FVJN eNews Online!

March 7, 2012

Mark Your Calendars!

March 9: FVJN Shabbat Evening, w/Potluck
March 13: FVJN Book Club
March 18: FVJSchool
April 1: FVJSchool & Student Seder
April 15: FVJSchool
April 15: FVJN Movie Club
April 29: FVJSchool

President’s Corner                                                                                                           

Fox Valley Jewish Neighbors~ 
Welcome to March!  We started the month with our second annual Purim carnival.  Thanks to all who joined us in the festivities, and even more so to the volunteers who made it all possible!  We are forever grateful to the many volunteers who make this organization, and all of our events, so successful!  In recognition of all our volunteers, and to share an evening of community and food (always fun), we are having a potluck Shabbat evening this Friday (March 9th) at 6:30pm at FVJN’s 3rd Street space.  Our very own FVJSchool children will be assisting Rachel Yackley during the brief service and we will then share a meal and have a chance to catch up after a long winter’s break.  Please consider joining us even if you have not yet had a chance to rsvp to Rachel (mry98@aol.com). 
Speaking of volunteers, on February 25th, FVJN sent a group over to the Northern Illinois Food Bank to help pack food for local food banks and shelters.  What a great contribution to make back to our community and neighbors in need!  If you are looking for an opportunity to give back to our community, FVJN cooks for Lazarus House, our local shelter/transitional housing, once each month.  We still need volunteers to cook for the 80 residents, including nearly 35 children, on May 2nd and for the first Wednesday of each month through this year.  If you would like to take this on individually, or with another person or family, please email Bethany Kural (bkural73@hotmail.com). 
Part of the wonder of our volunteers is that they in turn make our events happen and give us the opportunity to expand our offerings!  We are forever seeking ways to strengthen our sense of community and would gladly take any suggestions to help make that possible.  I do want to re-double our efforts as a group to make sure everyone feels welcome.  That especially includes our non-Jewish spouses and partners!  Because we can think of no better holiday to open our doors to others (though in the Jewish tradition, anytime there is food, there should be new and old friends), our learning Seder will be open to all who are interested.  We will be having the teaching Seder during the school session (9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) on April 1st, and hope that not only our school students, but anyone with questions or interest will join us!  Please send me an email (tammiew@fvjn.org) if you think of any events that would engage new participants or re-invigorate past participants. 
Thank you again to all who volunteer and participate!  We look forward to hearing your ideas to keep growing our great group!
Warmest wishes,                                                                                                           

The Forum at www.FVJN.org   

Check it out!

You have a voice at FVJN!
Visit www.FVJN.org.
Look at the horizontal menu bar above the postings.
Click on “Forum,” the second item from the left.
Here you can read forums posted by FVJN and it’s participants.
You may also register and thus comment on existing forums,
and even create your own!
Just another great way to participate at FVJN!


FVJN Shabbat Evening: A Family Service and Potluck      

***Special Guest stars: Our 2011 FVJN Volunteers!  

March 9, 6:30 p.m., at FVJN

Please join us for a family service especially for our FVJS students!

 FVJN volunteers will also be honored during the evening.
A vegetarian potluck will immediately follow the service.
Please bring a dish to share!
If your last name begins with:
A-G: Salads or Side dishes
H-N: Main dishes
O-T: Desserts
U-Z: Beverages
Services will continue throughout the year.
Please see our calendar at www.FVJN.org.
Our services are always interfaith friendly.


For Students in Grades 5th – 8th  

BBYO Connect!

Do you have children in grades 5th – 8th? If yes, would they enjoy the chance to engage in more social activities with their FVJN friends, as well as meet other Jewish teens their age from the area (Elgin to Aurora)?
FVJS/FVJN is looking into starting our own chapter of BBYO Connect, specifically for this age group.                                                                                                      **Visit the Forum at www.FVJN.org to share your thoughts!
BBYO Connect doesn’t cost any money to join. They sponsor many regional events that all our kids would be invited to attend. If we could grow enough out here, we may even be able to get them to sponsor events in our neighborhoods!
BBYO Connect is the BBYO experience made just for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students (as well as 5th graders, from January on), offering social and meaningful experiences that will serve as a gateway to continued involvement in Jewish life.
The purpose of this group is to provide middle school students with a positive experience in which they can get together with camp, school, and synagogue friends, as well as meet new friends. BBYO Connect allows middle school students to begin experiencing the privileges and obligations of being a member of the Jewish and general communities. Focused on service, social, and Judaic programming, BBYO Connect builds a network of teens across North America at a critical age when middle school students begin to strengthen their identities, form social circles and prepare for high school and beyond.
Visit http://bbyo.org/connect/ for more information about this organization!
**This group needs a parent or two for coordinators/advisors. If you are interested, please let us know by emailing info@fvjn.org. Thank you!


