FVJN eNews Online!


  • Jan. 13: Shabbat Family Service
  • Jan 22: FVJSchool
  • Feb. 25: FVJN Volunteering at NIFB!

FVJN SHABBAT FAMILY SERVICE  Jan. 13, 7 p.m. at FVJN Shabbat evening with Rabbi Fred Margulies. Please join us and bring a treat for the oneg, if able. Service will continue throughout the year. Please see calendar at www.fvjn.org. Our services are always interfaith-friendly.

FVJN Film Club Feb.19, 4 to 6 p.m. FVJN is starting a documentary film and discussion group and we’d love to have your vote on films you’d like to see. Please click http://www.fvjn.org/fvjn-film-club/ for film suggestions and additional information.

Our Volunteers Rock! The FVJN annual Chanukah Party, held Dec. 18, was a huge success (and a lot of fun!) thanks to the time and effort donated by a wonderful group of volunteers:

  • Erin DiSilvestro
  • Bethany Kural  Kari Brandstedt
  • Julie Coller
  • Carrie Hubbard
  • Jen Rothenberg
  • Tina Gilman Tammy Weiss
  • Marci Leibowitz
  • Susan & Dennis Rizzo
  • The Brottman family
  • Kimberly Fivelson
  • Julie Salomon
  • Dani Moravec
  • Tammie Weinberger

Have you seen our space, lately? Our stairwell is sporting a bright coat of paint, and each tread of the stairs is now graced with a carpeted stair tread. A huge thank you to Mike Yackley for all his hard work, and a very special shout-out to Greg Cibura for all his hours of help!

A Special Note The Yackley family would very much like to thank the FVJN Caring Committee and the FVJN Board for their TLC after the recent sudden passing of Rachel’s mother. We are so fortunate to be a part of this local Jewish community!

FVJN’s Annual Fundraising Campaign Thank you to all of you who donated to the annual FVJN Fundraiser! Your generosity will help fund programs, education, operating costs, and more, throughout the year. 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.

FVJN Donates, Too! Each year, FVJN/FVJS donates a portion of what we receive to local organizations serving our community. Recently, we donated to NIFB (Northern Illinois Food Bank) and to TriCity Family Services. These two organizations were chosen by our FVJS students!



FVJN Volunteers at the Food Bank Feb. 25, 9 – 11 a.m.

On Saturday, February 25, from 9 to 11 a.m., some FVJN families and individuals will have the opportunity to work a Youth Volunteer session at NIFB (Northern Illinois Food Bank). There are only 20 spaces available for us, so if you wish to participate (and there is still plenty of room), please let Rachel know, ASAP (mry98@aol.com). For this session, volunteers can be as young as 8 years of age. If you’ve done this with us before, you know how fun it is, and it’s a terrific way to help our greater community!

FVJN Lazarus House Volunteer Project FVJN participant and volunteer Bethany Kural has arranged with Lazarus House, a homeless shelter in St. Charles, for FVJN to provide dinner once a month. Please consider helping with this FVJN Volunteer Project!

What this entails is the following: 1. Go to Lazarus house some time the week before the 1st Wed of the month and “shop between 9am and 9pm” for items that have been donated and then supplement from your own home as needed OR shop on your own at your own expense. 2. Prepare a dinner meal that will feed 85 guests at your home at your convenience.  Donna at Lazarus Hoouse explained they are so grateful for the preparation of the meals and you have complete freedom in your choice of meals. 3. Drop the prepared meal off at 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 is for the dinner meal.

Tips:   Lazarus House provides the food.                                                                                         Cook with others! Partner up and make it a girls night or family activity.                       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)

We still need to cover April 1 and May 2! When choosing the best month for your family, please respond to Bethany asap, to avoid duplication. Thank you so much!

  • Bethany Kural
  • bkural73@hotmail.com
  • 630-208-6301



Natural Brewing 101 at Pushing the Envelope Farm January 15, 2 – 4:30 p.m.      Spice up the winter with a home-brew! This workshop covers the basics of brewing natural drinks and the science behind fermentation. Learn to fight winter chills with ginger beer and hard cider, brew aphrodisiac mead, or boost your energy with kombucha. Participants over 18 are welcome, and those over the 21 will have a chance to try each drink. This program is part of the Etz HaSadeh workshop series for young adults.            For more information about this and other programs please visit http://www.pushingtheenvelopefarm.org/calendar.                                                                  Cost: $5 if you sign up at least a week in advance, $15 at the door. Please RSVP to GenevaFarm@gmail.com Location: Pushing the Envelope Farm, a Jewish community and educational farm. The address is 1700 Averill Road, Geneva, IL 60134.

Two Special Offerings from www.InterfaithFamily.com                                      Love and Religion — Online is a four-session workshop for interfaith couples who are seriously dating or newly married, on exploring the issue of religion in their relationships. This workshop offers a safe environment for couples to work on creating religious lives together. The sessions will be each Wednesday for four weeks, starting February 1 in person, and then online February 8, 15 and 22. Each session runs 7:00-9:00pm and includes online resources, including facilitation via videoconferencing. The cost is $36 per couple.   Interested couples can learn more, and watch a short video, about the workshop and then find more details and register here.

Raising a Child with Judaism in Your Interfaith Family is a one-of-a-kind, eight-session class for interfaith parents thinking about whether and how to bring Judaism to their home, their lives and their parenting. This class runs February 27 through April 27. Participants will learn one session each week online, with two additional in-person meetings for the whole family: a Shabbat experience on March 23 and a wrap-up session on April 22. Each of the eight sessions addresses a major parenting situation, looking at how Jewish teachings and traditions offer insights into making these times meaningful and spiritual. We will explore bedtime and meal-times, marking time with meaning on a weekly and yearly basis, doing good deeds, loving learning, spirituality and personal journeys. Class materials include: background essays and slide shows on Jewish teachings; “hear/read” resources to help participants learn how to say blessings; videos; family projects; bedtime book suggestions; personal stories written by other interfaith families; journaling questions and discussion prompts for talk between partners and with other parents; and more! Interested parents can get more details and register for the class here.