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:
House of Worship
Ryan Daniels, Steve Mason, Lisa Greene, Wendi Geffen
North Shore Congregation Israel
Jay Greener, Richard Hocking, Amanda Rosengren, Dan Babarik, Ethan Carlson, Michelle Becker
Church of the Redeemer
Bahai Faith of HP
Susan Shulman, Alicia De La Cruz
Isaac Serotta, Allison Gelman
Har Shalom Synagogue
Steven Lowenstein, Elaine Wexler
Central Avenue Synagogue
Chinese Christian Union Church
Rick Bersano, Jim Buckman
Faith Lutheran Church
Young Choi, Shin Han, Lee Hyu Jae, Ro Jae Yong
Galilee United Methodist Church
Harvest Bible Chapel
Highland Park Presbyterian Church
Kenneth Anderson, David Yep
Immaculate Conception Church Rectory
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.