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New Beginnings

10/01/2018 07:27:59 PM


Terrie O'Day

And so we have completed another circle around the sun, another year in the books: goodbye to 5778, hello to 5779. I hope that you all have had a joyous Rosh Hashanah and a meaningful Yom Kippur. There has been so much to be grateful for, so much love and happy occasions, so much loss as well. All lifecycle events that have to be celebrated and accepted. We celebrate happy occasions together and we are there to mourn loss and sad occasions together as well. Supporting each other along the way. That’s what we do as a community.

It never ceases to amaze me how much time and effort goes into preparing for High Holy Days. From the hours upon hours the Rabbi spends to craft just the right sermons to the weeks upon weeks Ilana spends to prepare just the right music to enhance the meaning to our worship, not to mention the hours they spend together to make sure everything is in sync and just right for all of us! All while continuing to compassionately respond to the daily needs of our community. Then of course there are the weeks that the musicians of Kol Tikvah and Klei Tikvah spend rehearsing not only here on Tuesday nights beginning in July but also their own rehearsing at home and in small groups on other days. Let’s not forget the sound crew that works to ensure everyone is heard whether at Holy Family or our own sanctuary. There is a lot of work that goes into bringing you the musical aspect of our worship and it is truly a labor of love! Then we have the wonderful Ritual committee led by Samantha Toljanic and Jodee Levy who plans and prepares for months, coordinating with Holy Family, determining what ritual items need to be transported and arranging for that transport, ensuring that we have everything in place for each service either here at Beth Tikvah or at Holy Family. And it’s not just Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur everyone plans for…it’s also Sukkot and Simchat Torah and then of course there are the regular Friday night Shabbat services, too!

I want to extend my deepest appreciation to Rabbi Tachman for leading us yet again in such meaningful worship throughout these High Holy Days. Your inspiring sermons help us to reflect on our inner selves and through that reflection, give us the incentive to be better people.

Much gratitude goes to Cantorial Leader Ilana Axel for leading our choirs and musicians in song to add so much depth and meaning to our worship. You take such care in choosing just the right melodies and songs to bring out the moving emotions of our prayer. We thank you for this! Thank you as well to our Kol Tikvah choir, Klei Tikvah musicians, the Kolan children’s choir, and our fabulous sound crew who bring all of this to life and add so much to our worship.

Thank you to the Men’s Club for volunteering to usher, helping with transport of ritual items, and for all the myriad of things you do to ensure that all runs smoothly. There are just so many people involved to make our High Holy Day and weekly worship services as wonderful as they are. Marketing & Publicity, Sisterhood, Social Action, and Lucy! Thank you Lucy for all of the tireless hours behind the scenes to make sure that we all have our tickets and service booklets, answering questions and being that smiling face who greets us every day.

Last but not least, thank you to our friends at Holy Family Parish for opening their home and their hearts to Beth Tikvah so that we may all worship our most Holy days together as one community. They have done this for us for many years and have always been so gracious and accommodating. We have been so blessed to forge this wonderful relationship together. Thank you for your continued hospitality.

Speaking of worship, how do you like those new sanctuary chairs? So lovely and comfortable! A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to Debbie Krupp and the Susan Lynn Krupp Fund who brought this gift to us! Also to our wonderful delivery day helpers Bobby DuBois, Steve Schlesinger, Marc Chason, Paul Loiterstein, Jordan Levy, and his friend and of course to Debbie herself. Debbie did a wonderful job coordinating all the arrangements throughout the project. We will surely enjoy these chairs for many years to come!
Religious School is off to a great start! Again this year I will be holding the “Ask the President” sessions the 2nd Sunday of the month starting 10/14. I look forward to seeing you there to share a little nosh and sit down to chat with me for a while. So bring your questions, comments and ideas! See you then!

I am so excited about the upcoming Congregational Retreat at OSRUI, February 1-3, 2019! This is sure to be another fun-filled, amazing bonding weekend as it has been in the past. Many of us have made such wonderful memories to treasure. So bring your families and don’t forget to sign up to join us. Let us know if you would like to help with any of the planning as well. The Retreat Planning Committee is being expertly led by Ruth Schlossberg and Pam Altman. Feel free to reach out to them at if you would like to help out too!

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge our fellow Hoffman Estates synagogue, Congregation Am Chai who has made the difficult decision to close their doors. You may have seen the moving article the Chicago Tribune wrote about this a few weeks ago. Many of you have asked me about it as well. I want you to know that Rabbi, Deb Bakal, and I crafted a response to the Editor of the Tribune in response to the article. I also reached out to the congregation’s President to extend our sympathies for what they are going through and open our doors in hospitality as they find their way through this difficult time.

It is very difficult when an organization that is run by volunteers can no longer find the volunteers to run things. We are very fortunate at Beth Tikvah that we have such an active community and wonderful volunteers and lay leaders to make the fabulous programs happen, as well as keeping up with the day to day functions too. But what would happen to us if we no longer had those wonderful people to count on? It’s not something we want to think about really, but we should! We need to keep adding to our volunteer and lay leader pool so that we can continue to grow and thrive. New ideas are welcome and can be great! To take a page from PBS, “Our Congregation is made possible by people like YOU! If you love the programs you are attending, please support us! Your gift of time matters!” Volunteer, bring your ideas and make the future happen!


Terrie O’Day

Fri, July 3 2020 11 Tammuz 5780