October 09, 2009   21 Tishrei 5770
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Social Justice

The core of Solel’s identity has always been defined by social justice.  We have many groups working on issues involving Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and Tzedakah (justice) including PADs, the Congregational Blood Drive, and Just Congregations. 


The children in our Religious School learn about and work on projects about Tikkun Olam on an ongoing basis.  In January, our confirmation class students will visit the Religious Action Center (RAC) in Washington D.C. with Rabbi Moffic and Geoffrey Prass.  During this exciting experience, the students will learn with both Jewish and non-Jewish leaders about the legislative process through the lens of Jewish values and social justice. They will also have the opportunity to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and other Washington museums and landmarks.


If you are interested in participating in the important social justice work being done by any of Solel’s social justice committees, contact Judy Reist, Program Coordinator.



Congregation Solel Blood Drive and Flu Shots

Give the gift of life by donating blood and protect yourself against the seasonal flu.

The blood drive will run from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Individuals as young as 17 can donate blood. To sign up to donate blood contact Diane Resnick at 847-926-8510 or at [email protected]or Phil Kaplan at 847-433-2315 or [email protected]. You can also register to donate blood through the Lifesource website www.lifesource.org.

Walgreens pharmicists will be on hand to administer flu shots. Only 50 flu shots will be available, so sign up to reserve your vaccine today! Flu shots are covered by Medicare. They may be covered by other insurance plans or may cost $24.99. To find out if your insurance will cover a flu shot from Walgreens contact your insurance provider or your local Walgreens Pharmacy. You must sign up to reserve a flu shot by Tuesday, October 13. To sign up for a flu shot please contact the Solel Office at 847-433-3555 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Fast Facts About Blood Donation

(from the American Red Cross)

1. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

2. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day. The number of blood donations collected in the U.S. in a year: 15 million (2001); the number of blood donors in the U.S. in a year: 8 million (2001).

3. 4.9 million patients receive blood in the US each year and a total of 14 million transfusions are in a given year (2001).

4. The demand for blood transfusions is growing faster than donations. Shortages of all blood types usually occur during the summer and winter holidays.

5. Less than 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood.

6. Blood cannot be manufactured — it can only come from generous donors.

7. Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.

8. Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration and medical history, mini-physical, donation, and refreshments. The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour.

9. The average adult has about 10 to 12 pints of blood in his body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.

10. All donated blood is tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases, before it can be released to hospitals.

Fast Facts about the Flu Vaccine

(From WebMD)

1. The best time to get a flu shot is October or November, because the flu season may last from as early as October to as late as May.

2. The flu vaccine takes up to 2 weeks to take full effect.

3. The flu shot works by helping your body develop antibodies to protect you against the flu. Each year the seasonal flu vaccine contains several different strains of the flu, which researchers think are most likely to show up that year. When the correct strains are chosen the flu vaccine is as much as 90% effective.

4. The following individuals should receive flu shots:

- All children 6 months to 18 years old

- People 50 years or older

- Women who will be pregnant during the flu season

- People who live in nursing homes

- Adults with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma, or with any condition that weakens the immune system

- Household contacts and caregivers of any children younger than 6 months of age (these children are too young to receive the flu vaccine)

- Any person in close contact with someone in a high-risk group, such as health care workers and household contacts

5. The following individuals should NOT receive flu shots:

- Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to a flu shot in the past

- Anyone with an egg allergy

- Anyone who has previously developed Guillain-Barre syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a flu shot

Gov. Quinn's Landmark Solel Visit  


  Gov. Quinn and Rabbi Taylor

Sunday May 17, Solel hosted an amazing, historic afternoon.  At 3:00 p.m., approximately 700 citizens from the northeast corner of our state gathered for an assembly in our sanctuary with Governor Patrick Quinn.  The purpose of the assembly (sponsored by Lake County United, DuPage United, PACT, and United Power for Action and Justice) was to hear the Governor's perspectives-engage in a dialogue about the critical state of our significant issues: affordable housing, education, a fair tax plan, and dealing with political corruption. The Chicago Tribune coverage emphasized the governor's stance on Illinois political ethics and underscored the concern expressed by the gathering.

