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updated: 11/6/2013 10:34 PM

A Winter Wonderland of Activities Abound at Or Shalom

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Sue Masaracchia-Roberts

The fall and early winter months are normally considered dreary. However, Congregation Or Shalom offers a variety of programs to brighten even the gloomiest of days.

Art always brighten dull surroundings. To bring art to the community, Congregation Or Shalom's will hold an Art Auction on Saturday, November 16, starting with a preview at 6:30 p.m. followed by the auction at 8 p.m. Admission is $18 per person and RSVPs are requested.

During both Thursday mornings and evenings -- December 5 and January 16 -- Rabbi Scott Looper will hold an engaging study of Jewish texts and current topics called Thursdays with Rabbi Looper. These sessions, which continue into the spring with four more sessions, will reflect on how Jewish tradition grapples with the dilemmas of everyday life. Participants can socialize and have a snack while engaging in thoughtful discussion. The fee is $36 for the six-class session or $18 for these first two dates only. The morning sessions are held from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., while the evening classes take place from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at the temple. The additional sessions will be held on February 6, March 6, April 10 and May 8.

The temple with hold a B.Y.O. Winter Family Picnic Dinner on Saturday, January 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. The evening will include BINGO with prizes and dessert, along with Havdalah with Rabbi Looper. The event is free of charge, however RSVPs are requested by Monday, January 6 either by phone or by email at

On Friday, January 10, the temple will celebrate a musical Shabbat Shira and Coffee House Oneg. Starting at 7:30 p.m., the Or Shalom T'Fillah Band and other talented entertainers will perform at the temple. There is no fee for the evening.

Located at 21 Hawthorn Parkway, in Vernon Hills, Congregation Or Shalom's mission is to meet the diverse spiritual, educational and cultural needs of its congregants and the local Jewish community and welcomes interfaith families in all facets of temple life.

For additional information or to RSVP to any of these or future activities, contact Tanya at, or at 847-362-1948, or visit