Comprehensive Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 / 15 Adar I 5782

Beth Emet Building will be Closed on Sunday and Monday for Presidents' Day
Sunday, February 20 - Monday, February 21
Should you need to contact someone at Beth Emet during this time, please call the main number (847-869-4230), and press 4. The Clergy are available in case of an emergency.
Staff Update
We want to share that Danny Blanco, our Education Administrative Assistant’s last day at Beth Emet will be Friday, February 18 (though you may see him around Beit Sefer for a few Sundays). Danny went to school to become a software developer and a recent job opportunity in this field opened up that was too good to refuse. Danny has been our Beit Sefer, Lifelong Learning, and front office support staff for the past two years. He has supported Beit Sefer and the students throughout his time and has always been one of the first people to welcome anyone to the building with a smile. We appreciate how he has stepped up the last few months in the front office as well as the two years of dedicated service that Danny gave to Beth Emet. We wish him all the best in this next chapter of his life. We know many emails and calls for Lifelong Learning and Beit Sefer go through this office, and as we are striving to ensure a smooth transition; we ask for your patience as we actively look for a replacement.
 
Should you have questions regarding Beit Sefer or Lifelong Learning, please reach out to Marci Dickman. And, if you know someone who is looking for an administrative position, please contact Geoff Prass for more information.
Funeral Service for Elaine Knobel
Thursday, February 17 at 10:00 am
We are sad to inform you that Elaine Knobel, wife of the late Rabbi Peter Knobel, passed away last week. This service will be live-streamed. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we may not be able to accommodate all those who wish to attend in person as there are capacity limits. Click here if you wish to register to attend. 
Click here for last week's notice.


Shiva for Elaine Knobel
Thursday, February 17 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Beth Emet (Weiner Room)
Due to capacity limits, there may be a delay in entering the building and visiting with the family. We will have ushers at the west entrance and will monitor the number of people in the Weiner Room. Please note that you must be up-to-date with your vaccinations (including booster) and be fully masked at all times. No food will be served. Please RSVP prior to attending the Shiva
Letter from Mayor Biss about Recent Antisemitic Incidents

In response to the antisemitic incidents in Rogers Park a few weeks ago, the mayor of Evanston, Daniel Biss, issued the following statement to the Jewish community. We are appreciative of the support of the mayor and city leadership to protect the Jewish community and to combat acts of hate and bigotry.
I write to share my deep concern about recent antisemitic events, both across the country and here in the Chicago area.
 
Obviously these episodes are profoundly troubling and frightening. Additionally, I worry that our vocabulary for describing and combating antisemitism in America is inadequate. On the one hand, many of us in the Jewish community are fortunate enough to go through life without encountering meaningful discrimination in the workplace or in interaction with the state. On the other hand, antisemitism lies at the very core of white supremacist ideology and is therefore deeply embedded in the thinking and planning of some of the most dangerous organizations and individuals in our midst.
 
The former reality can mean that for many people, the violent horrors that our people have endured throughout history seem remote and perhaps even irrelevant to contemporary America. The latter means that, tragically, this confidence is misplaced.
 
I say all this not with the belief that any of it is new to you, but rather to underscore the role that leaders can play in steering our discourse about antisemitism to a more complete and accurate place. I, and the City of Evanston, stand ready to play any role you think might be constructive in helping that come to pass.
 
Beyond that, please know that we stand in solidarity with you, the institutions you lead, and the whole Jewish community, as partners in establishing a safe, welcoming, loving community. I am available at any time to work with you in support of this vision; I hope you'll always let me know what I can do to help.
 
Thank you so much for your remarkable contributions to the Jewish community and the whole of Evanston. It means a great deal.
 
Sincerely,
Daniel
 
--
Daniel Biss (he/him/his)
Mayor
Update from the Covid Task Force
All services are back in-person. We continue to offer participation through our online streaming service and Kahal via Zoom.  
 
If you choose to join us in person (and we hope you do!) please remember the following:
  • We continue to require all who are eligible, age 12 and older, to be fully vaccinated if they plan on coming into the building for any reason. “Fully vaccinated” is now defined as two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, plus a booster (or one dose of J&J plus a booster).
  • We are now requiring those ages 5-11 to be fully vaccinated before coming into the building. At this moment, fully vaccinated for children ages 5-11 requires two doses of Pfizer.
  • Your vaccination information must be in our database. This now includes our requirement that all who are eligible must update their information with the date of their booster shot. To do so, click on Individual Member Information for each member of your household (if eligible), and you can add your information on the right column. If you have an issue accessing it, please contact Bekki Kaplan. If you are unable to access the member portal, click on this link for an alternative solution.
  • We will not offer any food at Beth Emet events, including challah and wine/grape juice after Shabbat evening or morning services, until further notice.  

