Programs and Events

Here you are able to view information about programs and events at NSCI and in the community. Events are listed under catagories, in chronological order. Please scroll down to learn more about all of our exciting events and programs.

Special Events and Programs

Screening of the film, Denial

Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 pm at NSCI
To RSVP for this film screening, contact Miriam Biales, [email protected] or call 847-835-0724. Co-sponsored by: NSCI, Congregation Har Shalom, Lakeside Congregation, Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living, and Congregation Solel

JUF Annual Event featuring guest speaker, Professor Deborah Lipstadt

Monday, April 24, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Lipstadt is best known as author of the books Denying the Holocaust, History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier and The Eichmann Trial. Dr. Lipstadt was a historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and helped design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust. Her book History On Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier is the story of her libel trial in London against David Irving who sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier and right wing extremist. The book won the 2006 National Jewish Book Award. Academy Award-winning British Jewish actress Rachel Weisz portrays Lipstadt in a film based on her book, Denial, that opened in September 2016.

For information or to make a reservation please contact,  [email protected] or

Save the date for the NSCI Spring Fundraising Event Sunday evening, June 11: Live from Las Vegas: It’s a Magical Night!

This year’s Spring Fundraising Event will be a “magical” night, as we welcome illusionist Ben Seidman, live from Las Vegas! Ben’s energetic entertainment is a combination of comedy and magic, and you will be amazed and engaged during his interactive performance.  Ben has been the Resident Magician at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, and his website,, showcases his unusual method of performance—please check out some of his videos.  Mark your calendars to join us on Sunday evening, June 11 for Ben’s captivating show, followed by a beautiful dessert reception.

We would love your help planning this event—there are many big and small ways to participate. Please contact Sheryl Cohen Solomon for more information at 847-835-0724 or [email protected].


Adult Education

Midday Mondays

This year Midday Mondays will include mini-series taught in multi-week increments and offered at different times throughout the year. These sessions will be taught by Rabbi Greene, Rabbi Daniels, Cantor Goldstein, Dr. Goodman & Buddy Schreiber.


Legacy Letters with Carole Mark Gingiss
April 24, May 1,8,15 & 22, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm (note change in time for this special series)

Ever thought about how you can pass on traditions, advice, and family history to your dear ones? A Legacy Letter can do just that.

Join us in a new class that will guide you, step by step, in writing about the life lessons, insights, and values you would like to share.  Communicating what is important is often a goal in our lives, yet it can feel like an overwhelming task. Carole Mark Gingiss has taught many students over the years to successfully craft their message.  She will share examples of old and modern Legacy Letters, also called Ethical Wills, and give students the tools to create their own. This class is for any age, wherever you are in life. Legacy Letters have been written by teens, and adults alike, written for colleagues, friends or family; there are no advance requirements. Your letter can be distributed immediately after it's written, sometime later, or attached to your Last Will and Testament. Curious? Talk to Rabbi Greene, [email protected], or Carole Mark Gingiss, [email protected]. Or, just sign up. Class size is limited. Registration is required.  Please contact Lisa Goosmann at [email protected]

Study the Talmud with Rabbi Geffen

Mondays, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm (no class March 27)
Join Rabbi Geffen as we continue the study of Tractate Brachot.  All are welcome.

If you want to purchase your own copy of the Talmud translation we use for class, Koren Talmud Bavli, Berakhot by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, you can find it HERE on

What Might We Mean by “The World to Come?” Study an Excerpt from Maimonides Commentary on the Mishnah with Rabbi Steven Mason

Monday, March 27, 7:00 pm with Rabbi Steven Mason
Join Rabbi Steven Mason for a close reading (In English) and discussion of Maimonides’ Introduction to Perek Helek from his Commentary to the Mishnah. This challenging text provides a framework for our own thinking about questions about human motivation and choices. These are the personal and often deeply spiritual questions that defy short and certain answers. Come join in the exploration.  No previous experience is necessary.  Copies of the English text will be provided. To RSVP contact Lisa Goosmann, [email protected].

Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath with Rabbi Daniels

Saturdays, April 1 & 8 at 11:15 am
Walk with Rabbi Daniels through The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel’s most beloved book. Heschel was internationally known as a scholar, author, civil rights activist, and one of the most distinguished theologians of the 20th century. Together we’ll explore Heschel’s theology and wrestle with what he understood to be humankind’s ultimate task: “to conquer space and sanctify time.” To RSVP contact Lisa Goosmann, [email protected].

How to Keep Kosher While Still Enjoying an Occasional Pork Chop
with Rabbi Ryan Daniels

Mondays, April 3, and May 1 & 8, 7:00 pm
Jewish dietary practice is rooted in Torah, is discussed extensively in Mishnah and Talmud, and has been challenged and recalibrated throughout the generations. Join Rabbi Daniels in digesting a selection of these essays from The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic is an anthology of essays on Reform dietary practice. We’ll discuss our people’s unique relationship with food, and the role of Jewish values — social justice and concern for animals, the environment, our own wellness and the worker — when planning our meals. To RSVP contact Lisa Goosmann, [email protected]

Forty Nine Days to Freedom

Fridays April 7, 14, 21 & 28, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Join Rabbis Jordan Bendat-Appell and Sam Feinsmith of the Center for Jewish Mindfulness at Orot for a four-session series exploring how to enter into Passover and the practice of counting the Omer as mindfulness practices that support greater freedom, ease, spaciousness, and wisdom in our daily living.  Using mindful Torah study, discussion, and a variety of mindfulness meditation techniques, participants will walk away with the skills and tools to establish their own mindfulness practice.  The series builds from week to week following the arc of the season of liberation as we travel from Pesach to Shavuot.  Registration for all four sessions is strongly encouraged, though drop-ins are most welcome.    

No prior experience with mindfulness meditation or Jewish text study required. All are welcome. The series is suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners. $20 per session, $80 for the series.
To register visit: For questions contact: [email protected], or Rabbi Sam Feinsmith, 847-331-8702.


Beyond Torah: An Introduction to Midrash with Rabbi Daniels

Sunday, April 9, 10:15 am
Midrash is the process of reading between and beyond the black and white text of the Bible.  Unlike the Mishnah or the Talmud, there is no single book called “midrash,” rather a large  collection of midrashic works exist that were written over the course of many hundreds  of years. Join Rabbi Daniels in an exploration of some of the more well-known texts. An understanding of Hebrew is not required — all are welcome! RSVP to Lisa Goosmann, [email protected].

A Taste of Foundations for Jewish Family Living, taught by Rabbi Lisa Greene

Sundays, April 23, 30 and May 7, 9:00 am
What are the Jewish Values you want your child to know? Foundations of Jewish Family Living is a new learning opportunity through the Florence Melton School of Jewish Learning. Foundations is a course created for parents that provides a thought-provoking encounter with the core values of Judaism. At a time in a family’s life when a child is experiencing his or her own Jewish education, this rich learning experience provides you with the learning, the language, and the confidence to be a teacher to your own children and support Jewish learning at home. For more information or to register, contact Rolly Cohen, [email protected]. 847/291-7788 x1304.

A Taste of Judaism with Rabbi Greene

Mondays, April 24, May 1 & May 8, 7:00 pm
This engaging class on Jewish spirituality, ethics, and community is designed for the curious beginner. Individuals from all faith backgrounds are welcome. Please tell your friends in the community about this exciting class, sponsored by our Reform movement to allow folks to get just that - a taste of Judaism. Preregistration is required. Contact: Joy Wasserman, [email protected], 872-256-1818.

The Mindful or Mindless Life: Navigating Transitions

Wednesdays, April 26 and May 3, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Are you searching for deeper meaning in your life and in the world? Through our experience of ancient Jewish spiritual teachings, we can strengthen our capacity to live with awareness, generosity and compassion. Join Rabbi Geffen in the profound and spiritually uplifting practice of study and contemplative practice surrounding traditional Jewish teachings that will make you think differently about yourself, your relationships, and your world. Each session will include study and discussion, meditation, and chanting. No experience necessary. The only requirement for the class is a willing heart and open mind. For more information or if you have any questions, contact Bayla, [email protected] or call 847-835-0724 ext. 643.

