) program sponsored by Chicago Action for Jews in the Former Soviet Union. Chicago Action has paired 36 Jewish synagogues and communities in the former Soviet Union with as many congregations in Chicago and the North Shore. Solel is privileged to have been assigned Congregation Chesed in Almaty, Kazakhstan which is the only Reform congregation in central Asia.


The Committee is working hard to shift from an emphasis on recruitment only to a year round focus that encompasses recruiting new members, welcoming and integrating new members into the congregational community, and engaging and retaining our existing members.
  • ADULT CHOIR: Sings at Days of Awe and Shabbat Eve services once a month.
  • ADULT EDUCATION: Plans and administers the adult educational programming, including possibly an adult retreat.
  • BLOOD DRIVE: Organizes blood drives at Solel.
  • COLLEGE: Connects Solel with its college student members through communications and “care“ packages.
  • COMMUNICATION: Responsible for ongoing public relations and strategic advertising of Solel's activities and events as well as encouraging member participation
  • FAMILY SHABBAT PROGRAMMING: Will plan monthly Shabbat dinners geared to families with children on the first Friday evening of the month.
  • FEEDBACK:  Researches congregants' wishes and interests in areas of worship, lifelong learning and social justice
  • FESTIVALS: Plans congregational celebrations for Purim, Chanuka and other holidays.
  • FINE ARTS: Coordinates the acquisition and display of art objects and reviews and makes recommendations regarding aesthetic issues relating to the building; is planning commemorative exhibits in anticipation of Solel’s 50th anniversary.
  • FUNDRAISING EVENTS: Will plan events to help meet annual fundraising goal.
  • FUNERAL: Assists Solel members in the preparation of funeral arrangements.
  • HOUSE: Oversees and develop plans for the building, grounds, equipment maintenance and improvements.
  • HUMAN NEEDS: Provides a congregational presence in the giving of tzedaka through the allocation of funds contributed by members to the Human Needs Fund.
  • ISRAEL: Plans and promotes programs relating to Israel.
  • JUDAICA AT SOLEL: Purchases Judaica objects to make available for sale and organizes exhibits of Judaica for the hallway display case.
  • LIBRARY: Oversees the development and operation of the Solel library.
  • MEMBERSHIP: Promotes and conserves congregational membership through recruiting new members, welcoming new members and facilitating their transition into the Solel community, and promoting continued affiliation.
  • MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY: Produces an annual directory that serves as a member resource for information about Solel and contact information.
  • MEN’S GROUP: Informal group of men interested in planning activities and congregational service projects; group structure is in formation
  • MITSVA: Provides help and support networks to congregants facing illness and crises.
  • PUBLICITY and MARKETING: Works to promote Solel and its events to members and the larger community.
  • RETREAT: Plans annual intergenerational family retreat.
  • WOMEN’S SEDER and ROSH CHODESH: Group of women work together to plan occasional Rosh Chodesh celebrations and women’s seder.
  • SHABBAT PROGRAMMING: Will develop programming to complement selected Kabbalat Shabbat and other Shabbat services. (See also Family Shabbat Programming.)
  • SOCIAL ACTION: Plans and organizes programs and activities that reflect Solel’s commitment to tikkun olam.

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