If you test positive for COVID-19 (or start displaying symptoms that are later confirmed by a positive test) within 5 days of being in the building, please contact Geoff Prass so we may notify others who may have been exposed
In the BE Family!
Send Us Your News!
Beth Emet has so many amazing members, each offering unique talents to the greater community. Share your news with all of us so we can both celebrate and get to know one another a bit better…. Especially during these (mostly) virtual times. Send your news here, and if possible, please include a photo!
In recognition of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), we are honored to hear the voices of individuals who have a disability or have a connection to this community.

Introducing Annie Michaels
A Note From Annie:
My name is Annie Michaels. As a person with a disability, I tried many different overnight and day camps. I was lucky to find Camp Ramah’s Atzmayim and Tikvah programs. I finally felt accepted for the first time. In these camp programs, I learned a lot about living independently, working in the community and having fun in a Jewish setting. I am now more confident and involved in the Beth Emet Inclusion Committee, and through my work with the DEI group through JUF and Yachad (an organization that is all about inclusion). I want to add that I have been a member of Beth Emet for my whole life. I had a Bat Mitzvah as part of the Kahal community. It was a very emotional and powerful experience because of how accepting the congregation was during the service. I've met many warm and friendly Beth Emet members and have developed a lot of good connections. 
Mazal Tov to Louis Abbott
Louis Abbott, son of Lynne and Bill Abbott and Senior at New Trier High School, was selected as the first ranked trumpet player in the ILMEA All-State Honors Jazz Ensemble. In addition, he was featured in several improv solos with New Trier’s Jazz 1 band at the New Trier Jazz Festival on February 5th. The Jazz Festival hosted more than 40 schools in the Midwest and clinicians. The evening performance featured Jazz 1 and the New York-based Ulysses Owen Jr. band and special guest, Marquis Hill.
Rabbi Leora Kaye to join CCAR as Director of Career Services
Beth Emet’s own, Rabbi Leora Kaye will be starting a new position on July 1 with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) as Director of Rabbinic Career Services. Rabbi Leora Kaye is the daughter of Jerry & Paula Kaye. Leora will work directly with rabbis as their partner in all aspects of the rabbinic career life cycle, including congregational search, guidance about career development, positions outside congregations, career transitions, retirement, and managing professional crises. Learn more.
February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month
February 1, marked the beginning of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), a unified effort among Jewish organizations and communities worldwide to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and those who love them. JDAIM is a call to action to each one of us in accordance with our Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess. Established in 2009 by the Jewish Special Education International Consortium, JDAIM is observed each February and this year marks the 14th annual observation.
A Book Discussion of Golem Girl with Author Riva Lehrer
Sunday, February 27 at 1:00 pm
 
Author Riva Lehrer will lead us in a discussion of her book, Golem Girl, a vividly told, gloriously illustrated memoir of an artist born with disabilities who searches for freedom and connection in a society afraid of strange bodies. This program will wrap up our February Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. Although prior reading of the book is not required, we encourage you to read it ahead of time if you are able. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for Q+A. Several copies of Golem Girl can be borrowed from the Beth Emet office and are available for purchase at Bookends and Beginnings in Evanston.
JDAIM Resource of the Week
Looking for a tangible way to mark the last two weeks of Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month? This article, Taking Righteous Action by Shopping Small, has a great idea for you! Plus, you even get to go shopping!
Congregational Opportunities
Inclusion Committee Meeting
TODAY, February 16 at 5:30 pm
Has JDAIM piqued your interest and willingness to help make Beth Emet a more inclusive synagogue where all who want to enter can contribute to our community? Join us at our February Inclusion Committee meeting. Contact Marci Dickman with any questions.
2021 Donor Receipts
Please note: Donor receipts were sent at the end of January according to your current monthly statement preference, email, or USPS.
Questions? Please contact Debbie Gilbert, Finance Manager.
Use Our Member Directory on MyBeth Emet to Send a Mazal Tov to Last Week's Adult Kabbalat Mitzvah!
Did you attend the Adult Kabbalat Mitzvah Service this past Shabbat? Missed it, but still want to send some good wishes!? Use the Member Directory to find the contact information for our members and send them an extra Mazal Tov! If you have an issue accessing it, please contact Bekki Kaplan
Did You Know...

