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Resources

There are several resources available to you to support you including Jewish organizations, community resources, and CEC committees. Following are lists organized by category.

 

                 

Advocacy

ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) Advocacy for Israel engagement.
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) Support for effective leadership on issues like antisemitism and racial justice.
Jewish National Fund (JNF) Commitment to a strong future for Israel through various projects.
Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV) Programs and resources for Jewish war veterans.

 Career

Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) Closing opportunity gaps in employment through support for jobseekers

Camp

Foundation for Jewish Camp Development and promotion of camp programs.
Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) Camp for building skills and connections without screens.
Send-a-Kid-to-Israel Partnership (SKIP) A savings program for children's Jewish education.

Counseling

JCFS Chicago Caring and healing services, including therapy and counseling.
SHALVA Offering domestic violence counseling, supporting services, and community education.

 Education

Chaim Mitzvah Conversations guided by sourcebooks on Jewish topics.
Chicago YIVO Society Resource center for East European Jewish Studies and Yiddish language.
Jewish United Fund (JUF) Critical resources and funding for a network of agencies and schools.
Jewish United Fund (JUF) Providing critical resources and funding for a network of agencies and schools.
Masa Israel Journey Shaping a promising future for young Jewish individuals.
PJ Library Sending free, high-quality Jewish children’s books to families every month.
Send-a-Kid-to-Israel Partnership (SKIP) A savings incentive program for children's Jewish educati
URJ Resources for Young Families List of URJ resources for young families

 HEALTH

FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) Improving the lives of individuals and families facing hereditary cancers.
Jewish Genetic Disease Consortium (JGDC) Increasing awareness about genetic diseases.
National Gaucher Foundation Providing genetic counseling for Gaucher Disease.
Norton & Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics Educational resources related to hereditary cancers and genetic disorders.
Sharsheret Improving the lives of Jewish women and families living with or at increased genetic risk for breast or ovarian cancer.

Social 

Chesed v'Emet Offering quality caskets, burial vaults, and personalized services.
Jewish Free Loan Chicago (JFLC) Aiding and empowering those with financial needs through zero-interest loans.
CEC Interfaith Committee

At Congregation Etz Chaim, we promote an open dialogue with friends and neighbors of different faiths to foster positive relationships through community outreach events that develop mutual respect and understanding within our diverse faith community. 

We also promote positive relationships within our walls, dubbed “in-reach.” We want our interfaith families to feel welcomed and comfortable, so we actively host events for them. 

If you’re interested in interfaith activities or have suggestions for us, contact the Interfaith committee.

CEC Environmental Task Force

The Environmental Task Force works to advance our shared ideals of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Tzedek (justice), and Ba’al Tashchit (the prohibition against wanton destruction) by promoting environmental action and education as an integral aspect of Congregation Etz Chaim. Our focus includes organizing recycling events, collaborating with the temple leadership to enhance our environmental practices, offering educational programs, supporting environmental education for students, and seeking new ways to take positive environmental action.

Tallitot Partnership with Advah We are excited to announce a partnership with Advah Designs. Advah Designs offers a wide selection of handmade tallitot (Jewish prayer shawls), including traditional woven tallitot, printed silk tallitot, and handwoven tallitot in vibrant colors. Their tallitot are for people of all ages, sizes, and genders. You can shop their online store by clicking here. When you make a purchase through this link, Congregation Etz Chaim receives a portion of your payment as a donation. This is a great way to contribute while also gaining a beautiful religious item.

 

    

                            

DuPage County Community Provides resources for housing, utilities, transportation, and health.
People's Resource Center (PRC) Addresses hunger and poverty in DuPage County through essential services such as food, clothing, rent assistance, education, and community support.
The Outreach House (Lombard) Helps people and families in need with essential assistance for food, clothing, and emergency financial support.
YWCA A nonprofit organization focusing on empowerment, leadership, and the rights of women, young women, and girls.
211 DuPage Offers a free service for DuPage County residents looking for health and social service resources.
Illinois Department on Aging Supports older Illinoisans and their caregivers through culturally appropriate programs.

                                      

Scholarship

The Robert Scott Samuels Scholarship Fund

The Robert Scott Samuels Scholarship Fund is in honor of Robert Scott Samuels, who was taken from us far too soon. It supports those wishing to attend the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute Camp or CFTY Leadership Training.

As for Robert, he was an accomplished swimmer and diver at 5 years old. He loved rock and roll music and playing with his older brother Michael, two years older than him. While Robert is no longer with us, this fund can support others in enjoying what Robert cannot.  

The Jeremy Bruder Memorial Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is in honor of Jeremy J. Bruder who was tragically shot and killed by a classmate on June 2, 1996. It provides scholarships for the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute camp and the Youth Israel Trip for young people who would otherwise not be able to participate.

During Jeremy’s high school career, he excelled academically and as a true humanitarian. He actively participated in his school’s mentoring and peer mediation programs, and played several varsity sports. As an honor student, Jeremy had a voracious appetite for knowledge and always carried at least one novel or mechanical operation manual under his arm. His grades, his attitude, and his high moral outlook allowed him to achieve many of his goals but his biggest goal will never be accomplished: to attend the University of Arizona and attain a Bachelor of Science, as well as a law degree. 

He viewed his future with optimistic eyes and would have flourished in any academic environment because he applied the 3D’s: dedication, desire, and discipline. He was so persistent in training for a triathlon that at 13 years old the race organizers changed the rules so he could compete with adults! Not only did he finish in the top 20% overall of the Wisconsin race, he proudly accepted the trophy for 1st place in his age group. On top of that, he battled exercise-induced asthma and still performed as well as he did.  

Jeremy constantly challenged himself not only by participating in triathlons, but he submitted the Cascade Mountains in Washington State over a period of 21 cold and rainy days when he was only 15. 

While Jeremy is no longer with us in body, he remains with us in spirit and we’re sure he’s beaming with pride that he’s still able to help people with this scholarship fund.

Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784