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West_Suburban Temple Har Zion
Address for Conservative Judaism in Chicago's Western Suburbs.

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  • New Temple Mission Statement

  • ~~
    A message from the Rabbi
    President's Message

    Kallah meals

    West Suburban Temple Shalom. The members of West Suburban Temple Har Zion welcome you to our community and invite you to visit our synagogue. As a member of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, we offer a wide range of programs and activities for all ages and interests.

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    Bulletin Update
    Announcements - - Upcoming Events
    Portion of the Week
    In Memoriam Section
    Calendar of Events 
    2 months at a glance
    Worship Services Education
    Social Programs Sisterhood
    Kallah Our annual retreat. West Suburban Outreach Program
    Community Involvement Art and Architecture
    Facilities Membership
    Lengthy List of Jewish Links
    Updated October, 2000
    The Temple Gift Shop
    Your Source for Judaica
    The Oak Park/River Forest
    How to find us Maps and directions.
    Your comments are welcome. 
    Sign our Guestbook
    The Gropper WindowsDove Icon
    Jewish Adult Education 
    in Oak Park - River Forest
    The History of
    West Suburban Temple
    Photos of recent Temple events.
    Kadima and USY
    A message from the Rabbi
    A message from the President
    Dr. Victor A. Mirelman, Rabbi; Joseph Tabachnik, Rabbi Emeritus; Cantor Stewart Figa, Hazzan; Harvey Gross, Administrator; Alicia M. Gejman, Principal.

    West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 N. Harlem, River Forest IL 60305 Voice:(708)366-9000 Fax: (708)366-9006, E-mail:

    Worship Services

    West Suburban Temple Har Zion offers a full schedule of services throughout the year. Our morning minyan meets every day of the year. Shabbat services are held every Friday night and Saturday morning. Family Services are regularly scheduled throughout the year. Special children's services are also held during the school year. Special events include the Purim Megillah Reading, the Congregational Second Seder, Simchat Torah (with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band) and Chanukkah.
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    Programs for all ages and all levels of knowledge are constantly being developed and modified to meet the needs of the congregants. These programs currently include:

    New Mothers Program

    First time mothers and their babies meet one hour per week for six weeks to learn the ups and downs of new motherhood and to make new friends.

    Parent Toddler Program

    This program is for parents and/or care givers with their 18- month to 3-year olds and runs one hour, one morning per week.

    Nursery School

    Our licensed nursery school for children 3 to 4 years old meets 4 mornings per week. All of our staff have extensive experience with young children and formal education in Childhood Development.


    This licensed school for children 4 to 5 1/2 years old is structured to meet the more advanced needs of the older child. Students attend four afternoons per week.  Children of this age can also participate in a Sunday morning program.

    Camp Zion

    Our summer camp program has a long and rich tradition at West Suburban Temple Har Zion. It enjoys a reputation for its low student to teacher ratio.

    Camp Zion is divided into two groups; Katan is for younger campers, ages 3 to 4; Gadol is for older campers, ages 5 to 6. Littlest Learners, who will be entering the morning nursery program in the Fall are welcome to join the Katan group and come to camp two days a week. All other campers come to camp five days a week.

    Our campers begin their day in the fresh air of our playlot. Once inside our spacious, air conditioned rooms, the campers receive a nutritious snack. Projects and activities are tied to weekly themes. Local field trips add to the fun! The day ends just before lunchtime with outdoor play.

    Camp Zion is offered in four sessions. Each session is two weeks long for the convenience of its campers and their parents. Contact the temple office for registration information.

    Religious School

    The curriculum focuses on the Hebrew language, synagogue skills, Bible, Jewish history, and the study of Israel. Students from Pre-kindergarten though 7th grade meet at the Temple on Sunday mornings, Beginning with the 2nd  grade, students participate in a midweek program at the Temple, as well. We also offer an early morning additional class every other Sunday to accomodate children that live in the Western Suburbs and Downtown Chicago, who can't participate in the mid-week program.

    Workshops on Jewish themes are regularly scheduled. Through the S.K.I.P. program and the Horwich and Schmetterer Scholarships, students are encouraged to attend Jewish summer camps and to visit Israel.

    Hebrew High School

    Additional opportunities for advanced studies are offered to post B'nai Mitzvah students.

    Adult Education

    Weekly classes are offered in Bible, synagogue and home service skills, and preparation to become adult B'nai Mitzvah. The Sunday morning lecture series is well regarded. Classes or informal groups also meet to study such things as Yiddish, Hebrew literacy, Jewish cooking, Israeli dancing, Talmud, Kabbalah, current events. You name it--either there is a group ongoing or, if there is enough interest we will try to start one. Introductory classes are offered for those considering conversion to Judaism.

    For a complete listing of Jewish adult education programs in Oak Park and River Forest follow the link near the bottom of this page. 

    Kadima and United Synagogue Youth (USY)

    Pre-teens and teens participate in our chapters of the Conservative movement's national youth groups and have the opportunity to meet, socialize and study with Jewish youth from other communities. West Suburban Kadima now has its own website at

    Film Series

    The generous donation of a television and VCR with a 60&quote screen has made it possible for the Temple to offer the presentation of films of interest to our community. These films are sometimes followed by discussions led by the Rabbi or other individuals familiar with the themes presented.


    An annual Kallah is held at Camp Chi in the Wisconsin Dells. This retreat offers an opportunity for families to join in a weekend of reflection, learning and fellowship.

    A complete catalogue of adult education offerings of West Suburban Temple, Oak Park Temple and Shir Ami is now available online. This catalogue is updated throughout the year.