FVJN Book Group — May 8, 7 p.m., at FVJN

Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses, by Bruce Feiler. 
The Book Club is open to all. Feel free to join us at any time. Just mark your calendar and come!


Volunteer Corner: Our Volunteers Rock!

FVJNers recently sorted potatoes at NIFB (Northern
Illinois Food Bank). Special thanks to:
Nancy Sohn, Mike, Dan & Ben Simon
Wendy & Jack LaCasse
Amanda Littauer & Zoe Steele
Alysa & Mitchell Hwalisz


FVJN Lazarus House Volunteer Project

FVJN individuals and families are needed to provide dinner once a month to the guests from our community who are staying at Lazarus House. Please consider helping with this FVJN Volunteer Project and sign up, now!


1. Go to Lazarus house some time the week before the first Wednesday of the month and “shop between 9am and 9pm” for donated items. Supplement as needed, OR shop on your own at your own expense.
2. Prepare a dinner meal of your choice that will feed 85 guests.
3.  Deliver the prepared meal to Lazarus House on the Wednesday you signed up for.  The preferred time for drop off is between 6-6:45 p.m., but if needed can be dropped earlier and kept warm in their ovens.  Please specify to staff that your food be for the dinner meal.


*Cook with others! 
*Large casseroles as well as stews in large pots are good. 
*Do the cooking a bit at a time and/or ahead of time
*Buy big casseroles (e.g. from Costco)


Volunteers are needed to prepare and deliver dinners the first Wednesday of each month. Please respond to Bethany ASAP!
bkural73@hotmail.com, or 630-208-6301


Jewish FAQ: The Star of David

Today, the Star of David is a ubiquitous Jewish symbol. However, this widespread use is a relatively recent development. In fact, if you asked King David about the star that bears his name, he’d probably have no idea what you were talking about.
In the times of the (First) Temple, rather than a star, the Jewish people were represented by the icon of a menorah, symbolizing Temple worship. The first recorded appearance of the star was on a stone in a 4th-century synagogue in the Galilee region of Israel. It appeared on the famous Leningrad Codex–the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible–which dates from around 1000 CE. But the star didn’t regularly appear in Jewish art until the 17th century, when it spread quickly as a symbol to identify Jewish neighborhoods and synagogues. The six-pointed star wasn’t always exclusive to Jews–it’s also been used in other cultures–in pagan art, for instance, and as a feature of Satanic rituals. 
During the Holocaust, Jews were forced to wear six-pointed stars identifying themselves as Jews. Today, however, the star has been appropriated for several positive meanings–for the Israeli flag, for Magen David Adom (the Israeli version of Red Cross), and simply to signify that something’s Jewish. A recent Internet meme illustrates (below) that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet can be traced out in its formative lines. That’s probably not what the originators of the star had in mind–whoever they were–but, regardless, it’s a cool parlor trick.
-From Jewniverse, MyJewishLearning.com


Please Continue to Support FVJN!

FVJN gratefully accepts donations throughout the year.
You can easily donate right on our website: www.fvjn.org
or by sending a check to: FVJN, PO Box 8, Geneva, 60134.


Scholar-in-Residence Program
March 16-18 at Congregation Etz Chaim
Dr. David Shyovits, Northwestern University Dept. of History, will lead all on a provocative journey — Judaism and the Occult: from the Middle Ages to Middle America.
Everyone’s invited.
Following is the weekend’s programming:
*Friday, 8:15 p.m.: Shabbat Service Sermon — Playing God: The Tabernacle, the Golem, and the Magical Hebrew Alphabet.
*Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Breakfast Nosh — Do Jews Believe in Hell? Reading a Medieval Jewish Ghost Story.
*Saturday, 7:30 p.m.: What does it Mean to Believe in God? Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Approaches.
*Sunday, 9:30 a.m.: Breakfast — The Lion, the Witch, and the Werewolf: Medieval Jewish Monsters and their meanings.
Congregation Etz Chaim is located at 1710 S. Highland, in Lombard. For more info visit www.congetzchaim.org, email cec.adulted@congetzchaim.org, or call 630-627-3912. Reservations are required, and babysitting will be provided during the Saturday sessions.
FVI (Fox Valley Interfaith                                                                                   
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. is our next meeting with Meg Bero at Aurora University. We will hear about the evolution of the Native American Church and tour the Schingoethe Center at Aurora U. for $3 per person. I will send out a more complete description of this event in March so that you all can pass this awesome opportunity on to friends and publicize it in your faith communities.
Pledging for Friends                                                                                                  
FVJN participant Kimberly Fivelson is walking in the Avon 2-Day Breast Cancer walk in June and could use your support. Please take this opportunity to honor the women you love by donating to the cause. Every donation really helps, big or small. Donations can be made online at www.avonwalk.org (click on “Join Us” à “Find a Walker/Team” and then type in her name) or email her at kimberlyfivelson@gmail.com with any questions.
Fox Valley Jewish Neighbors 
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