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		                            <span class="slider_description">Congregation Etz Chaim has a distinctive culture of volunteerism and belonging that helps to make our community vibrant and relevant. Together with the rabbis, the school principal, and staff, Congregation Etz Chaim members lead, guide, and perform the work of the congregation through various committees and social groups. This thread is woven through not only congregational projects but community ones as well.</span>

Congregation Etz Chaim has numerous committees and members’ backgrounds vary greatly. Participating in a committee helps members to learn, grow, and contribute to the Congregation.  

If you would like to join any of the committees listed below, contact the President of the congregation. 


The Membership Committee is the first place prospective members turn when they have questions about the Congregation. This committee is also responsible for welcoming new members and strengthening the bonds between existing congregants. Among events the Membership Committee plans are the Prospective Member Open House, Congregational Hanukkah dinner, membership recognition Shabbat, and more.  


The Inclusion Committee addresses the needs of all members and is available to help coordinate any requested adaptations. At Etz Chaim we are committed to accessibility and disability inclusion as we are grounded in the belief that all are created b’tselem Elohim (in God’s image). B’tselem Elohim reminds us of the importance of equal access and equal opportunity. Inclusion is a mindset, an attitude, and a way of thinking. The Inclusion Committee seeks to make Etz Chaim a more welcoming, accessible, and inclusive community by sensitizing the synagogue community to the needs of congregants with differing abilities and by reducing existing barriers to each member’s full participation. We recognize that inclusion is a process and a journey we take together. 

 The Lifelong Learning Committee (LLC) develops programs for adult congregants who wish to expand their knowledge of Judaism, current events, Israel, Hebrew, and Torah. Programs, classes, and events are led by rabbis, lay leaders, and outside experts.  Previously, we’ve held programs on Israel, adult Hebrew and B’nai Mitzvah classes, interfaith presentations, weekly Torah study, author talks, and artist/scholar-in-residence weekends.  The LLC collaborates with other committees such as the Library and Social Action Committees to present programs. It also partners with other congregations and Jewish institutions when applicable.  


 The Social Action Committee plans activities to engage the congregation in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) including the following:  

  • Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS), which hosts the homeless in a separate, dedicated facility to provide a safe respite as well as a home-cooked breakfast and a sack lunch.  
  • Garry Gardner Memorial Bowls for Hunger, an Empty Bowls event, in which hand-made pottery and home-made soups are sold to raise money to feed the hungry of DuPage County.  

Many of the Social Action Committee’s projects involve outreach into the community beyond Etz Chaim and the Jewish world. Some are even beyond the Western hemisphere! Read more about our Tikkun Olam efforts. 

The Budget and Finance Committee has the very important job of overseeing the synagogue’s annual budgeting process, projecting operating income and expenses for the coming year. That process runs from late December through March, with board approval in April and congregational approval at the May annual meeting.  

The Caring Committee supports members in times of need be it arranging rides, providing meals in times of illness, assistance with shiva, visiting the sick, and more. If you know of someone who is in need of our services, please call the synagogue office directly at 630.627.3912. 

The Retreat Committee plans the annual retreat to Oconomowoc, WI. Every spring, the Congregation blocks off a weekend devoted to learning, spirituality, and friendship.  

The Religious School Committee is a group of dedicated parents, teachers, and volunteers that meet once a month to support the Religious School staff in accomplishing their mission, as outlined in the Religious School handbook. The committee is responsible for organizing several annual events such as holiday programming and a teacher appreciation brunch.  

The Ways and Means Committee is the primary party responsible for fundraising. That includes not only dues and fees, but also the sale of Manna gift cards that donate a portion of the proceeds to the Congregation. There are hundreds of retailers available, so you are sure to find whatever you need, be it gas, groceries, or gifts.  


The Ritual and Religious (R&R) Committee reviews and guides the Congregation in worship and ritual observances. The committee discusses current practices and explores ways to enrich and improve upon worship services.  The committee keeps in mind issues like the physical set-up of the sanctuary, the use of the prayerbook, the impact of music, and sanctuary etiquette.  

 The Youth Committee oversees four youth groups and college outreach. The committee believes establishing Jewish connections at a young age is important for leading a Jewish lifestyle in the future. Youth groups range from infants to seniors in high school. And for college students, the Youth Committee sends them care packages throughout the year.   


 The Facilities Committee ensures our facilities are safe, secure, attractive, and energy efficient. The committee is responsible for all synagogue infrastructure as well as landscaping. It also administers the landscape/facilities fund and the building maintenance fund.  


Tue, March 28 2023 6 Nisan 5783