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    Social Programs

    As a center of Jewish social life, the Temple is a place for members of all ages to gather, meet, and grow. The coffee pot is always on (except on Yom Kippur). From informal onegs and family Shabbat dinners to the annual Dinner Dance, young families, seniors and youth all find a Jewish address here.
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    Sisterhood welcomes women of all ages into its fold. Our sisterhood has long played an integral role in congregational life by offering opportunities for friendship and a diverse assortment of exciting programs and social activities. Sisterhood members also manage the Portes Gift Shop and the Temple library. The Sisterhood Choral Group presents musical programs for the Temple and throughout the Chicago area.
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    West Suburban Outreach Program

    The Temple's Outreach Program plans activities that serve as the spiritual and social bridge for members residing in the far west and southwest suburbs.
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    Community Involvement

    Our synagogue and its members are involved in various aspects of community life, including participation in the Community of Congregations, an organization of faith communities on the Oak Park- River Forest-Forest Park area. Members actively support Tri-Village PADS, which provides shelter for the homeless throughout the winter months and are involved in other social action projects. The Community of Congregations page includes a listing of upcoming events, information about other faith communities in our area and information on social action and volunteerism as well.
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    Art and Architecture

    Milton Horn Sculpture West Suburban Temple Har Zion is the home of the massive (and once controversial) Milton Horn Sculpture, &quotNot by Might . . .," which graces the exterior of the east wall. An additional Horn sculpture is in the Sanctuary. The Temple is also the home of the magnificent Gropper Windows. These two story high windows installed in 1967 summarize in brilliant chunks of colored glass the story of Genesis. We are proud to announce an award winning Web page based on these windows. Visit The Gropper Windows page to see photographs of the windows and for a discussion of the contents of each window. This fall we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the installation of the windows.
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    In 1996 we celebrated completion of a major renovation project under the guidance of renowned Oak Park architect, John Thorpe. Our magnificent building was originally constructed in two stages between 1950 and 1953. Office, library and classroom spaces were been relocated and expanded. Infrastructure, systems and furnishings have been refurbished or replaced and brought up to the state of the art. The building is being made ADA compliant to enable all of our members to participate fully in our activities. This work was completed under the leadership of Shirley Lieb and Robert Goldstine.

    Although most of the of the funds necessary for this campaign have been raised there are still opportunities to participate. In addition there are a number of additional funds and projects which may offer appropriate ways to honor or memorialize family or friends. For additional information call the Temple office (708)366-9000

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    The building currently has a ramp for wheel chair access and offers F.M. receivers for the hard of hearing at services and most lectures. New features include expanded library facilities for children and adults, a new chapel, a large gift shop, meeting spaces, offices and much more. New rest rooms for both men and women are handicap accessible and include changing tables. A new elevator makes all three floors of the building accessible to all.

    Goldstine Sanctuary

    This beautiful, brick and wood sanctuary seats nearly 300 in its normal configuration but can be expanded to seat nearly three times that many when the bimah is moved on its concealed tracks. A magnificent new ark was dedicated a few years ago. The sanctuary was refurbished as a part of the Kadima project with new lighting, seats and carpeting.

    Gottlieb Community Hall

    Our social hall is used for a variety of educational, social, and cultural events. It can comfortably seat up to 250 for a luncheon or dinner. With its new hardwood floor it has been rejuvenated as a site for family simchas and community events. It is the site of the Gropper Windows. The unique architecture of this building permits the bimah in the Goldstine Sanctuary to be moved through the hall on tracks enlarging the sanctuary for special occasions but leaving room for small receptions on all but the High Holy Days.

    Guralnick Chapel/Multipurpose Room

    One of the most exciting new spaces resulting from the Kadima project is the new Guralnick Chapel/Multipurpose room. This room has a concealed Ark, enabling the room to be used for meetings and as a lounge as well as an intimate chapel for our growing Junior Congregation as well as the Shohet Daily Minyan.

    Kosher Kitchen

    Our recently renovated, fully equipped kitchen is strictly kosher and available for all events.

    The Gift Shop

    The Gift Shop is stocked with an extensive selection of Judaica. Come and see our selection of books, Sabbath and holiday items, jewelry, and giftware. If you see a Judaic item in another location, give us the opportunity to order it for you. We have many catalogues and can place your order.

    Call---708-366-9000 for special appointments

    Temple Library

    The expanded Temple library subscribes to many magazines and has about 2,500 books. In its new, bright location it is inviting to all and is accessible by elevator to all.

    Hootnick Children's Library

    This new facility houses our extensive children's collection, interactive equipment and is also a teacher resource center.

    Life Cycle Needs

    Temple facilities are available to members for all ceremonies from Brit Millah and B'nai Mitzvah to weddings and funerals.


    Each month, the Temple Bulletin informs members of upcoming regular and special events at the synagogue. It provides news regarding our congregants and about our diverse religious, educational and social programs.
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    The Temple has a reasonable dues structure that is designed to take into account the needs of families and individuals at different stages of the life cycle so that all can participate. Please contact the administrator, Harvey Gross for information.
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    Links to Jewish Web Sites

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has its own home page with information about the movement and other congregations. Additional links to the United Synagogue and other sites of Jewish interest have been collected in our own Lengthy List of Jewish Links.

    Your additions, suggestions, corrections and annotations are welcome. Please send them to Leonard Grossman

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    Schedule of Services

    Shohet Daily Minyan
    Monday and Thursday at 7:30 a.m.
    Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:45 a.m.
    Sunday at 9:00 a.m.  
    Shabbat Services
    Friday  Evening at 6:30 p.m.
    Saturday Morning  at 10:00 a.m.

    See the calendar and the Bulletin Update for the schedule of services for upcoming holidays and for details about special events.
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    West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 N. Harlem, River Forest IL 60305 Voice:(708)366-9000 Fax: (708)366-9006, E-mail:



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