Among the Jewish festivals, Shavuot has been the most sadly neglected by secular Jews, either because it falls outside the standard Hebrew school year or, after Passover, many of us just have serious holiday fatigue. This is a shame, because Shavuot has some nice features, namely encouragement of consumption of cheesecake and all-night study sessions. For many organizations that want to appeal to modern Jews, that means eating the cheesecake out with bagels and coffee, and talking about the Torah and stuff, and hoping that the late hour will bring back some of the loopy feeling of college life, though without the pressure of impending exams.
Anyway, that’s the sort of celebration Mishkan Chicago is planning for next Wednesday, May 24. They’re jumping the gun a bit; Shavuot won’t actually start for another week, but hey—at least this won’t interfere with your Memorial Day plans! Also, it only goes till 10 PM, so you can still be alert at work the next morning. And you don’t have to study the Torah, though that is an option (led by Rabbi Benay Lappe of Svara, a “traditionally radical” yeshiva geared toward queer Jews); there will also be discussions of Judaism without God, Israel 50 years after the 1967 war, and a more general conversation about the future of the Jewish people. And there will be crafts. And drumming. Festivities start at 6:30 PM at Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph.
In other news, Mizrahi on Clark has finally opened in Lakeview, at 3037 N. Clark. It’s kosher-certified and promises to serve only hormone-free meat, prepared according to old family recipes.