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Posted on: March 1, 2017

City of Highland Park and Local Clergy Collaborate To Meet Community Needs

Highland Park, Illinois – Representatives from denominations across the religious spectrum met with Mayor Nancy Rotering at Highland Park City Hall last week as part of an on-going effort to address human service needs, increase equity and inspire civic engagement throughout the community. This group serves as a direct line to the City, strategically enhancing communication and connecting community members to a multitude of initiatives that benefit the day-to-day lives of those who live and work in our area. As part of the meetings, non-profit partners are often invited to educate and raise awareness of services and critical issues facing the community.

“People often go to their faith and community leaders in search of guidance, comfort and assistance. Too often, they do not know where to access programs, services and even discover opportunities to make a difference,” stated Mayor Nancy Rotering. “Since its inception, this group has been vital in forging partnerships, connecting our most vulnerable neighbors with services that address quality of life issues, and bringing the community together to address challenges before us.”

The outcome of the recent meeting resulted in plans to assist with the assessment and communication of expanded transit services available to seniors via the Senior Connector, as well as free income tax return preparation assistance for low-and-moderate income taxpayers offered by Moraine Township. In addition, the group plans to collaborate on drug abuse prevention via Community. The Anti-Drug and assist with raising awareness of specific legal services available at the Highland Park – Highwood Legal Aid Clinic.

The following houses of worship and representatives have participated in current and past meetings:

Representatives  

House of Worship

Ryan Daniels, Steve Mason, Lisa Greene, Wendi Geffen

North Shore Congregation Israel

Tom Baldonieri

St. James

Jay Greener, Richard Hocking, Amanda Rosengren, Dan Babarik, Ethan Carlson, Michelle Becker

Church of the Redeemer

Tom Gindorff

Bahai Faith of HP

Susan Shulman, Alicia De La Cruz

HPHLAC

Isaac Serotta,  Allison Gelman

Lakeside Congregation

Michael Sommer

Har Shalom Synagogue

Bruce Elder

Hakafa

Steven Lowenstein, Elaine Wexler

Am Shalom

Julian Martinson

Central Avenue Synagogue

Luke Tillett

Chinese Christian Union Church

Dan Syversten

Christ Church

Evan Moffic

Congregation Solel

Rick Bersano, Jim Buckman

Faith Lutheran Church

Young Choi, Shin Han, Lee Hyu Jae, Ro Jae Yong

Galilee United Methodist Church

Jason Acres

Harvest Bible Chapel

David Perkins

Highland Park Presbyterian Church

Kenneth Anderson, David Yep

Immaculate Conception Church Rectory

Adam Chalom

Kol Hadash

Marlene Walker

North Shore Unitarian Church

Vernon Kurtz, Michael Schwab

North Suburban Synagogue Beth El

Court Williams, Herbert Brostein

Trinity Episcopal Church

In 2013, Mayor Nancy Rotering created the all-volunteer Human Services Task Force (HSTF) to assess needs and inventory services available to the community. The HSTF identified area clergy as a group that could help assist with outreach and programs. Beginning in 2014, an ever-growing group of clergy meets quarterly with the Mayor at Highland Park City Hall. Coordinated efforts, communication and areas addressed by the group include: domestic abuse prevention, food insecurity, promoting volunteer opportunities, gun violence prevention awareness, anti-bullying, inclusivity, and the prevention of child abuse.

For additional information regarding the local clergy group, contact the Mayor’s Office at 847.926.1008 or visit www.cityhpil.com.

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