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Steven Bob, Senior Rabbi
Andrea Cosnowsky, Associate Rabbi
Anne Stein, Director of Education
Jacob Margulies, President
Janet Widmaier, Past President
Congregants can “connect” in many ways here at Etz Chaim. From joining a committee to volunteering to help with a community project, our members find many opportunities “to belong” here. There are many active committees and our religious school is fortunate to have interested adults and youths who volunteer their teaching talents. Our Brotherhood and Sisterhood groups provide leadership, fellowship and social programming for their members and the congregation. Volunteerism is a strong ethic and our members volunteer in various congregational and community projects.
On December 6,
2013 the Social Action Shabbat will welcome guest speaker, U.S. Representative Bill Foster from the 11th
District. More information coming soon.
The Social Action Committee has just embarked on another Adopt-An-Apartment with
DuPage PADS. Read more here.
Lifelong Learning Committe, "Where Learning Never Ends"
presents the 2013 Shabbaton, Mussar taught by Rabbi Cosnowsky. Read more
The JUF Brunch will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2013.
The guest speaker will be Eric Goldman, author of The American Jewish Story Through Cinema. Read more here.
What is Mussar? To start, it is a 19th century Jewish spiritual practice that originated in Lithuania. The word
Mussar, which is found many times in the Bible, literally means “correction” or “instruction;” and, depending on
context, it can have a stronger meaning such as “reproach.” In modern Hebrew the word Mussar means
Rabbi Salanter (19th C) is the recognized ‘father’ of the Mussar Movement. He saw that there could be a
chasm between our intellectual knowledge and our actual behavior. He understood that it is inadequate to just
control ourselves, our impulses, and our inclinations. It is necessary to change ourselves internally so that
we are transformed so that our actions are natural and from an inner self being true to itself. For example,
acting honestly because we fear divine or earthly punishment is not the goal. That is just controlling our
dishonest nature. The goal is to be honest because our inner self is honest and can act in no other way. Only
then could each of us realize our full spiritual potential as human beings and Jews.
Please join us for this Shabbaton. We will study a wonderful subject that is sure to enlighten, entertain, and
enrich your spiritual life. Even if you are not Jewish, you are most welcome to study this timeless subject –
the study of Mussar.
Etz Chaim and Israel