Programs & Events

Programs & Events

Upcoming CLC Programs & Events

Ancient Echoes: The Art of Dikla Laor and the Antiquities Collection of Fran and Bernie Alpert
in the Rissman Kol Ami Exhibit Gallery August 27 through October 31, 2021
In her “Women in the Bible” series, Israeli artist Dikla Laor uses photography to capture powerful Biblical women in the very places they once lived. The staged scenes are inspired by the art of the Renaissance, timeless myths, and classical literature. Her collection of full color photographs depicting the women of the Book of Genesis will be paired with antiquities from the Collection of Fran and Bernie Alpert in the Rissman Kol Ami Collection.

Fran and Bernie Alpert founded Archaeological Seminars in Jerusalem. Long time members of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, they donated an important collection of archaeological artifacts – pottery, lamps, bowls, flasks, and jugs dating from as early as 2300 BCE – to the Rissman Kol Ami Collection. This unique coupling of contemporary and ancient Israeli art pays homage to beloved Bernie z”l, an archaeologist, adventurer, and Jewish advocate.

Museum Reception
Sunday, October 24 – 1:00 pm

Join us for a reception in the museum gallery to celebrate the exhibit. Using Dikla Laor’s photographs, gain new insights into the story of Sarah and Hagar with Ali Drumm and the “Soul Sisters: Biblical Women through Midrash & Art” curriculum. RSVP to Marcie Eskin.

Sisterhood Torah Fund Book Club
Thursday, October 14 (7:45pm on Zoom) and Saturday, October 16 (12:30pm in-person discussion after Shabbat Kiddush)
With a record number of over 100 participants in 2020-2021, the Sisterhood Torah Fund Book Club had a wonderful year filled with stimulating conversation and interesting author talks on Zoom, plus a lovely outdoor discussion in June. We hope to be able to safely return to our in-person Shabbat discussions in the coming year, however, we will continue to offer options on Zoom to allow everyone to participate. Rachel Kamin is looking forward to kicking off our 13th year with a discussion of House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon on Thursday, October 14 at 7:45pm on Zoom and Saturday, October 16 at 12:30pm, in-person after Shabbat Kiddush. Copies of the book are available in our Abbell Library and from public libraries, as well as from local and online booksellers in paperback, eBook, and audio. E-mail Rachel if you would like to be on our reserve list or if you would like to be added to the Book Club mailing list. Click here for the calendar and book selections through January. Our 6th annual Family Book Club will be on Sunday, February 13 and details for our discussions in March, May & June 2022 will be coming later in the year. Participants are encouraged to make a minimum donation of $54 to the Torah Fund Campaign.

Treasures from the Shul
Wednesday, October 20,
The Yiddish Book Center has rescued well over a million books in its 42-year history. Join Center founder and MacArthur Fellow Aaron Lansky and Bibliographer David Mazower as they discuss six boxes of Yiddish books donated recently by North Suburban Synagogue Beth El. They’ll highlight some of the unexpected treasures – including pristine copies of an anthology of Yiddish women poets published in Chicago in 1928 – and ask why Yiddish books continue to inspire readers of all ages. Watch your e-mail for the Zoom link and more details.

Museum Reception: Art @ the Heart of Social Justice
Sunday, November 14, 2021, 1:00pm
Join the Rissman Kol Ami Collection and the participants from this year’s Artists Beit Midrash for a special reception in honor of the exhibit Art @ the Heart of Social Justice, on display November 5, 2021 – January 9, 2022. The work in the exhibit is from the Artists Beit Midrash, a course of text study and art discussion co-taught by Judith Joseph and Dr. Jane Shapiro. Open to the community, free of charge. RSVP to Marcie Eskin.

Special Writer’s Beit Midrash Workshop: How to Write Compelling Stories from Family History with Annette Gendler
Wednesday, November 17, 10:00am-12:00pm
Do you have a box of family letters, documents, photos, mementos you would love to “do something with?” Discover where to start to convert your heirlooms and oral anecdotes into engaging prose that will bring your ancestry to life. All are welcome; no charge. Contact Marcie Eskin.



Writer’s Beit Midrash
Wednesdays, 9:30am, October 6 & 20 and November 3
All fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and essay writers (published or not yet published) are welcome for discussions, exercises, camaraderie, and critique every other Wednesday morning in the Abbell Library. Contact Rachel Kamin for more information and to be added to the mailing list.



Looking for a book recommendation? Contact Rachel Kamin and/or Marcie Eskin – we are happy to recommend a good ebook that you can download from your local public library, an audio-book that you can listen to, or a print book that you can order online. Jewish or secular, fiction or non-fiction, for children or adults . . . we’re happy to help you satisfy your literary appetite! And if you would like to borrow a book from the Beth El library, just contact Rachel or Marcie and we will arrange a safe way to deliver it to you.