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West_Suburban Temple Har Zion

The Address for Conservative Judaism in Chicago's Western Suburbs.

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
Complete High Holiday Schedule
Calendar of Events
2 months at a glance
Worship Services
Social Programs
Kallah Our annual retreat.
West Suburban Outreach Program
Community Involvement
Art and Architecture
Lengthy List of Jewish Links
Updated November, 1999
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

Dr. Victor A. Mirelman, Rabbi; Joseph Tabachnik, Rabbi Emeritus; Cantor Stewart Figa, Hazzan; Harvey Gross, Administrator; Alicia M. Gejnan, 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 three or five 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 five afternoons per week.

Camp Zion

Our outstanding summer program, Camp Zion, provides fresh air and fun for children ages 3-6. Visit this page in Spring for more details about the 1999 season.

Religious School

The curriculum focuses on the Hebrew language, synagogue skills, Bible, Jewish history, and the study of Israel. Students from kindergarten though 7th grade meet ant the Temple on Sunday mornings, Beginning with the 3rd grade, students may participate in a midweek program at the Temple or in Downers Grove. 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.

Film Series

The generous donation of a television and VCR with a 60"e screen has made it possible for the Temple to offer the presentation of films of interest to our community. These films are 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, "Not 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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The Kadima Campaign

We have recently completed an exciting renovation with the guidance of renowned Oak Park architect, John Thorpe. We celebrated completion of this $1.5 million project in early September, 1996. Our magnificent building was originally constructed in two stages between 1950 and 1953. The current project is designed to meet the needs of a growing and vibrant congregation well into the 21st Century. Office, library and classroom spaces have 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 Temple has just undergone a massive renovation which has effected the use of certain facilities during the recent months, but is now virtually completed. 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.

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 fully stocked for Hanukkah 5960. We have Menorahs, many different types of Hanukkah candles, candy, draydels, and gifts for young and old.

Special Pre Hanukkah Hours

Sundays -- 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Mon. Nov. 29th---11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tues. Nov. 30th---8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 1st ----11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thurs. Dec 2nd----8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 3rd--------8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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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  • For information about anything on this page please contact Harvey Gross, Temple Administrator at:
West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 N. Harlem, River Forest IL 60305 Voice:(708)366-9000 Fax: (708)366-9006, E-mail:

Your comments will be appreciated. Please sign our Guest book Guestbook

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Copyright 1998 West Suburban Temple Har Zion. Blue Ribbon Rev. Sunday, November 14, 1999

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