Monday, June 23, 2014

Mitzvah Day B'nai Mitzvah Dress/Suit Swap: Epilogue

Clothes being sorted
At Lakeside Congregation's Mitzvah Day for the first time we had one station where our students and families were encouraged to bring old B'nai Mitzvah dresses and suits to swap or to donate to tzedakah.  For many weeks they took up residence in my office and finally last week I made a trip to the Chesed Fund Warehouse in Lincolnwood.  It was a wonderful place and I am glad our clothes found the place that will eventually let them find the right home.

The Chesed Fund is not just a food pantry but also has clothes for adults and children, toiletries and school supplies. I was happy to find out clients are allowed to shop privately.  They come in one designated door and are allowed to shop one family at a time.  Volunteers are not in the building when clients are shopping.  The Chesed Fund  services primarily the Jewish community in Lincolnwood but anyone from the area who qualifies is welcome at the pantry.

From their website:

Chesed Fund: The Place to Turn for Help

There are hundreds of Jewish families in Chicago who were financially stable until a crisis struck. We’re here to provide immediate assistance – and set them back on the road to independence.
Stock room
We battle hunger, prevent eviction and homelessness, and help the unemployed secure jobs. We also offer a wide array of free merchandise to needy families, provide holiday and Jewish lifecycle event assistance, and help send children to Jewish schools and camps.   

This is a great place to volunteer and if you are looking for Mitzvah hours for B'nai Mitzvah or just want to volunteer this is a wonderful place with lots of stocking to be done.  I know our students would find this work rewarding and they would feel as if they had contributed to a worthwhile cause.  They collect everything from hats, shoes, school supplies, baby buggies and bicycles.
Hats and shoes for Orthodox men

Summer is here and it's a good time to volunteer and donate your time and goods.  Most people have more time in the summer and if you want additional good ideas of where to volunteer our Lakeside Social action committee has put together a list of varied mitzvah projects for you to check out!

Let me know if check any of these projects and better yet send me a picture!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sandy Peterson, Z"L a wonderful person and a wonderful congregant

Sandy Peterson volunteering in the Religious School Office
Sandy Peterson, Zichrona L'vracha, may her memory be a blessing was a very active member at Lakeside congregation.  She was the Chair of the Religious School committee for many years and an active member along with her husband Ken, children Brian, Stacy and Jen.

Sandy was trained as a CPA and for many more years then she should have, she helped me to create and present my budget.  This was before excel spread sheets, before good computer programs and as you might be able to tell numbers are not my strong suit.  Sandy would patiently sit with me with her calculator and make sure I added up all my columns correctly and the budget was presentable.  Sandy was also a moving force behind Lakeside's celebration of my 13th year at Lakeside.  She was also happy to work hard behind the scenes.

This Sunday June 22 we have the opportunity to honor Sandy and fundraise for the Lakeside at 9 Rounds for Sandy by friends Linda Mayer and Abby Kurz:

From the Highland Park Patch:
When Sandy Peterson died of brain cancer 15 months ago, her friends Linda Mayer and Abby Kurz, owners of 9RoundNorthbrook fitness studio, vowed that they would not forget  her valiant fight to overcome this debilitating illness.   In October, 2013, when the two opened their studio, they immediately hung a picture of Sandy on the wall and turned to her for inspiration.
On Sunday, June 22, at 9 a.m., the first annual Sandy Peterson Walk, “ 9 Rounds for Sandy” will begin at Crestwood Park, 1824 Milton Ave. Northbrook. Families and individuals are encouraged to participate.  Along the way to the race’s conclusion at 1007 Waukegan, the home of 9Round, there will be nine rounds of breaks, all themed to a kickboxing routine, planned to invigorate walkers.  A water station will be set up at House 406, one of Northbrook’s newest restaurants, at 1143 Church Street, 
Participants are asked to stop by the 9Round office to fill out an application.  Fees are
$20 for families, $10 for individuals and $5 for children.   At the conclusion of the race, Sandy’s family; husband Ken, son Brian, daughter Stacy and daughter Jennifer will speak to the walkers about Sandy’s fight and the fight against brain cancer.  All fees will be divided equally and donated to both brain cancer research and the Sandy Peterson Fund for Education and Technology at Lakeside Congregation in Highland Park.
For more information call 224-235-4840 or go to

I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday and I know Sandy would have loved this event. 

Here's an iMovie of the event:  Check it out.