Comprehensive Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday, February 2, 2022 / 1 Adar 5782

Update from the Covid Task Force
Starting this Friday, February 4, 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 Moderna or 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, the instructions are included below.  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
Final Phase of the Mitzvah Appeal! New Matching Challenge!
A very special donor has committed to creating a matching incentive of up to $10,000 for those pledges made in this final phase of the campaign. This is the perfect opportunity to pledge now as they will match dollar for dollar for all contributions over $50.00 that are made before February 4. Help us take advantage of this generous matching pledge! We are counting on you ... your support matters to Beth Emet.  
Beth Emet Hosting the Emergency Shelter through February 19
Coordinated by Interfaith Action of Evanston, nine faith-based communities each take three weeks to host 20 of Evanston’s homeless each night. Starting Sunday night through February 19, Beth Emet is hosting the shelter. If you are interested in volunteering with setup and greeting, sleeping overnight, or morning cleanup, especially while the shelter is at Beth Emet, contact Bekki or click here to learn more and/or sign up.
URJ Congregations and Communities in 5781
Take a moment to watch how the Reform Movement has shown creativity throughout 2021. And make sure to take note of Beth Emet's special shout-out at 00:25. Click the video to the right.
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 to Bekki Kaplan, 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 Emily Dana
A Note From Emily:
Shelly Christensen, one of the creators of JDAIM writes about the difference between inclusion and belonging. As a community, both here and in the broader world, we must not just say that we aim to be inclusive. As a disabled person, I see that as the bare minimum. And as a Reform Jew, I argue that our “big tent” needs to include every person who enters our doors.

We were all at Sinai, so we all belong here. Last month, we read about the giving of the Ten Commandments. Tradition teaches that all Jews, of all generations, stood at Sinai together. God could have chosen to give the commandments to only a specific group of people, but instead, the revelation was public. The Torah was given to all of us, even those who may have not been able to hear it. We all belong in the Jewish community.

Emily Dana is a third-year Rabbinical Student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. She grew up in Wilmette and essentially lived at Beth Emet for much of her middle and high school years as a leader in youth group and NFTY-CAR. From college until today, she has worked with Jewish and secular disability advocacy organizations to push for more accessibility in the Jewish community and a general increased awareness of disability in all of the spaces that she operates within. Her aim is to become a hospital chaplain after rabbinical school. 
Mazal Tov to Alex Burstein
Broadcasting and Reporting from the Maccabi Games in Israel
This summer, Alex Burstein will be broadcasting and reporting from the Maccabi Games in Israel as part of the first Maccabi Media Program. The Maccabi Games is the world's largest sporting competition for Jewish athletes. He will be going alongside 13 other aspiring sports journalists in the high school and college-age range. He is very excited to go to Israel for the first time and have this opportunity.
Alan Teller Published in The Forward
"At 95, the visionary Jewish artist can't stop painting- and painting and painting"
Alan Teller recently published an article about local Evanstonian and his neighbor, Leo Segedin, a prolific artist and writer. Leo has composed some 50 essays that range from explorations in art history and criticism to the history of the martini. He is also currently writing a memoir. Read the full article here.
Mazal Tov to Greg and Jane Wintroub
Greg and Jane Wintroub recently celebrated their granddaughter, Rebecca Mae Peretz's Bat Mitzvah. A special mazal tov to Rebecca and her parents, Shana and Elan Peretz, and grandparents Jane and Greg Wintroub.
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.

JDAIM Resource of the Week
How inclusive is the Beth Emet community? This JTA article, "From dating to language, 8 Jews with disabilities explain how communities fall short on inclusion," challenges us.
D'var Torah by Rabbi Tuchman during Kabbalat Shabbat Services
Friday, February 4 at 6:30 pm

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman is a sought after speaker, spiritual leader and educator. Ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2018, she is, as far as she is aware, the first blind woman in the world to enter the rabbinate. She provides consulting to individuals and organizations across the Jewish community on a variety of matters pertinent to disability access and inclusion. She has taught in numerous synagogues and other organizations across North America. She was named to the Jewish Week’s 36 under 36 for her innovative leadership concerning the inclusion of Jews with disabilities in all aspects of Jewish life. In 2017, she delivered an ELI Talk entitled We All Were At Sinai: The Transformative Power of Inclusive Torah. She is a participant in the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Clergy Leadership Program. In 2020, she was honored by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA).

To listen to the service dial 847-869-4230 and press 7
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.

Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer and curator who focuses on the socially challenged body. She is best known for representations of people whose physical embodiment, sexuality, or gender identity have long been stigmatized. Ms. Lehrer’s work has been seen in venues including the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, Yale University, the United Nations, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, the Arnot Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the Frye Museum, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the State of Illinois Museum. Lehrer’s memoir, Golem Girl, was published by the One World imprint of Penguin/Random House in October 2020, won the 2020 Barbellion Prize for Literature; was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and shortlisted for the Chicago Review of Books 2020 CHIRBY Awards. Ms. Lehrer is on faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and instructor in the Medical Humanities Departments of Northwestern University.
Congregational News
2021 Donor Receipts
Please note: Donor receipts were sent this week according to your current monthly statement preference, email, or USPS. Be on the lookout.
Questions? Please contact Debbie Gilbert, Finance Manager.
Have You Updated Your Vax information on MyBethEme?
So easy to do through our new member portal, MyBethEmet. Click on Individual Member Information for each member of your household (if eligible), and you can add your information on the right column.  And while you’re there, check out all the other amazing features! Having problems accessing or for more information, contact Bekki.  
Thank you to everyone who has already entered their updated information over the last few weeks. If you have yet to enter your household’s individual member information, you can do so now by clicking this link.
Adult Kabbalat Mitzvah
Saturday, February 12 at 10:00 am
Mazal Tov to the 5 participants of this year's Adult Kabbalat Mitzvah; Marco Siegel-Acevedo, Christi Silver, Michelle Oxman, Stacy Singer, Joanne Koch. We invite you to watch the Kabbalat Mitzvah celebration from home on livecontrol.
Beth Emet Annual Meeting
Monday, March 21 at 7:00 pm
The Annual Meeting is a time set aside each year, for our members to hear from Beth Emet's President, Treasurer, Foundation president, and clergy 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. The official nominating letter will be sent to the congregation in the coming days. Watch your email!
Young Family Programs
Jamberry on Zoom!
Wednesday, February 9 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! Please join us for 4 weeks on Zoom.
The fee per family is $40.00.
Shabbat ShaZoom- For Families with Young Children
Friday, February 11 at 6:00 pm
Please join us for 15 minutes on Zoom! We’ll welcome Shabbat with Cantor Cotler, and together recite the blessings. Very short and sweet–a perfect way to begin Shabbat! Check the calendar for the Zoom link.
Social Justice
Social Action Committee Meeting
TONIGHT, February 2 at 7:00 pm
Whether a first timer or a seasoned regular, hear updates and learn how you can become involved with supporting Afghan refugees, providing food, shelter and other provisions for homeless and/or hungry individuals (we have several paths from which to choose), addressing Climate Change and so much more.
Lifelong Learning
Adult Education

A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London
Friday, February 4 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
Trouble on the Yellow Brick Road: What Went Wrong During Our Ancestors’ Sojourn in the Desert? with Rabbi Ozarowski
Fridays, February 4 and 11 at 11:00 am
We will take an in-depth look at some of the debacles during the Jewish people’s trek through the desert, including the stories of the Golden Calf, the Spies, and the Korach Mutiny. We will look at the narratives, text, philosophical issues, what these stories might say to us today, and compare them to the way they were presented in the movie, The Ten Commandments.

Rabbi Dr. Joseph S. Ozarowski is Rabbinic Counselor and Chaplain for JCFS Chicago. He is also an adjunct professor at Spertus Institute and the Academy for Jewish Religion (CA). He has served as president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and was recently elected international president of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC). Rabbi Ozarowski’s first book, To Walk in God’s Ways, is considered a standard in the field of Judaism and Pastoral Care.
Ph: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 812 8545 7351
Passcode: 1224
Abayudaya: Music, Judaism, and Community in Uganda with Musicologist Amanda Ruppenthal Stein, Ph.D.
Sunday, February 6 at 10:00 am
Music is central to the Abayudaya, a Jewish community in eastern Uganda, and unites the different synagogues there as it allows them to express their unique voices. Musicologist Amanda Ruppenthal Stein, Ph.D. will offer us a glimpse of the importance of music in ritual and daily life for this flourishing part of Klal Yisrael. She will share studio and field recordings, including Psalm singing in Luganda, the Bantu language spoken in the African Great Lakes region; it is the core repertoire of the Abayudaya liturgy.

Amanda Ruppenthal Stein, Ph.D. is lecturer in music at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a recent graduate of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, where she was also the Crown Graduate Fellow of the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies. In 2019, Amanda traveled twice to Uganda to conduct fieldwork in collaboration with a solidarity mission and recording project of the Cantors Assembly, celebrating 100 Years of the Abayudaya Jewish community in Uganda.

Ph: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 841 5472 4198
Passcode: 1224
Panel Discussion: Israeli Current Events
Wednesday, February 9 at 7:00 pm
  1. Should the US use military aid to pressure Israel regarding settlements?
  2. Should we support the Two-State Solution Act, which would set American policy: (I) For a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (II) The West Back, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza are occupied territories. (III) Israeli settlements in occupied territories violate international law. (IV) Settlement expansion, Palestinian home demolition, revocation of Palestinian residency permits, and forced evictions of Palestinians violate Palestinian human rights and impede a two-state solution
After the panel addresses those topics, there will be Q&A for attendees to raise issues. There is no prior knowledge required, and we encourage all those who are curious to attend.
Ph: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 854 7932 8366
Passcode: 1224
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.
Community News
Reform Movement’s Response to Recent Amnesty International Report
Reform Movement Strongly Condemns Amnesty International Report
“We strongly reject the report produced by Amnesty International entitled: "Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity." The report is replete with discredited and inaccurate allegations, including a deeply wrong accusation of apartheid. It is particularly incumbent upon those of us who have condemned the Occupation as a moral travesty, advocated strongly for its end, and who have a lengthy record of advocating for the human rights of the Palestinian people including the right to self-determination, to express our profound disappointment and explicit condemnation of this report…” Click the link for the full statement.
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