What's New

Join The ARK Counts Campaign and Help Repair the World!

04/20/16

Small Acts of Kindness can have a big impact on the people around you.

As we count the 49 Days of the Omer, please help The ARK make the world a better place simply by performing Acts of Random Kindness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspire others! Share, tweet, snapchat, Instagram, etc. your Acts of Random Kindness and tag it with #ARKCounts.

Email your good deed(s) to kstoller@arkchicago.org and we will share your story!

Need ideas? Here are 49 Acts of Random Kindness that won’t cost you a lot of time or money.

1.    Allow a parent with impatient children to cut ahead in line at the store
2.    Put some coins in your tzedekah box
3.    Serve dinner at a Café ARK
4.    Hold the door for someone
5.    Clean out your closets and donate items to a thrift shop
6.    Refer your Jewish neighbor in need to The ARK
7.    Give your seat on the bus or train to someone who needs it more
8.    Donate children’s toothpaste and toothbrushes to a local pantry
9.    Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter
10.    Offer to bring a meal to a neighbor who recently had a baby
11.    Volunteer at a senior center
12.    Invite someone to Shabbat dinner
13.    Volunteer at The ARK with your children during a Family Volunteer day
14.    Start a collection drive for a local non-profit
15.    Call your mother/grandmother/aunt/etc. (Mother’s Day is May 8!)
16.    Organize a kindness day at school or camp
17.    Thank a teacher
18.    Mow your elderly neighbors’ lawn
19.    Help someone carry their groceries to the car/door
20.    Write a thank-you letter to someone who deserves it
21.    Teach tzedekah: involve your children in volunteering or donating items
22.    Invite one of your children’s classmates who has never been over to have a playdate
23.    Say hello to new people at your synagogue
24.    Donate pet toys to a local pet shelter
25.    Donate blood
26.    Join a bone marrow registry
27.    Forward a job-seeker’s resume to your contacts
28.    Donate school supplies
29.    Generously tip someone who deserves it
30.    Post information about The ARK on your Facebook/Twitter accounts. You never know when someone may be in need in your circle of friends
31.    Organize a volunteer day at your company/school/congregation
32.    Encourage your business to partner with The ARK’s Employment Services Department
33.    Plant a tree
34.    Refer a business/service you like by using your Facebook/Twitter account
35.    Take food to your local fire station just to say thank you
36.    Donate food to The ARK Northwest food pantry
37.    Share/like a post on a non-profit’s Facebook page
38.    Be nice to the airline ticket agent, post office worker, or cashier, even when you’re frustrated
39.    Volunteer to read to children at a local school
40.    Volunteer to tutor children at a local school
41.    Visit residents at a seniors’ residence or nursing home
42.    Make care packages or donate items for Lone Soldiers Generously tip someone who deserves it
43.    Save your magazines after you read them and donate them for the waiting room in The ARK’s Medical Clinic
44.    Send pictures of a family event to a relative who wasn’t able to attend
45.    Call an elderly, distant, or shut-in relative/family friend just to chat
46.    Donate used children’s books and toys to a homeless shelter
47.    Offer your postal carrier a warm or cold drink, depending on the weather
48.    Welcome a new neighbor with a plate of cookies and information about the neighborhood
49.    Invite a lonely acquaintance for a meal

 

ARK Employment Services Brings Sessions to the Northwest Suburbs

04/20/16

The ARK's Employment Services will be holding lunch and learn sessions in Chicago's northwest suburbs! Each energetic session aims to help individuals establish their professional identities. Key topics covered include:

  • Realistic networking methods
  • Interview responses
  • Social media use
  • resume/cover letter development

Kosher dessert will be provided. Sessions are free of charge and open to the entire Jewish community. RSVP at: http://bit.ly/ARKEMPLOYMENT

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about The ARK's Employment Services, please contact Andrea Storz at astorz@arkchicago.org

Upcoming sessions:

Thursday, June 2 at 12:00 p.m.
Temple Jeremiah
937 Happ Rd, Northfield, IL 60093

 

 

 

De-Cluttering? What & What Not to Donate

If you are among the many Jewish Chicagoans cleaning out old clothes, toys, household goods, and other items in preparation for Pesach (or simply cleaning out unwanted items for any reason), you might be wondering what to do with them. Why not donate them to The ARK's Thrift Shop? Sales of donated items help The ARK provide food, medicine and more basic necessities to local Jewish families in need! Your donation may be tax-deductible- saving you money next year!

