This Week in Chicago: Poetry, Mussar and Jewish Voice For Peace

This week in Chicago, like Jews everywhere, you’ll be stocking up on your Passover supplies. It’s not quite time to panic over seder preparations yet, so here’s a list of a few things that are going on, if you’re not tempted by the smell of bacon that will be emanating from the University of Illinois-Chicago Forum, which will be hosting this year’s Baconfest.

Tonight, 3/30, at 7 PM the great Jami Attenberg discusses her new book “All Grown Up” at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln.

Yes, tomorrow, 3/31, is a Friday, but it’s also a special edition of First Tuesdays With Mick and Ben, the monthly live talk show with political writers Mick Dumke of the Sun-Times and Ben Joravsky of the Reader. This month, they’ll be talking with U.S. Representative Danny Davis and Luis Gutierrez about congressional resistance in the Trump era. It starts at 6:30 PM at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia.

On Saturday, 4/1, there will be a release party for Kevin Coval’s new book of poems, “A People’s History of Chicago,” at 7 PM at Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee. The book contains 77 poems, one for each of Chicago’s designated community areas. Through his poens, Koval tells the story of the city from its earliest Native American inhabitants through the night last fall when the Cubs won the World Series. The author will be joined by some of the poets from this year’s Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry competition.

On Sunday, 4/2, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs will be hosting Out From the Narrows, a community meeting to discuss how Jews can take action for police accountability. The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. at KAM Isaiah Israel, 1100 E. Hyde Park. Speakers include Stacey Robey whose sister Michele was killed by police in February and Arewa Karen Winters whose nephew Pierre Loury was killed by police last April, as well as various community and religious leaders.

Jewish Voice for Peace will be holding its national convention this weekend at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 S. King. It kicks off Friday evening, and the speeches and workshops will continue for the next two days. Yes, Rasmea Odeh is still on the schedule.

On an entirely different note, this weekend is also Mussar weekend at KAM Isaiah Israel, 1100 E. Hyde Park. Alan Morinis, founder and dean at the Mussar Institute, will give a lecture on Friday night and lead a couple of workshops on Saturday to introduce Chicagoans to this spiritual practice that uses meditation to cultivate 48 spiritual qualities specified by the Talmud to bring inner light into our lives.

The Spertus Institute will be hosting a Jewish community networking night on Wednesday, 4/5, at 610 S. Michigan. There will be free drinks and hors d’oeuvres to ease the awkwardness. RSVP by 4/3 at

*Aimee Levitt reports regularly on Chicagoland for the Forward. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter, @aimeelevitt


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This Week in Chicago: Poetry, Mussar and Jewish Voice For Peace

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