“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot.”
― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

And so, here we are, mid-summer. Our congregation is a little quieter than normal. Our congregants are occupied with a variety of pursuits, hither and yon. Many kids have gone up to OSRUI, families are traveling, and for those who are here, we are enjoying the slower pace. “Summertime and the living is easy…”

Our “Echad al Echad” (‘One to One’) group of 10 teens and two adult chaperones has departed for Israel and is now spending wonderful time with kids from our sister congregation, Kehilat Ma’alot Tivon, in Kiryat Tivon near Haifa. They are traveling all over the country seeing, learning and deepening our connection with Reform Jews in Israel. This is the sixth such exchange trip between our congregations and it is a priceless treasure to have this wonderful program. N’siyah Tovah! (Have a good trip! in Hebrew)

Other news of note… 

Our Harlem Avenue entrance renovation project is proceeding as planned, but we are no longer certain that it will be possible to complete the work by the High Holidays, as hoped. If we determine that we are unable to meet that schedule, we will delay the work until afterward so as not to have the High Holidays disrupted in any way. This project deserves the utmost care and attention and we need to avoid rushing this critical work. If the work can be done to the high standards that we require by the time the High Holidays arrive, so much the better. As the timing becomes clearer, I will keep you informed.

We are excited to be planning a visit by Religious Action Center (RAC) Director Rabbi David Saperstein to Oak Park Temple. Selected by Newsweek magazine in 2009 as the most influential rabbi in the country and described in a Washington Post profile as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” Rabbi Saperstein represents the Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the Administration. He will be addressing us on January 27, 2013. Please save the date.
 
Finally, I hope that you will come to the 2nd Annual OPT Summer Shindig’ barbecue on Sunday, August 19th at Taylor Park in Oak Park. Last year’s event was a smashing success with about 110 participants. It was great fun! Let’s do it again!

L’shalom,

Jeff Blaine

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