Donation BoxPlease keep in mind that not all used items may be useful to The ARK's Thrift Shop (or any other thrift store), especially items that would not give dignity to the person that may receive them.

Explained Marty Freed, The ARK's Thrift Shop Director, in a recent article about how organizations benefit from people cleaning out their homes of clutter: “People that are buying used clothing, for the most part, are buying it because they can’t afford to buy new, and we’re not going to put stuff out that they would not feel proud to wear just like anybody else that shops at a store and gets the satisfaction out of buying something and wearing it."

Read the full article in RedEye about the tidying up trends impact on local thrift store here.

Donations of spring and summer clothes, shoes and outerwear (for children and adults) would be greatly appreciated as many shoppers are currently in need of these items. Old TVs (pre-flatscreen), cribs and mattresses cannot be accepted.

Items can be donated to The ARK's Thrift Shop during store hours (call 773.862.5011773.862.5011 for hours.) The Shop is located on 1302 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Donated items cannot be accepted at The ARK's office on California Ave. or at The ARK Northwest. You can donate items the first Sunday of every month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at The ARK Northwest, 3100 Dundee Rd., Suite 802, Northbrook.

For questions, or to schedule a pickup of large furniture items, please call the Shop at 773.862.5011773.862.5011. The ARK Thrift Shop is closed Friday afternoons and all day Saturday.

Make Your Jewish Legacy at The ARK

The ARK's Legacy Program is an opportunity to deepen your commitment to the Jewish value that we are all responsible for one another, today and well into the future. Anyone, regardless of their age and financial resources, can leave a legacy gift to The ARK through a bequest in a will, gift of life insurance, gift of IRA or pension funds, gift of cash or assets, charitable gift annuity, or other gifts. It's a gift that will make a difference in the lives of families in our community for years to come, and inspire others to care for our Jewish family.

Please join our Legacy Program by April 30 to help us reach our goal needed to receive a $10,000 grant from the JUF and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

To participate in The ARK's Legacy Program, simply fill out The ARK's non-binding Declaration of Intent (link is below) and return to us at mbriefman@arkchicago.org or fax to 773.973.6865, or email Marisa to have one sent to you.  All participants in The ARK's legacy program will be The ARK's guests at our Legacy Society Event at Ravinia this August.

For more information about The ARK's Legacy Program, please email Marisa at mbriefman@arkchicago.org (If you have already made a legacy gift to The ARK and would like us to be aware of it, please contact Marisa.)

"As my parents planted for me before I was born, so do I plant for those who will come after me." - Talmud        


Support for Create a Jewish Legacy comes from Life & Legacy, which is funded by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and an anonymous funder.

The ARK Dedicates Examination Room in Memory of Susan Sokol, a"h

Wife of ARK Co-Founder Remembered for Commitment to Helping Others

“Courageous.” “Kind.” “A role model.”

Those are just a few of the words used to describe Mrs. Susan Sokol, a"h, the late wife of ARK co-founder Dr. Binyomin Sokol. Mrs. Sokol was revered by many in the community for her extraordinary dedication and determination to help improve the lives of others, and for her unwavering support of her husband’s crucial role at The ARK. Dr. Sokol was instrumental in establishing The ARK. He served as The ARK’s first volunteer doctor when the agency opened its doors as a free medical clinic in 1971, and continued to serve in various roles at The ARK for decades – work that meant countless, unpaid hours away from his family.

As a fitting tribute to Mrs. Sokol, The ARK has named what was Dr. Sokol’s favorite medical examination room at The ARK in her memory. The ARK hosted a dedication ceremony on Friday, February 5 – an event that was attended by a standing-room only audience comprised of family members, friends, ARK clients, current and former board members, staff and volunteers.

“We could not be more proud of the fact that The ARK is so closely identified with the name Sokol. Dr. and Mrs. Sokol’s chesed has led to thousands of Jewish Chicagoans receiving the vital support and care they needed,” commented Dr. Marc Swatez, Executive Director of The ARK. “None of what Dr. Sokol accomplished would have been possible without his wife’s support. It is therefore fitting that we dedicate an examination room in our Medical Clinic to her memory."

