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As COVID-19 restrictions lift, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC) will worship and socialize together in-person with outdoor lakefront Shabbat services in Evanston lasting throughout the summer. The congregation welcomes all to join them.
The Friday evening services take place from 6 to 7 p.m. in parks along the shore of Lake Michigan and are open to everyone, including children. JRC’s Rabbi Rachel Weiss, Cantor Howard Friedland, and Rabbi David Eber will lead the song-filled Shabbat services.
“This favorite JRC tradition is one of the best ways we celebrate community – out in the community!” Rabbi Weiss said. “Everyone is welcome, new friends are made, and we weave the themes of Shabbat of Rest and Renewal and Connection with the natural wonders around us. It’s like the best of Jewish sleepaway camp without having to leave the city.”
The Shabbat services are held at Elliot Park (Lakeshore Boulevard at Hamilton Street) in Evanston, except for June 25, when it will be at Noah’s Playground (Sheridan Road at Central Street, next to Lighthouse Beach.) The last of the summer services will be Aug. 27.
“The lakefront services will be very informal and relaxed,” Cantor Friedland said. “Your kids can run around and play. You can run around and play, if you’re so inclined! It’s just a great time for all of us to check in and be together. Plus, there’s no better backdrop with which to think about the wonders of the universe than Lake Michigan.”
People are invited to bring their own folding chair or picnic blanket. Up-to-date COVID-19 safety information will be posted to JRC’s website. The services will be livestreamed on the JRC Facebook Page for those preferring to join virtually. JRC had been holding services on Zoom every Friday night for more than a year as a way for the congregation to worship and build community together during the pandemic.
“Lakefront Shabbat is a wonderful experience for the whole family!” JRC Rabbi David Eber said. “Whether you prefer singing the traditional Shabbat melodies, playing and schmoozing at our ‘playground minyan,’ or having some quiet moments of reflection by Lake Michigan – there are many ways to celebrate Shabbat and to be in community.”
Date, Time, and Location Information:
- All services will be from 6 to 7 p.m.
- Elliot Park: Lakeshore Boulevard at Hamilton Street
- Noah’s Playground: Sheridan Road at Central Street, next to Lighthouse Beach
- Fri, June 4: Elliot Park
- Fri, June 11: Elliot Park
- Fri, June 18: Elliot Park
- Fri, June 25: Noah’s Playground
- Fri, July 2: Elliot Park
- Fri, July 9: Elliot Park
- Fri, July 16: Elliot Park
- Fri, July 23: Elliot Park
- Fri, July 30: Elliot Park
- Fri, Aug. 6: Elliot Park
- Fri, Aug. 13: Elliot Park
- Fri, Aug. 20: Elliot Park
- Fri, Aug. 27: Elliot Park