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  • 		                                		                                <span class="slider_title">
		                                    Resources		                                </span>
		                            <span class="slider_description">Sometimes life is challenging and you need extra support. In times like those, we have a Caring Committee that arranges rides, provides meals in times of illness, assists with shiva, visits the sick, and more. We also sponsor Mitzvah Day for congregants by making items to brighten their day and provide networking opportunities for people seeking employment. 
If you know of someone who is in need of our services, or you are in need yourself, please call the synagogue office directly at 630-627-3912.</span>

We help members dealing with spiritual and life issues (grief and loss, life changes, hopelessness, etc.) to create relationships with clergy and other community members, as well as develop resources to improve spiritual and personal well-being. We offer pastoral counseling with our Rabbis, who genuinely care about individuals and listen with an open, nonjudgmental heart.





At Congregation Etz Chaim, we take diversity and inclusion seriously. We are grounded in the belief that all are created B’tzelem Elohim (in God’s image). B’tzelem Elohim reminds us of the importance of equal access and equal opportunity. 


Inclusion is a mindset, an attitude, and a way of thinking that provides opportunities for meaningful engagement, contributions, and belonging for our community. You’ll see inclusion demonstrated not only in the facilities, but what we offer our guests. 


In terms of our facilities, you’ll find we have ADA accessible:

  • Bathrooms
  • An all-gender bathroom
  • Parking spaces
  • Electronic entry doors
  • Preferred seating in our sanctuary and classrooms
  • A ramp so congregants may access the bimah

In terms of what we offer our guests, if they need it, we have:

  • Sound amplification headsets 
  • Large-print books for all services
  • Magnifying lenses and book lights
  • Deaf Sign Language Interpreters available upon request
  • A table with quiet sensory activities for children who may have difficulty sitting still 
  • Assistants for supporting students with distinct learning abilities in the Religious School classrooms 
  • A resource room for pull-out sessions for children whose learning needs can’t be met in their classroom

Our Inclusion Committee further supports our inclusion endeavors for differently abled community members. Please email any questions or concerns to our Inclusion Specialist, Rachel Wood. 

We value diversity and inclusion by embracing the variety of Jewish experience, thought, and practice. There is more than one way to believe, practice, and live as a Jew and we recognize that. We are a community for people of all backgrounds, gender orientations, and sexualities who support our mission and values. That also means embracing interfaith families.




At Congregation Etz Chaim, we promote an open dialogue with friends and neighbors of different faiths to foster positive relationships. We do so 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 as well. 

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

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 summited 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.



Environmental Task Force Mission Statement

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. Accordingly, we intend to focus on the following:

  • Conducting electronic and textile recycling events on a yearly or bi-yearly basis;
  • Working with the Temple staff, Board of Directors and appropriate committees to minimize our environmental impact and maximize the environmental health of our building and grounds;
  • Presenting educational programs to better understand environmental issues and how our choices affect them;
  • Working with staff and teachers on environmental education for students, as well as suggesting potential B’nai Mitzvah and class projects;
  • Exploring new and additional ways in which we can take positive environmental action.
Tue, June 6 2023 17 Sivan 5783