Dr. Avivah Zornberg ‘And I am a Stranger’: Becoming Ruth

Monday May 15, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ruth is a stranger in more senses than one. Who is this unknown woman who is destined to become mother of royalty? What is the process by which she finds her way into a foreign and unwelcoming culture and religious tradition? How does destiny come about?

Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg lives in Jerusalem where she has been lecturing on Bible since 1980. She reads biblical narratives through the prism of midrash, literature, philosophy and particularly psychoanalysis. Avivah Zornberg was born in London and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where her father was a rabbi and the head of the Rabbinical Court. She studied Torah with him from childhood. Dr. Zornberg also studied at the Gateshead seminary and the Jerusalem Michlala. Her PhD in English Literature is from Cambridge University, England. She taught English literature at the Hebrew University for seven years before turning to teaching Torah.

To RSVP contact Lisa Goosmann, [email protected], 847-835-0724.

Psalms in the Twenty-First Century with Roberta Schwartz

Mondays, May 22, June 5, 12, 19, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Is there something new under the sun, in the field of Psalms?  Strangely there is. Because we now have decades of research based upon documents from the Dead Sea Scrolls and excavations at Qumran.  It is known that of all books of the Bible, in the early centuries, second and first, BCE and first century CE Psalms came in only second in popularity to Deuteronomy.
The longest book in the Bible and most complex can be studied based upon recent publications, which bring much to our understanding of that religious poetry. Many chords are struck therein, since Psalms was written over hundreds of years and some oral even earlier.  We will concentrate on individual psalms and conclude with a poem written by Primo Levi. He based that exposition upon Psalm 137 – a modern day connection of past and present.

This course is taught by Roberta H. Schwartz, a graduate of the University of Chicago, who holds an M.A. in Jewish Studies from Spertus. Roberta lectured and taught in that field for over 30 years and is a beloved teacher of adults here at NSCI. To sign-up, email Lisa Goosmann at [email protected].  


Youth and Family Community

Family Israel Trip led by Rabbi Greene: December 21-31, 2017

Informational Meeting, Tuesday, April 4, at 7:30 pm
We will share the itinerary and cost, and discuss details of the trip.
If you would like a copy of the itinerary in advance, email Lisa Goosmann, [email protected]. Still interested but can't attend the meeting? Contact Rabbi Greene, [email protected].

Kermit’s Tot Shabbat Passover with Rabbi Daniels*

Friday, April 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm
There will be songs, PJ Library stories and a matzah taste test. Stay for dinner and hands-on Passover activities. Open to the community. Cost for dinner is $15 per family.
Click HERE to register online or contact Susan: [email protected] or 847-835-0724 ext. 615. *Intended for families with children age 7 and under but all are welcome!

NSCI Teen Israel Trip with Rabbi Daniels: December 21-31, 2017

Infromational Meeting: Sunday, April 9 at 11:15 am (Perlman Sanctuary)
Teens and their parents are invited to discuss details — including sample itinerary, flight information and cost — about this fabulous opportunity to see, taste and explore Israel with friends
and classmates! Questions? Contact Rabbi Daniels: [email protected] or 847-835-0724.

Civil Rights Journey: 8th/9th Graders + Parent Trip November 9-12, 2017 - Journey with Rabbi Daniels to America’s Deep South!

Information Session: Wednesday, April 12 at 7:00 pm (Location: Rosenthal Family Gathering Place)
We'll discuss details about this once-in-a-lifetime experience for you to learn and travel with your child, including sample itinerary, flight information and cost. You'll also hear from past participants of this trip, and we'll reserve time at the end for questions. Questions? Contact Rabbi Daniels: [email protected] or 847-835-0724.

Strollers, Stories and Celebrations

Friday, April 14 - Passover, 10:00 - 10:45 am, 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Celebrate the Jewish Holidays and Shabbat at this monthly drop in class. Stories, songs, movement and more. A Great way to meet other local parents, grandparents and caregivers. Free and open to the community. RSVP's appreciated. Contact Susan, [email protected], 847-835-0724.