Supporting her husband’s volunteer work was just one of the many ways that Mrs. Sokol had a tremendous impact on the community.

“My wife was a Dr. Sokol In Front of the Susan Sokol Examination Roomwoman who was very kind and giving,” described Dr. Sokol of his late wife. “She gave of herself, whatever she had…she would never give up, trying again and again to relieve the pain of an older boy or girl.”

“Mrs. Sokol was indescribably extraordinary,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Eichenstein. Rabbi Eichenstein, an esteemed community leader known for his visionary leadership, compassion and generosity, was instrumental in the founding of The ARK. “How she survived those early years when The ARK was being formed by our ad-hoc group that had miracles happening every day at that time, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it took superhuman strength of character and devotion.”

“She was a role model for all the women in the community,” explained Rabbi Shlomo Tenenbaum, Director of Spiritual Enrichment at The ARK. “She did chesed in her home at the highest level – things that almost nobody would do.”

Those “things” included taking in people who otherwise would have been homeless.

“When we went to the house, we would probably find somebody staying in the house that could have been from any segment of Klal Yisrael, and be living in the house anywhere from a few days to a few months,” recalled Dr. Sokol. “All these people, every guest, was treated…like the most important person in the world - because in Susan’s eyes, they were royalty.”

The plaque that hangs on the wall outside of the examination room is a testament to the Sokols’ legacy- a legacy that, in the words of Rabbi Tenenbaum, “will continue to live on in our hearts.” 

 

Donate to a family in need (Matanot Le'Evyonim)

03/04/16

100% of your donation will be distributed to the needy on Purim day.

3 easy ways to donate:

1. Donate online at www.arkchicago.org/donate
Select “Purim-Matanot Le'Evyonim” in the Gift Designation field; then enter the appropriate amount on the next page.

2. By phone: 773-681-8980

3. In person at either of our two offices:

The ARK, 6450 N. California, Chicago, IL 60645
**Special hours on Purim day, Thursday, March 24: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The ARK Northwest, 3100 Dundee Rd., Suite 802, Northbrook, IL, 60062
**Special hours on Purim day, Thursday, March 24: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Questions? Call Yehudis Gerstein at 773-681-8980 or email ygerstein@arkchicago.org.

Happy Purim!

 

Sponsor ARK Mishloach Manot

03/04/16

Sponsor ARK Mishloach Manot at $36.00 per Mishloach Manot package.

4 easy ways to donate:

1. Donate online at www.arkchicago.org/donate
Select “Purim-Mishloach Manot” in the Gift Designation field; then enter the appropriate amount on the next page.

2. Mail your check to The ARK, 6450 N. California, Chicago, IL 60645

3. By phone: 773-681-8980

4. In person at either of our two offices:

The ARK, 6450 N. California, Chicago, IL 60645
**Special hours on Purim day, Thursday, March 24: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The ARK Northwest, 3100 Dundee Rd., Suite 802, Northbrook, IL, 60062
**Special hours on Purim day, Thursday, March 24: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Questions? Call Yehudis Gerstein at 773-681-8980 or email ygerstein@arkchicago.org.

Happy Purim!

 

Little Girl, Big Heart

Seven-Year Old Pledges To Donate Portion of Her Allowance to Help Others

Recently, The ARK received a handwritten letter from seven-year old Hannah. In a beautiful act of generosity, Hannah promised part of her allowance to help others.

“I’m going to every week donate three dollars to your business to help the Jews,” Hannah wrote.Hannah, left, pictured with her mother, Becca, father, Sam and sister, Lily

Hannah's big heart stems from her parents, Sam and Becca, who have instilled in their children a strong connection to their Jewish heritage. It is a message that has resonated with Hannah.

“When she’s in public school, she wants to do as much as she can to promote Judaism,” explained Hannah's mother, Becca.

Sam and Becca originally came up with the idea to donate a portion of Hannah’s allowance to a charity.

“We always feel that it’s important to give back, and that it helps you appreciate the things you have when you think about people who have less,” Becca said. “It’s important to share and make sure that others in your community are supported.”

