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Congregation Beth Shalom is an unaffiliated community synagogue — a pluralistic, inclusive, egalitarian blending of many Jewish traditions. We come from a wide spectrum of Jewish traditions, primarily Reform and Conservative, but also Orthodox, secular, and inter-faith.

Congregant Avi Bass at an Israeli Independence Day event (2012).

We respect each other’s traditions, appreciate each other’s talents, share each other’s joys and sorrows, and work together to shape our congregation to serve our members.

Our religious, educational, social, cultural, and social action offerings are flexible to meet the ever-changing needs and practices of our members.

We are served by a part-time rabbi who conducts services, directs the religious school, counsels, leads adult education programs, and performs other rabbinical functions. We are also a member of the Prairie Jewish Coalition, composed of Jewish organizations in McHenry, northwest Cook, Kane, and DeKalb counties.

Good food, good friends, and great weather at our Lox & Bagel brunch

Our local Jewish community has existed for 100 years. While the congregation has third-generation members, most of us come from across the United States and from several other countries.

Our diverse talents enrich our community. We include people such as the accountancy professor who served as our treasurer, the amateur trumpet player who learned to blow the shofar, and the member who created the hangings that adorn our lecterns on the High Holy Days.

We welcome visitors, especially those new to the area, and NIU students and their families to all services and events.