Shabbat Shalom Lunch Bunch for Two-Year-Olds

Friday, April 21 & 28, 11:15 am to 12:15 pm
Join Early Childhood Jewish Educators at the Takiff Center to celebrate Shabbat. See for yourself what your friends are talking about. Students will enjoy games, stories, songs, crafts, and challah. Students will bring their lunch. We will walk students from their Takiff Center classrooms to our program. Must be 2 by September 1, 2016. $20.00 for 2 weeks. Contact Susan to register: [email protected] or 847-835-0724 ext. 615.


Women of NSCI

2017 Women of NSCI Shabbat

Friday, May 5, at 6:15 pm
Please join the Women of North Shore Congregation Israel in worship and celebration. Dine on Middle-eastern cuisine in Rebecca K. Crown Social Hall following services.  Installation of the new WNSCI board will take place after dinner. WNSCI members – free; non-members - $18.00. RSVP by May 2, 2017 online HERE or contact Helen Heifets at [email protected]. Please make checks payable to WNSCI and send to North Shore Congregation Israel 1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe, IL 60022, Attn. Lauren Nowak.



Bowling with Brotherhood

Saturday, April 29, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Pinstripes in Northbrook, 1150 Willow Rd.
Join us for our annual "Bowling with Brotherhood". Fun, food, drinks, and more! Dinner provided. Prizes awarded. Cost: $18 (pay when you arrive). RSVP to Gary Friend, [email protected].


Support Resources and Programs

Families Anonymous

Tuesday evenings, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Does someone in your family have a drug/alcohol/behavioral problem? Do you feel isolated, confused, or in need of support? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Beginning in 2016, North Shore Congregation Israel will be a host sight for a weekly Families Anonymous meeting. Families Anonymous is a Twelve Step Program for people concerned about drug/alcohol abuse and behavioral problems of a relative. Please enter through the school-wing door on the North side of the building. Meeting is in the Kersten room on the first floor of the school-wing.


Tikkun Olam

WNSCI Gift Card Collection for Refugees Continuing through Passover!

We were strangers in Egypt...and elsewhere. Now we can welcome others with an outstretched arm. WNSCI is collecting Target and Walmart gift cards, and CTA transit cards to be given to Syrian refugees through the Syrian Community Network in Chicago. The labeled collection box is in the NSCI main office.

Feed the Homeless

Ongoing dates
One Sunday a month for nine months each year, the Feed the Homeless Program feeds 750 members of the Chicago community. Volunteers from the congregation give their time participating in a meticulously planned food operation that, in just one day, produces meals for 10 Chicago-area social service organizations. Click HERE for more information and to register for an upcoming date. Questions? Contact Dave Rothschild at [email protected].

Adult Mitzvah Corps

Tuesday, April 4 from 10:00 am - 11:30 am, Chicago Chesed Fund's warehouse, 7045 N. Ridgeway Ave., Lincolnwood
We will be shelving food as their usual Sunday volunteers will not be there that week, so they are in need of volunteers to help re-stock food for Passover. CCF's 44,000 square foot facility provides one of the largest food pantries in northern Cook County, as well as providing furniture, clothing, baby essentials, kitchen needs, etc. to the Jewish community. Carpooling is available.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact Tracey Meyers at 847-242-1234.

Family Promise

Wednesday, April 5, at 7:00 pm, Tross Family Education Center
Please join us for an informational meeting and Volunteer Training. NSCI will host families for two consecutive weeks this year: June 11-18 and June 18-June 25! These families are like ours; circumstances have just brought them to a point of financial crisis and they have become homeless. To make this program work, we will need NSCI volunteers to prepare dinners, dine with the families, engage with them after dinner, provide food for their lunches, and sleep overnight at NSCI. Families with children as well as individuals can volunteer. Congregants may also participate by donating material goods or food items that will be needed during the week. For questions, email Terri at [email protected]. To learn more about Family Promise, visit:

Cookies from the Heart

Calling all bakers and mitzvah enthusiasts! Seeking 6-8 volunteers to bake homemade cookies for children & families residing at Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital one Wednesday a month. Bring ingredients to make your favorite cookie recipe and joins us in Ronald McDonald House’s kitchen. Carpooling from NSCI is available. For more information and to RSVP, contact Lois Davis, [email protected] for more information.