The Member Directory is always one click away!?
 
Beth Emet Annual Meeting
Monday, March 21 at 7:00 pm on Zoom
The virtual Annual Meeting is a time set aside each year, for our members to hear from Beth Emet's President, Treasurer, Foundation president, clergy, and staff on the state of the congregation. Complying with our by-laws, we show accountability for finances, communicate our year's accomplishments and challenges, and share plans for our synagogue's future activities. We will also elect new officers and board members as well as show our appreciation to those who have completed their terms on the board. This year will also mark a presidential transition plus 3 officers. View the official nominating letter here.
Young Family Programs
Gan Yom Rishon is Back In-Person!
Starting Sunday, February 27 at 9:45 am
Sunday Morning Fun for you and your 3-5-year-old! Singing, crafts, stories, yoga, and friends--and we'll celebrate Purim together too!
Dates: February 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27 (four classes plus Purim fun!)
In-Person Jamberry Music with Nicole Jaworski is Back at Beth Emet!
Co-sponsored by JBaby
Starting Wednesday, March 2 at 9:30 am
Join us for joyful, collaborative music-making with Nicole Jaworski and Jamberry Music! In this class, you and your little one will bond with each other and make new friends while we sing, dance, play, pretend and experiment with instruments. Class is geared to kids 6 months to 2.5 years old and siblings are welcome to join! Masks for everyone 2+, and social distancing, will be expected. This program will take place from March 2-April 6 from 9:30-10:15 am at Beth Emet Synagogue. The fee per family is $90.00. Please register here.
Save The Date: Purim Fun is Almost Here!
Sunday, March 20 at 9:30 am
For Kids Under Age 5
Can you believe Purim is right around the corner? Come enjoy an age-appropriate Purim shpiel and activities at Beth Emet, and take home a gift bag. Costumes are encouraged for kids and adults--we want to see your Purim attire!
Social Justice
Dayenu Circle Meeting
Wednesday, February 23 at 7:30 pm
Interested in helping plan Earth Day/Week activities at Beth Emet which will take place in late April? At this month’s meeting, we will be developing ideas to celebrate and protect our planet for future generations. Also, the parent group of Dayenu, a Jewish climate action group, is launching a national advocacy campaign for this spring, so come and find out more about how you can get involved.
Please RSVP to Sharon Smaller.
Social Action Committee Meeting
Wednesday, March 2 at 7:00 pm
The Social Action Committee and the Dayenu Circle are pleased to have Lily Aaron, Beth Emet member, and a youth climate activist and coordinator of Evanston Township High School's ETHS's Sunrise chapter, as a guest speaker at the Social Action Committee meeting. Lily will be talking about her experience attending COP26, an international climate change conference, last November in Glasgow. 
Shomer Shelter: Removing Barriers to Housing
Thursday, March 3 at 7:00 pm
Religious Action Center- Illinois (RAC-IL) 2022 Legislative Campaign
Be part of the Beth Emet Delegation at this important event!
For the current legislative session, RAC-IL will work with the Illinois Coalition for Fair Housing to end source-of-income discrimination in housing. Currently, landlords are able to turn away potential renters simply because they use housing vouchers, Social Security, alimony, child support, or other public benefits. The bill we are working to pass is HB2775. RAC-IL sees turning away rental applicants because of their source of income as a discriminatory practice.
Your Purchase of Shampoo Can Make a Difference!
Interfaith Action of Evanston (IAE) has a Producemobile on the second Tuesday of every month where volunteers distribute boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables. Additionally, Evanston faith organizations help IAE by collecting items that are not covered by SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The next Producemobile will be on March 8 at Robert Crown. Items that are not covered include personal hygiene items, diapers, cleaning, and laundry products. This collection is called SNAPGap.

The focus right now is on personal hygiene items, which has not been done since November, so these items will be most welcome. These items are very specific as they are trying to be sensitive to different skin and hair types.
  • Dove Shampoo
  • Dove Soap or Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion

All can be found on the Interfaith Action Amazon Smile Wish List. Please view these items even if you prefer to purchase them locally.

