Comprehensive Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 / 8 Adar I 5782

Update from the Covid Task Force
Starting last 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, 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
Together 227 Donors Raised $278,800- Exceeding Our Goal for This Year's Mitzvah Appeal Campaign!
Thank you for the generosity of every donor who made this year’s campaign a success! 
We also thank the past and current presidents of the Board of Trustees and the Foundation who provided matching funds which kick-started the campaign and to another generous donor who stepped up in January to support the last matching challenge which got us over the “finish line.” This year’s campaign included three special events: an evening with musical legend Ronnie Rice for those who contributed $360 or more followed by an in-person (and virtual) concert as well as our ever-popular “brunch” with U.S. Representative (and Beth Emet member!) Jan Schakowsky. It certainly takes a village to make this year’s campaign a success. Thank you to Mark Caro, Mary Dixon and Noam Scheiber for being our hosts/moderators, and a thank you to the committee: Lee Weintraub, Rebecca Raus, Marti Netler, Elaine Lev and Bekki Kaplan. Interested in getting involved with next year’s campaign? Never too early to sign up! Contact Bekki Kaplan
Adult Kabbalat Mitzvah
This Saturday, February 12 at 10:00 am
Mazal Tov to the 5 participants of this year's Adult Kabbalat Mitzvah class; Marco Siegel-Acevedo, Christi Silver, Michelle Oxman, Stacy Singer, Joanne Koch. Due to the pandemic and the limited number of guests, we invite you to participate in celebrating and worshiping with the group through our live stream service on Livecontrol. Stay tuned for Friday's Shabbat Newsletter to learn more about this year's participants.

Note: Kahal will be joining the Adult Kabbalat Mitzvah service and will not be meeting in the Weiner room. Pre-register if you have not yet submitted vax and booster information as well as signed the Brit (Covenant of Responsibility) by completing the online form.
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 Jackie Berman
A Note From Jackie:
My interest in working with individuals with challenges and disabilities first emerged as a parent, with my youngest son, born prematurely. Together, we were in early intervention, then developmental kindergarten. Throughout his education, I was impressed with the dedication, concern and services becoming available to enhance education and life skills.

Given this experience, I decided to make a career change, and pursued my new calling to become a special education teacher. I have taught students from primary grades up to high school in public, private, therapeutic and charter schools. My greatest goal was always to increase self-esteem within my students with diverse challenges and obstacles.

Beginning with an undergraduate internship, I have been involved with the Family Resource Center on Disabilities for 25 years, and am currently the President of the Board of Directors. As a Beth Emet member for 11 years, I was invited to become involved in the inclusion committee, assisting Beth Emet to create a more diverse and inclusive environment. At this time, I am also involved with the Belonging Umbrella subcommittee. Beth Emet means a lot to me, and my involvement is one way for me to assist the BE community to become a more diverse inclusive community. I am so honored to be part of this special community. 
Mazal Tov to Lila Selch, Ronan Young, and Nathan Greenwald
Who Will Perform in the 18th Annual Evanston Township High School (ETHS) Jazz Festival on Saturday, February 12
Lila Selch, Ronan Young and Nathan Greenwald (pictured below), along with their bandmates in the ETHS Jazz band will be performing during Jazz Festival on February 12, 2022. In addition to the free performances by the ETHS students, ETHS Jazz Festival is excited to welcome Orbert Davis, jazz trumpeter and founder of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. Orbert’s composition for the performance, titled “Soul Migration,” draws on the stories of some of the 6 million African Americans who took part in what is known as the Great Migration, moving from the rural south to the industrial north beginning a century ago. Tickets and details for the evening events can be reserved and purchased here.
Lila Selch

I’m Lila and I participate in jazz band because it teaches a completely different set of skills than playing classical music. I like going to jazz band because it lets me experiment with sounds on my trombone while still hanging out with friends.
Ronan Young

I participate in jazz band because I wanted to try something new on the drums and have a fresh feel, and I love the feel jazz has when you play it.
Nathan Greenwald

I participate in Jazz band because it’s a fun way to get to know my classmates from band as well as get more practice on my instrument. I like how jazz band allows me to experiment and be more creative with new sounds and have more freedom in the way I play.
Mazal Tov to Gwen Tucker
Gwen Tucker has been published in The Student Life, a Southern California college newspaper
Gwen is currently a freshman at Scripps College in Claremont, California studying Sociology and Politics. She enjoys celebrating Shabbat with Nishamt at the Claremont Colleges, community organizing, and writing about Jewish and social justice issues. Click to read her article, "Opinion: U.S. Holocaust education needs to be better, and so do 5C students"
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.

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.
Missed Friday's D'var Torah?
Rewatch (or catch up on) D'var Torah by Rabbi Tuchman, from Friday, February 4 to begin our observance of Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month.

JDAIM Resource of the Week
When should we focus on Inclusion? This article from Philadelphia's Jewish Exponent has an answer, "Disability Inclusion Becomes a Year Round Endeavor."
Congregational Opportunities
Panel Discussion: Israeli Current Events
TONIGHT, 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 Bank, 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
Soul Stitchers- Virtual Knitting Circle *Note Date Change*
Tuesday, February 15 at 7:30 pm
Know how to knit and/or crochet? As a tribute to Nikki Zarefsky z”l, join us for an hour (on zoom) of knitting and connecting as we create shawls to warm people during services and/or healing shawls that will bring warmth to those in need in a hospital, home or other settings. Newcomers are welcome and encouraged to join! Please send us an email with any questions.
Zoom Link- Ph: 312-626-6799 | Meeting ID: 856 3655 2426 | Passcode: 1224
2021 Donor Receipts
Please note: Donor receipts were sent at the end of January according to your current monthly statement preference, email, or USPS. Be on the lookout.
Questions? Please contact Debbie Gilbert, Finance Manager.
Check out the Member Directory on MyBethEmet *and* Upload Your Photo!
Looking to connect with another member? Want another parent to drive your child to Beit Sefer? Have an extra challah to drop off? Check out our new member directory! You can search by name, school, grade, or zip code. And while you’re there, upload your favorite photo to your individual member information so that others know who you are! (P.S. Photos pop up when searching the member directory.)
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, 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. The official nominating letter will be sent to the congregation in the coming days. Watch your email!
Young Family Programs
Shabbat ShaZoom
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!
Jamberry Music with Nicole Jaworski is Back at Beth Emet! Co-sponsored by JBaby
Starting 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.
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.
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 Afghan family we are supporting. Finding employment is a huge priority for the father of the family and is currently the source of significant stress. He has expressed to us many times that he is very concerned about supporting not only his immediate family but also supporting the extended family left with an uncertain future in Afghanistan.
 
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.
 
The family is living in Skokie and using public transportation, so it is a bonus if the job is easily reached by bus or train. Part-time or full-time options are both good.
 
If you have connections in these industries or leads for interviews, please reach out to Alison Finkel. She can help explore this further and ideally put the family member in touch with a hiring manager, perhaps with the help of a translator.
 
Thanks so much for your help!
Lifelong Learning
A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London
Canceled This Week
We will see you next week!
Trouble on the Yellow Brick Road: What Went Wrong During Our Ancestors’ Sojourn in the Desert? with Rabbi Ozarowski
Friday, February 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
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
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