The choice to donate to The ARK, however, was Hannah’s.

“I want to help the Jewish people,” Hannah said. “I want to help them find homes and food, and help them survive.”

Those are very big words from a little girl. For our part, The ARK promises that we will use every single dollar Hannah spends wisely, ensuring it provides food, medicine and other basic necessities for Chicagoland Jews in need.

From the bottom on our hearts, we want to thank Becca and the thousands of people of all ages who make The ARK's incredible work possible.

The ARK Dedicates Examination Room in Memory of Susan Sokol, a"h

Wife of ARK Co-Founder Remembered for Commitment to Helping Others

“Courageous.” “Kind.” “A role model.”

Those are just a few of the words used to describe Mrs. Susan Sokol, a"h, the late wife of ARK co-founder Dr. Binyomin Sokol. Mrs. Sokol was revered by many in the community for her extraordinary dedication and determination to help improve the lives of others, and for her unwavering support of her husband’s crucial role at The ARK. Dr. Sokol was instrumental in establishing The ARK. He served as The ARK’s first volunteer doctor when the agency opened its doors as a free medical clinic in 1971, and continued to serve in various roles at The ARK for decades – work that meant countless, unpaid hours away from his family.

As a fitting tribute to Mrs. Sokol, The ARK has named what was Dr. Sokol’s favorite medical examination room at The ARK in her memory. The ARK hosted a dedication ceremony on Friday, February 5 – an event that was attended by a standing-room only audience comprised of family members, friends, ARK clients, current and former board members, staff and volunteers.

“We could not be more proud of the fact that The ARK is so closely identified with the name Sokol. Dr. and Mrs. Sokol’s chesed has led to thousands of Jewish Chicagoans receiving the vital support and care they needed,” commented Dr. Marc Swatez, Executive Director of The ARK. “None of what Dr. Sokol accomplished would have been possible without his wife’s support. It is therefore fitting that we dedicate an examination room in our Medical Clinic to her memory."

Supporting her husband’s volunteer work was just one of the many ways that Mrs. Sokol had a tremendous impact on the community.

“My wife was a Dr. Sokol In Front of the Susan Sokol Examination Roomwoman who was very kind and giving,” described Dr. Sokol of his late wife. “She gave of herself, whatever she had…she would never give up, trying again and again to relieve the pain of an older boy or girl.”

“Mrs. Sokol was indescribably extraordinary,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Eichenstein. Rabbi Eichenstein, an esteemed community leader known for his visionary leadership, compassion and generosity, was instrumental in the founding of The ARK. “How she survived those early years when The ARK was being formed by our ad-hoc group that had miracles happening every day at that time, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it took superhuman strength of character and devotion.”

“She was a role model for all the women in the community,” explained Rabbi Shlomo Tenenbaum, Director of Spiritual Enrichment at The ARK. “She did chesed in her home at the highest level – things that almost nobody would do.”

Those “things” included taking in people who otherwise would have been homeless.

“When we went to the house, we would probably find somebody staying in the house that could have been from any segment of Klal Yisrael, and be living in the house anywhere from a few days to a few months,” recalled Dr. Sokol. “All these people, every guest, was treated…like the most important person in the world - because in Susan’s eyes, they were royalty.”

The plaque that hangs on the wall outside of the examination room is a testament to the Sokols’ legacy- a legacy that, in the words of Rabbi Tenenbaum, “will continue to live on in our hearts.” 

 

ARK Helps Clients Get Heart Healthy

02/01/16

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. But there is hope; heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their conditions.

Throughout the month of February (which is National American Heart Month), The ARK will be helping hundreds of ARK clients take steps to lower their risk of developing heart disease. The ARK's "heart healthy" activities include:

  • Free blood pressure screening, February 10, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at The ARK, 6450 N. California Ave. (No appointment needed.)  Blood pressure screening is also available at any time; clients should ask their case manager about this and other free medical services available through The ARK's medical clinic.

  • Special "deals" in our food pantry on select foods that are good for heart health. We will also encourage simple dietary modifications such as using a salt substitute.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight.

  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

  • Get active and eat healthy

For more information, please contact The ARK at 773-973-1000.