Purchased items can be dropped off at the following locations:
Leslie and Stuart Shulruff’s front porch
1140 Forest Ave, Evanston
Anytime
Lisa and Jason Levine’s front porch
1574 Dewey Ave, Evanston
Anytime
Lake Street Church
607 Chicago Ave. (corner Lake and Chicago) Evanston
Date: Saturday, March 5
Time: 10am-Noon
Update: Beth Emet Co-Sponsors Afghan Refugee Family
Looking for Job Leads
 
We are sourcing job leads from our Beth Emet community that could be a good fit for the father of the Afghan family we are supporting.
 
He would do well in an active job that required him to be on his feet or move around a lot. Work on a production floor or in a warehouse could be a good fit, as could something in construction or custodial work. Language is currently a barrier, so the work must be something that can be done without a lot of instruction and independently. He will be working through HIAS/JCFS and with our volunteer team to do English Language Learning in the coming months.
 
If you have connections in these industries or leads for interviews, please reach out to Alison Finkel. She can help explore this further.
Lifelong Learning
A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London
Friday, February 18 at 9:30 am
There are many ways to interpret Torah and its nuances of meaning that are often overlooked. We will continue our learning from last year, reading and interpreting the text of the Book of Deuteronomy line by line. New learners are always welcome.
Ph: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 880 3271 0378
Passcode: 785827
Religion and Literature with Professor Sufrin
Fridays, February 18 and 25 at 11:00 am
We will explore different aspects of the relationship between religion and literature in contemporary novels and poetry, including rewritings of biblical stories, portrayals of religious life, and characters wrestling with religious ideas and values. Most examples will be focused on Judaism and Jews, though some may be drawn from other faith traditions.
Professor Sufrin will discuss the book, The Memory Monster by Yishai Sarid.

Claire Sufrin is Associate Professor of Instruction and Assistant Director of the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern University. She is co-editor of the recently published volume, The New Jewish Canon. She earned her BA in Religious Studies from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University. Her research and teaching interests include modern Jewish thought, gender and religion, and religion and literature.
Ph: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 897 9196 8262
Passcode: 1224
Conversations to Nourish Our Soul with Marci Dickman
Thursday, February 24 at 7:15 pm
Explore your spirituality or connection to the Mystery or the Divine in the world. We will use the prayerbook, poetry, and ourselves as our texts, aiming to deepen our connections and discern meaningful paths in our daily lives. Our tools will include mindfulness practices, journaling, questioning, and conversation. Doubting God’s existence? Come explore.
Community News
Jewish Disability Advocacy Day
Wednesday, February 23, and Thursday, February 24
Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD), February 23 and 24, 2022, is a national observance sponsored by The Jewish Federations of North America and will be all virtual. The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and Encompass are annual sponsors of JDAD. 
Opening Ceremony – Breaking Down Barriers
Wednesday, February 23 at 6:00 pm

Advocacy Day – Making Change
Thursday, February 24 from 12:00-3:00 pm

Policy, Advocacy and You – Implicit Bias in Disability Employment
Tuesday, February 22 from 10:00-11:00 am
Offerings from the Union for Reform Judaism

Mindful Parenting, for Parents of School-Age Children (offered in partnership with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality)  
Learn how the Jewish practice of tikkun middot (cultivating character virtues) can help you be the parent you aspire to be and experience the joy of parenthood more often. Four self-guided modules with four weekly live practice sessions with Rabbi Lydia Medwin.
Wednesdays, March 2, 9, 23, 30, 7:00-8:00 pm, $99.
 
Jewish & New-ish: A Supportive Online Space for Those Who Have Recently (0-5 Years) Converted to Judaism 
Have you converted to Judaism in the past five years? Drop-in to our monthly online gathering where
you can make connections, process your experiences, and learn with others in this safe space offered through a Reform Jewish lens. Ask questions without fear, share triumphs and challenges in a nurturing environment, and continue to explore your journey with Judaism in a community of care.
Monthly on Thursdays, 7:00-8:00 PM.
 
Guided Tour of Israel  
Experience a live, guided tour of Israel in real-time from the comfort of your home! See the sights,
explore places we read about in the Jewish Bible, discover the unique ways holidays are celebrated in Israel, and encounter diverse communities who make Israel their home. Designed especially for first-time “visitors” to Israel.
Sundays, March 13, 20, 27, 2022 2-3:30 PM. $75.
 
Learn to Read Hebrew for Adults   
Learn the shapes and sounds of the Hebrew alphabet, with a warm and supportive educator to guide you and a group of classmates for practicing together. A beginner’s beginner course!
10 one-hour sessions, $180. The next courses start April 2022.