Wonderful community filled with people who want to make a difference in this world, through prayer, music, art and love...
Mitziut has a very special non-denominational quality- everyone feels welcome despite previous or current experience. The members of the group are friendly and the leadership is creative.
I can easily say that my Yom Kippur with Mitziut was the most meaningful Yom Kippur I've had in years. It was passionate, relevant, and renewing. It was also a breath of fresh air after having gone to services at mainstream congregations where it felt like we were all just going through the motions.
I attend Shabbat services on occasion. I'm part of the Rosh Hodesh group and we led services on the beach over the summer. I attended Rosh Hashana day services with the great musical talent of Layni Katz Meyers acting as chazzan.
I think of Mitziut as a warm Jewish home in Chicago for my daughter and I. Every time we have attended any of the activities: shabbat services, Seder, volunteer in the community, we have come out of the experience transformed. Shabbat at Rabbi Menachem's home is truly a blessing: singing, davening, eating together, all this brings Jewish tradition alive in a way that touches heart, body, and soul. I arrived not knowing anybody at all, and was made to feel welcome. I love the variety of people who are part of the community, from all ages, walks of life and levels of observance. I also appreciated the honest intellectual inquiry, and freedom to express yourself that is felt in the community. Sometimes, even when unable to go services, just by following Mitziut's newsletters and Rabbi Menachem's messages, I have had to pause and refocus the time I was living. I used some of the resources suggested, which helped me in my path in life. My constructive feedback would be to facilitate or encourage more communication among members, so that for those who can only attend events occasionally, there is somebody who they can turn to, so that they feel connected and up to date with how things are going.
I APPLAUDE RABBI MENACHAM AND WENDY FOR THE WORK THEY HAVE DONE FOR JEWISH COMMUNITY AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE. TALK ABOUT TIKUM OLAM. BEFORE ILLNESS STRUCK, I WAS VERY INVOLVED WITH MITZIUT AND WAS HAPPY TO HAVE FOUND A RABBI WHO WAS VERY CARING ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND HIM AND THOSE WHO HE COMES IN CONTACT WITH. AS SOMEONE WHO GREW UP IN THE SOUTH SUBURBS AND WENT TO REFORM SCHUL, RABBI MENACHEM AND MITZIUT MADE NO JUDGEMENTS ABOUT ONES RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND UPBRINGING AND WAS ACCEPTING THAT ALL JEWS ARE JEWS AND THE BASIS FOR BEING JEWISH IS JUSTICE, EDUCATION AND WORKING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. THOUGH I HAVE BEEN SICK THE PAST THREE YEARS, ONCE I AM BETTER TO MAKE THE SCHLEP FROM DOWNTOWN TO MITZIUT I WILL GO AGAIN. MITZIUT AND RABBI MENACHEM ARE TWO GREAT INSTITUTIONS THE CHICAGO JEWISH COMMUNITY WOULD NOT BE AS RICH IF THEY DID NOT EXIST. MICHAEL BERKELEY
Mitziut keeps reaching out to me, and I feel welcome and accepted by the group. I am constantly moved by the level of social justice issues Mitziut participates in, as well as all the inner work~ from meditation, chanting, drumming and dancing. It's a great community. Although I don't go out much, I was sick last year, and have 2 small kiddies, I feel still in the loop, with opportunities to give. Like providing food for a night program Menachem works at called "The Night Ministry". It's really good people. Really good.
I have been going to Mitziut since it began. It is such a wonderful place. I feel accepted for who I am and for however I might feel that day. After participating in a service or event I always feel a deep sense of joy and enlightenment. The High Holidays are such a treat--they make me want to do the work for the holiday and really think about who I am as a person, a woman, and as a Jew. Every year during the break there is yoga which fits with how I pray---from my entire body. Rabbi Menachem also finds interesting and different metaphores to help bring home the ideas of the Torah, Talmud, Halacha, and Misticism. This past Simchat Torah everyone was supported in dancing with the torah in their own way---I had not had this amazing experience till my 30's and at Mitzium my daughter, age 9, got to hold a Torah and create her own way of connecting with it. She was so happy and proud to be a Jew. I feel so blessed that there is a place like Mitziut in Chicago-- it brings Jews back into the whole of Judaism that may have never been interested in their history or their people--it helps every Jew find a way to connect. I highly recommend Mitziut and know that others would feel similarly if they attend. Sincerely, Tamar Levinson
Mitziut fills a void. Jews otherwise unafiliated find a safe and interesting place to express their spirituality outside the constraints of the main avenues available in the general public. "Self" is important and the experience goes with you when you leave. It is a safe and welcoming group full of learning and expressing and feeling.