“Solel” is a Hebrew word meaning “pathfinder” or “trailblazer.” Our founders chose this name for our congregation more than 60 years ago because it expressed their ideal community: a synagogue leveraging Jewish thought and practice to guide its members as the chart their own paths through the modern world.
Today, Congregation Solel continues this creative journey. We prize innovation and involvement in our community’s programs, life cycle events, and leadership. Our community actively engages in informal, joy-filled prayer, in lifelong learning to broaden our minds and enrich our souls, and in the pursuit of social justice that repairs the world.
And as Reform Jews, our definition of community is intentionally inclusive, welcoming all who seek a spiritual home in our synagogue. Our goal is to inspire, uplift, and connect everyone who enters our doors. At Congregation Solel, we are all pathfinders together.
To learn more about Solel and how you can become a pathfinder, please contact Allan Litwack, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 433-3555.
Top 10 Reasons to Love Solel
10 is an important number in Judaism—The Ten Commandments, The Ten Days of Awe and the Top Ten Reasons to Love and Support Solel. Please allow me to present them to you.
1. We mark the sacred moments of life: Babynamings, B’nei Mitzvah, weddings, anniversary celebrations, and funerals all happen within our walls. No other Jewish organization is there for people at every stage of life.
2. We ensure Jewish survival: Will the Jewish people be here 100 years from now? If we sustain strong synagogues, we will. Nothing better ensures our survival than a strong healthy Solel.
3. We maintain an extraordinary school: Come any Sunday morning to Solel, and you will find the halls filled with students of every age. As Rabbi Arnold Wolf said, “Learning isn’t everything. It is, profoundly, the only thing.”
4. We have an amazing staff: Everyone who works at Solel has dedicated their life to supporting Jewish life. They help us ensure our synagogue operates 365 days a year.
5. We stand for social justice in America: From working in the Waukegan schools to pushing for fair housing to helping young children in Jamaica get glasses, Solelites are intimately involved in our civic community. Our synagogue creates social capital and energizes it with Jewish values to make a difference in our community and our world.
6. We serve young and old, rich and poor, married and single and many more: As Rabbi Harold Kushner put it, “We live in a world that works so hard to separate old from young, rich from poor, successful from less successful…The synagogue is the one place…where those distinctions are not permitted to enter…where everybody is welcome.”
7. We help you grow Jewishly: Jewish tradition opens the door to living a life of meaning and purpose. Through worship, study of Torah and community-building, we grow into the people we are meant to be.
8. We continue to be creative pathfinders: Solel is not a staid institution. We are vibrant, adapting to the realities of modern Jewish life, welcoming interfaith families and all those who seek a spiritual home within our walls.
9. We are here for Israel and the Jewish people: The Talmud tells us that “all Jews are responsible for one another.” We live that with our programs and learning at Solel.
10. We are your spiritual home: In the Misheberach prayer—a traditional Jewish prayer for healing—we ask God to “make our lives a blessing.” Solel exists to help each of us make our lives a blessing. When we support our synagogue, we create blessings for ourselves, our families, our communities and one another.
Rabbi Evan Moffic
Membership Related Fees
Standard membership commitment as approved by the board of directors for 2017-18 is $3100. Dues can be paid monthly (July-June); quarterly; semi-annually or in one payment. Solel accepts MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. You may wish to choose Direct Debit (ACH) or stock transfer.
The congregation is committed to seeing all families become part of the Solel family. Therefore, if these commitments exceed a family’s ability to pay, please contact our Executive Director, Allan Litwack for a confidential discussion about membership commitment. The board does not want money to prevent anyone from participating in the services, programs and educational opportunities available at Solel.
Religious School Commitments
Solel’s founders shared a vision of a congregation dedicated to lifelong learning, social justice and worship. Their vision included a commitment to education shared by the entire congregation. For this reason we believe that it is the responsibility of all congregants to support the Religious School through their dues. The cost of Religious School is shared by the family and the congregation.
The total (tuition and activities) fees are as follows:
- Pre-Kindergarten $535
- Kindergarten through second grade $535
- Third through sixth grade (two days each week) $770
Sunday mornings and Tuesday afternoon
- Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Grade $575
All new members and registration before June 1 receive a $35 reduction per student on the above fees
Please call our Education Director for more details about Solel’s Religious School Program, 847.433.3555, ext. 229
Ongoing Improvements Fund
Starting with year 3 of membership there is a 6 year, $500 per year ($3000) commitment to the improvements fund. This fund allows the congregation to maintain the facility in the superb fashion our membership has come to expect.
Please note that per Solel’s membership in the Union of Reform Judaism, there is an agreement that if you have already paid an improvements fund to another reform congregation this fee is waived at Solel. Just have your previous congregation send Solel a memo of such payments.