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JET- Jewish Education Team
October 28, 2011

Welcome to the new JET e-newsletter !

I hope you had a wonderful Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
Mrs. Avigial Burian with JET students in the JET sukkah on the quad of U of I in Champaign


While my family was in Los Angeles celebrating with my wife's family, the Garfinkels were here in Chicago and the Burians were in Champaign. You can read Rabbi Burian's full report of all his Sukkot activities below.


Now that the holidays are over, the JET team is busy with programs all over Illinois, almost every day of the week. Next week is our biggest event of the year -  Chicago METROFEST 2011. One hundred college students and young professionals will be celebrating an amazing Shabbaton together at a hotel, with . We still have a few spots open so apply right now if you don't want to miss out (see below for link). 

Voting is almost over in the Jewish Community Hero contest. I need your vote every day until November 10 to be in the top 10 and stand a chance to win $25,000 for JET. Go to to vote. Thank you.


Warm regards,
Rabbi Zev Kahn
Founder and Director


P.S.  To get our year off to a great start, I'd like to ask you if you would please make a donation to JET at Thank you.
Metrofest Chicago is Back!
If you are college student or young professional, we have many exciting programs coming up in the New Year, including our fourth METROFEST which this year will bring 100 participants Metrofest Chicago 2011from all over Illinois for an amazing weekend of fun, food and friends.  Click the image to the right to apply now!
Only 10 spots remain, so don't delay.


 Get Rabbi Zev Kahn in the top 10 for Jewish Community Hero and help JET win $25,000!


I'm honored to have been nominated by a JET student to be a 2011 Jewish Community Hero. This is more a referendum on the importance of Jewish education for college students than just the great work JET or myself does. Help bring this critical issue to the forefront of Jewish communal consciousness and vote now at:


Voting has been going on for a  while now and I'm very touched by everyone who has voted for me (and JET). I am currently number 11 on the leaderboard of Career heroes and need your vote to get back in the top 10. The top 10 go through to the second round and JET will then stand a chance of winning $25,000!




 Sukkot in Champaign

by Rabbi Ari Burian 


Sukkot in Champaign was packed with great holiday programs all week long!




We started out on Wednesday night, moving our Maimonides class to my house, or to be precise my sukkah, for a Yom Tov dinner and discussion. Between courses, we had 10 minutes lessons on "What is the essence of a Jewish holiday," "Why do we celebrate Sukkot in the autumn," "Understanding the connection of the 4 species to our lives," and "Learning Faith from the Sukkah."


On Thursday we had a Yom Tov lunch for the Maimonides 2 students, who came with lots of questions about how a sukkah is built and what makes it kosher.


On Friday my family ate lunch at Hillel and we had an opportunity to connect with the students there. On Friday night we had a large crowd for Shabbat dinner in the sukkah, which included lots of singings and celebrating. Saturday we had Shabbat lunch in the sukkah, and ate the 3rd meal at Hillel which I led in place of the JLIC rabbi who ate at home to support his wife, who just had a baby boy this past Wednesday!


Sunday was a "Sukkah on the Quad". We put up a sukkah on the grass behind the union, and served homemade kosher Chinese food, and had special musical guest Eliyahu Dvorin from Kol Ish and Key Tov Orchestra.



On Monday we hosted a dinner for the law students. We served "Soup in the Sukkah," and I taught a class on environmental law, to combine our outdoor holiday with the legal field. The topic was "Man's Right to the World's Resources."


On Tuesday I traveled to Bloomington to lead a lunch and learn in the sukkah at Illinois Wesleyan University. This was the first time in 4 years that a sukkah was put up anywhere in the town of Bloomington, IL. We spoke about the meaning of the sukkah, and I taught the students about the lulav and etrog, and they got to experience performing the mitzvah, almost all of them for the first time. I then went that evening to Normal, IL to Illinois State University. They didn't have a sukkah, so instead of a meal we had ice cream, and I again taught about the meaning of the holiday to the crowd of students.


After a week of great programs, I am proud to say I interacted with 107 different students at 10 programs over 7 days, with many students attending several of the events.