The energy and excitement in the room was palpable-and reminiscent of Solel's rich social action history. State Senator Susan Garrett and State Representative Karen May were also in attendance along with Patrick Collins who chaired Governor Quinn's Illinois Reform Commission. The News-Sun's take on the event can be read here.

(Photo courtesy of Ageless North Shore)

Photos of Dr. King's Visit to Solel recovered after 43 years!  

Photos of Dr. King’s Visit to Congregation Solel
Recovered After Forty-three Years!

Solel History

On January 17, 2009, Congregation Solel commemorated the visit by Martin Luther King, Jr. on June 30, 1966. The North Shore Fellowship of Rabbis had  sponsored Dr. King’s speech in our sanctuary. Our event forty three years hence, marking this significant historical benchmark of our congregation, it became itself the subject of an extensive report in the Chicago Tribune (January 16, 2009), written by its correspondent Robert Channick. (To read the Tribune coverage, click here.)

Ever the inquiring reporter, Mr. Channick had raised a question about the existence of photos documenting the historic occasion. Entirely accurately, the Tribune reported our answer: “Solel has no video or photos of King’s visit and there’s no transcript of his speech that night.” Two months later Sharon Diaz, the executive director of our congregation, unexpectedly received a phone call from a staff member in the office of Highland Park’s chief of police. Sharon heard the following disclosure over the telephone: “We read the Tribune report, which reminded us that our files include a small batch of photos, including a candid picture of Dr. King walking through a crowd as he was about to enter the sanctuary.”

For more information concerning this historic discovery, read the full coverage in the May Pathfinder.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembered  

Memory & History: Gospel Choir Concert will Commemorate Dr. King's Visit to Solel in 1966

Loyola University Chicago's Gospel Choir performed at Congregation Solel after the Friday evening Shabbat worship service on January 16, commemorating the visit to our sanctuary by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on June 30, 1966.

The Chicago Tribune (June 25, 1966) reported: "Dr. King will outline the movement to eliminate Chicago slums being conducted by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which he leads."

Dr. King's speech was sponsored by the North Shore Fellowship of Rabbis. At the time he was leading the Chicago Freedom Movement, whose goal was to eradicate substandard residences and to advance the cause of fair housing. A large audience, comprised of residents from several suburban communities, heard Dr. King's speech at Congregation Solel. One congregant has recalled that security was very much evident. The program also included performances by the youth choir of the First Baptist Church of North Chicago as well as Jimmy Collier, a folk singer from Chicago.

A stirring local controversy, played out in the pages of The Deerfield Review (clippings are on file in Congregation Solel's archives), surrounded Dr. King's visit to Highland Park. In the June 29, 1966 issue of the newspaper a letter-to-the-editor written by William Carroll sought to link Dr. King to domestic Communist organizations. Mr. Carroll urged Congregation Solel to invite a representative from the Jewish Society of Americanists to also speak. Milton Bram, a founding member of our congregation, answered this letter in the next issue of The Deerfield Review (July 6, 1966). His cited Rabbi Mordecai Simon, executive director of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, who identified the Jewish Society of Americanists as an affiliate of the John Birch Society. Milton Bram's letter concluded, "Mr. Carroll might consider suggesting to the Birchers that they hire their own hall and have their own meeting."

In the wake of Dr. King's visit, the secretary of the North Shore Fellowship of Rabbis wrote to Congregation Solel. In expressing his gratitude, Rabbi Harold L. Kudan of North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe regarded the event "a very successful program." And Rabbi William Frankel of Beth Hillel Congregation in Wilmette and president of the North Shore Fellowship, termed this occasion as "most memorable."

The January 16 commemoration of Dr. King's visit to Congregation Solel began with a Shabbat Dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a Shabbat worship service at 7 PM, and the gospel choir performance at 7:45 p.m.

Related Articles 

Highland Park congregation hosted Martin Luther King, Jr. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/jan/16/local/chi-highland-park-mlkjan16


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