Comprehensive Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 / 10 Shevat 5782

So Close! Support the Annual Mitzvah Appeal and Make a Difference in Reaching Our Goal
The success of the campaign is for everyone to contribute, no matter the amount. Not only do we have a fundraising goal of $250,000, but it’s an opportunity to support the operations of a community and to confirm that you believe in our congregation. 
Check Out Sunday’s DC Spotlight 2022 with
U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky
Thank you to all who attended Sunday’s very informative program! Moderated by (new) member Noam Scheiber, the conversation was certainly lively and covered a wide-range of issues – from the balance of the U.S. Supreme court, to the mid-term elections, to the “Build Back Better” bill before Congress, there was much to learn about national as well as local issues. Check out the recording. And a special thank you to U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky and Noam (pictured below) for a spirited conversation.
UPDATE: Beth Emet Co-Sponsors Afghan Refugee Family
On Friday morning, the team coordinating the Skokie apartment set-up for the Afghan refugee family got the keys and began the move-in process. What has followed since is remarkable! 

Thanks to this community, we have been able to fully furnish a three bedroom apartment for this family of six. Dozens of items were purchased and collected as well as a house-full of new and gently used furniture. The kitchen is ready for cooking. An army of people (including Rabbi London and Rabbi Memis-Foler!) built and built and built IKEA furniture. The dressers are filled with clothes and toys. We are so grateful to this tremendous community for stepping up and making this house into a home. 

We just learned that the family will arive on Friday! If you are interested in being involved as a tutor or mentor to the family, please reach out to Alison Finkel.
Booster Information
Thank you to everyone that has already entered their updated booster information over the last week. If you have yet to enter your household’s vaccination and/or booster information, you can do so in under two minutes through our member portal by clicking this link. Once logged in:
  • Go to "Individual Member Information" on the left sidebar
  • Choose the individual you want to provide vaccination information for
  • Click on "Contact Details" 
  • Scroll down to complete vaccination information
 
If you are unable to access the member portal, click on this link
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!

Shari Reiches' first book: Maximize Your Return on Life has been published.  
Here is a picture of Shari Reiches' family – one of her top Core Values.
A Note from Shari:
Early on, my family experienced financial stress. My father passed away at the age of 32, leaving my mom with an 8-year-old (me) and a newborn son. As you can imagine, money was tight. My mom worked nights doing surveys and other odd jobs. She was a true role model, teaching me the value of forging ahead.

Through the years I have also seen my clients endure difficult times and financial stress. One can never forget the looks of sadness, even grief, at financial misfortune. I’ve always wanted to make a difference and help people alleviate financial stress. I have learned that it begins with financial education which leads to financial empowerment.
The book helps you make smart money decisions by having you focus on what’s truly important: your Core Values. Through personal stories and related exercises, you will learn how to spend your time and money in a manner which is aligned with your Core Values.

The book explores:
  • Your early and profound memories of money—memories that shape your relationship with money today.
  • Your Core Values—how to identify them and let them guide you in making important decisions.
  • Understandable financial planning and investing strategies.
  • How to protect your loved ones.

As I wrote this book, I continued to explore my Core Values: Community, Giving-Back and Family.  As a member of Beth Emet for over 25 years, I realized that being an active member of Beth Emet fulfills these Core Values. I hope you will take the time to explore your Core Values.
Congregational Opportunities
Soul Stitchers – Virtual Knitting Circle
TONIGHT, January 12 at 6:30 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.
Ph: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 868 9830 1687
Passcode: 1224
Current Politics With David Zarefsky
TONIGHT, January 12 at 7:30 pm
A continuing lecture-discussion class on contemporary public issues of interest to Jews as citizens. Special attention will be given to the policy and political issues facing the Biden administration.
No fee for members; non-member fee $10

David Zarefsky is the Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, specializing in argumentation and the analysis and criticism of American political discourse. He is a former president of the National Communication Association, the Rhetoric Society of America, and the Central States Communication Association. In 2012 he received the Lifetime Teaching Excellence Award from the National Communication Association. David is a past president of Beth Emet.
Ph: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 895 0260 5731 
Passcode: 1224
Shmooze with Sam-Calling All Parents of Teens!
Thursday, January 13 from 8:30-9:15 pm
Bring your own dessert and drink and Zoom in with us.This is an opportunity for parents to give feedback as well as hear more about what's been happening in the Youth Programs so far & going forward. 
Beth Emet Camp Scholarships
Deadline is January 14
It is with tremendous appreciation that we say thank you to the Samuel Sherwin Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Gerald D. Chiss Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Beth Emet Foundation, the Harvey Rice Youth Fund, and to those who support them. If you are interested in applying for the summer of 2022, please fill out this form or contact Bekki Harris Kaplan with any questions.
Kabbalat Shabbat Services and Kahal Shabbat Services- Online
Friday, January 14 and Saturday, January 15
**No In-Person Services**
Please note that our worship services this Shabbat will be on Zoom only.
Inclusion Committee Meeting
Wednesday, January 19 at 5:30 pm
Join the Beth Emet Inclusion Committee as we examine our current practices and explore ways to create a culture of belonging and inclusivity for Beth Emet members of all abilities. We know that all individuals can contribute to our community.
If interested, please email Terri Michaels or call (847-691-8167) or email Marci Dickman
Taharah Training for All
For ages Jewish communities have established groups to care for the deceased. Performing a Taharah (ritual washing, purification and dressing of the body) is part of this care. Members of the Progressive Chevrah Kadisha (PCK) participate voluntarily in this ultimate “Chesed Shel Emes” (genuine kindness), as there is no one to thank you. "I have been a part of the Progressive Chevre Kadisha for the last decade. Caring for and purifying the body before burial has been a mitzvah that has strengthened my own soul and my connection to other souls. Please do contact me if you are interested." - Marci Dickman

The PCK will hold one more training for those interested in training for this sacred act. The training will take place at Chicago Jewish Funerals (8851 Skokie Blvd, Skokie IL 60077)
The training will take place: Sunday, January 23 from 7:00-9:00 pm.

