Comprehensive Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 / 22 Adar I 5782

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. Copies of Golem Girl are available for purchase at Bookends and Beginnings in Evanston.
Ph: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 839 2957 5290
Passcode: 1224
Emergency Shelter Completes
Through our partnership with the Interfaith Action of Evanston (IAE), Beth Emet hosted the emergency shelter for three weeks, ending this past Sunday. We were able to host 20 guests each night plus a few of their staff members, and the IAE thanks all those from Beth Emet who volunteered for some of the 21 nights. If you are interested in volunteering at one of the churches for any night during the remainder of the season (through April) and/or interested in volunteering next year, send an email to Bekki Kaplan who can forward your interest. 
Wondering Where Recorded Events Live?
Mystery solved! We've got a separate webpage for each month of recordings. (Starting since we launched our new website of course). Check out the past couple of months below! You can always check back and find them under our Congregational News category!
In the BE Family! A Double Edition
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 Fay Lipschultz
I have been a member of Beth Emet’s Inclusion committee since its inception. I initially got involved because of my role at Beth Emet as the High Holiday special needs coordinator, working to ensure that all members would have complete access to a full worship experience. After several years of helping with this effort and seeing the tangible and rewarding returns, it occurred to me how important it was to personally carry this kavanah, this intention, further.

In my evolving and expanding awareness of what it means to help create a truly inclusive community, I have come to understand that this task is not motivated simply by kindness. My Jewish identity compels me to work towards the creation of communities where people of all capabilities feel welcomed as members of truly sacred spaces. Spaces that embrace different types of abilities as integral parts of the process of creating community. I am grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to this meaningful process.
 
Please join us as we welcome Riva Lehrer author of Golem Girl, virtually, this Sunday, February 27 at 1:00 pm when she will be discussing her book and sharing her insights with us. Click here for more details and to register.
 
I also welcome your input regarding how the Beth Emet Inclusion Committee can continue our exploration of how to meet the needs of our diverse membership.
Introducing Karl Malchut

Do not look at the vessel but what is in it”
Pirkei Avot 1:27

What does it mean to be a caregiver when it comes to disability awareness and inclusion? Well for me, it means leaning into Kavod (honor and respect) by showing each individual they are born with God-given dignity, no matter what they experience in the form of a disability. We share a common humanity, together witnessing the Oneness that we are all a part of. This is best done by practicing empathy. Even though I cannot live another person’s life, I can ponder what it would be like to experience memory or ambulatory loss. Even though I cannot be this person, I have a duty not only in my caregiver job but also as a Jew, to give the person the same honor I would apply to myself.

Karl Malchut has been a member of Beth Emet for over five years and has been a private caregiver for eight years working for both individuals and agencies. Besides just this being his job Karl grew up around his mother who was a nurse's aide who worked both in assisted living facilities and private care herself. Caregiving has made up more than a substantial part of his life.
Have a Mazal Tov? Great News to Share? 
Click here so we can include it in EmetMail! It’s been so much fun to read these each week!
Congregational Opportunities
Sunday, February 27 at 8:00 pm
Join Sam Rose, our Director of Youth Engagement, on zoom to learn more about the process for completing the Gemilut Chasadim project for your child's upcoming Kabbalat Mitzvah. Come with your ideas and/or questions!
The Purim Carnival is Back!
Saturday, March 12-Sunday March 13
Come one come all to BESSY's annual Purim carnival! Planned and run by BESSY, Beth Emet's own high school youth group, this event has something for everyone. To ensure physical distancing, we have three times to attend the carnival.

Wristbands are $12 per child, which includes unlimited games (and awesome prizes). Adults are free! All proceeds from the carnival benefit BESSY. All who attend must be vaccinated and masked at all times.
Purim
Grades 4, 5, 6- Saturday, March 12 from 7:00-8:00 pm.
We will have a parent program during this time as well!

Grades 2 and 3- Sunday, March 13 from 9:30-10:30 am
Parents attend the carnival with their children. Beit Sefer will start at 10:30 am for grades 2 and 3 so all can attend.

Grades K and 1- Sunday, March 13 from 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Parents attend the carnival with their children. Beit Sefer will end early at 11:00 am for grades K and 1 so that all can attend.

Kids Under Age 5- Sunday, March 20 at 9:30 am
See below for more details.
Megillah Reading & Purim Shpiel Not to Disappoint! 
Wednesday, March 16 at 7:00 pm
Save the date and watch this space for more information including hints for this year’s costume theme!  
Have You Tried MyBethEmet? We'd Love Your Feedback!
Did you know that you can share feedback without even leaving the MyBethEmet portal? Use the MyBethEmet to find the feedback form and share how your experience has been. If you have an issue accessing it, please contact Bekki Kaplan
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.
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.
Young Family Programs
Shabbat ShaZoom---Singing and Dance Party!
Fridays, February 25 and March 11 at 6:00 p.m.
Please join us for 15 minutes on Zoom! We’ll welcome Shabbat with Cantor Cotler, and together recite the blessings, sing and dance! Very short and sweet–a perfect way to begin Shabbat!
Gan Yom Rishon is Back In-Person!
Starting Sunday, February 27 at 9:30 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.
Purim Fun For Young Families
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
TODAY, 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.
Ph: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 847 3090 5778
Passcode: 1224
Social Action Committee Meeting
Wednesday, March 2 at 7:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Lily Aaron
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
Lifelong Learning
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.
Ph: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 899 1780 5739
Passcode: 1224
A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London
Friday, February 25 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
Friday, February 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
Scouts, Trailblazers, Explorers: A History of Women Rabbis with Rabbi Memis-Foler
Fridays, March 4 and 11 at 11:00 am
In honor of the Journey to 50 — the 50th anniversary of Rabbi Sally Preisand’s ordination and International Women’s Day on March 8 — we will spotlight a few of the significant women from the 1500s to the early modern period who held quasi-rabbinic status in their communities. We will compare and contrast the ordinations of Rabbis Sally Priesand and Regina Jonas (Who? Come find out!). We will explore the challenges faced by the first generation of women in the rabbinate. And we will reflect on how women’s leadership has changed the rabbinate and the Jewish community as a whole.
Insider View of Security Threats to Israel
Sunday, March 6 at 1:30 pm
This program will address the current security threats to Israel and is brought to us by Yosi Kuperwasser, Brigadier General, IDF Reserves, the Director of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for questions and answers. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center near Tel Aviv focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian terrorist organizations, terrorist threats from hostile states such as Iran and Syria, Hezbollah, global jihad organizations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, campaigns to de-legitimize Israel, and antisemitic threats to Israel and the Jewish people.
The Social Justice Torah Commentary: A Panel Discussion & Book Signing- with panelists Rabbi Barry Block, editor; and Chicago contributors Rabbi Shoshanah Conover, Rabbi Seth Limmer, and Rabbi Andrea London
Thursday, March 10 at 7:00 pm
What does the Torah have to say about social justice? This new Commentary presents a diverse array of contributing authors who delve deeply into each week’s parashah, drawing lessons to inspire tikkun olam. Chapters address key contemporary issues such as racism, climate change, mass incarceration, immigration, disability, women’s rights, voting rights, and many more. The result is an indispensable resource for weekly Torah study and for anyone committed to repairing the world. Our own Rabbi London authored the chapter on Parashah Va-et’chanan, “You Shall Not Murder: Gun Violence Prevention."
Community News
Jewish Disability Advocacy Day
TODAY, February 23, and TOMORROW, 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
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, 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.