To RSVP and/or to share any questions: contact Marci Dickman
Our New Website: Did You Know….
You can find out all about the experience of our Kabbalat Mitzvah students on the new website. Can you find the note by Rabbi London?
Young Family Programs
Gan Yom Rishon
Gan Yom Rishon is on hold until we can meet in person.
GYR is an interactive Sunday morning class for children ages 3-5, with a parent/caregiver. Each week we’ll experience Judaism through art, cooking, movement and singing with Cantor Cotler. Gan Yom Rishon is also open to non-members. If you’re interested in joining us, please register or contact KathyRegister Here.
Shabbat ShaZoom- Singing and Dance Party!
Friday, January 14 at 6:00 pm
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!
Tot Shabbat and Tu B'Shvat Craft Activity
Saturday, January 22 from 9:00 - 10:15 am
Celebrate Shabbat and give thanks to the trees on Tu B’shvat Shabbat. We’ll sing, pray, chat and enjoy a fun craft project. Perfect for families with children under age 5.
Note: If this program is virtual, we’ll have craft bags available for pick up prior to the event.
Jamberry on Zoom for January!
Wednesday, January 26 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. Please register here.
Social Justice
Social Action Committee Meeting
TONIGHT, January 12 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.
Ph: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 843 1839 4674
Passcode: 1224
Walk for Warmth!
Monday, January 17 at 11:00 am
Join Beth Emet’s team in support of Interfaith Action of Evanston’s third annual Walk for Warmth and help raise funds to support the Emergency Overnight Shelter and the Warming Centers. Join us in the fight against homelessness and hunger in our community.

This is a family-friendly event and people of all ages are welcome to show their compassion by walking all or part of the route. To join Beth Emet’s team, or to donate in support of our team, click here. In keeping with Beth Emet's COVID protocols, we will be wearing masks outside.

Contact Leslie Shulruff with any questions
Soup Kitchen Volunteers Needed for February
The Soup Kitchen continues to provide take-away meals every Wednesday evening. We rely on a small onsite adult team with many volunteers making part of the meal at home. We're now making volunteer assignments for February. This includes adults available to help onsite 4:00 - 5:30 pm, and those interested in helping out by making either sack lunches, a large salad, or nut-free desserts at home, and delivering them to Beth Emet on the scheduled date. Cost of groceries is about $35 for 20 lunches and $20 for a large salad. Please let us know your interest in helping out, and we'll find you an open date and provide the shopping list and/or instructions.
Lifelong Learning
Adult Education

A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London
Friday, January 14 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
The Missing Hand, Book Discussion with Author Susan Van Dusen
Wednesday, January 19 at 7:00 pm
Author and Beth Emet member Susan Van Dusen will join us for an exciting book discussion on her novel, The Missing Hand, a cozy mystery which follows the rules of no sex, no swearing, no violence, but lots of fun and fright.
 
Van Dusen has been a teacher in Chicago and Jerusalem, award-winning editorial director of WBBM Radio, magazine and newspaper writer. Author of four children’s books, three on the history of Skokie, and is a founder of “Coming Together in Skokie,” a project to bring diverse cultures together. Van Dusen was featured in a November EmetMail, check it out here.
 
A valuable heirloom has been stolen. Grievous sins of the past have pushed their way into the present. Murder and ill-gotten gains from World War II Bohemis threaten the peaceful Jewish community of Crestfall, Illinois. We encourage you to read the book prior to the Zoom program, as this is a mystery (we don't want to spoil it for anyone!). Copies of the book can be purchased at the Synagogue, The Book Stall in Winnetka, or ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Target.
Ph: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 846 9246 4408
Passcode: 1224
Conversations to Nourish Our Soul with Marci Dickman
Thursday, January 20 @ 7:15 pm - 8:30 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 849 8369 2672   
Passcode 1224
The Mishnah: Law as Literature with Professor Wimpfheimer
Fridays, January 21 and 28 at 11:00 am
The Mishnah, the second century book that is the basis for the Talmud, seems simple. A well organized code of law, it structures Jewish ideas for subsequent Talmudic conversations. But there is more to the Mishnah than meets the eye. In this two-part class we will discuss how the Mishnah complicates our understanding of the nature of law and asks us to examine our expectations when reading what we consider to be good literature. This class is dedicated to the memory of Dan Cedarbaum, z”l.
Abayudaya: Music, Judaism, and Community in Uganda
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.
Community Programs
JCC Chicago Film Festival Social Justice Series
Films run January 14-23
5 films streaming over 2 weekends, plus Q+A's, focusing on films that explore issues of hate, prejudice, and inequality, along with those that reinforce tolerance, acceptance and cultivate belonging. Special series pass on sale now!
The Union for Reform Judaism is excited to announce the upcoming Jews of Color & People of Color in the Reform Movement Affinity Space Gatherings for January and February 2022!
These gatherings are led by and are specifically for Jews of Color and Jewish Adjacent People of Color (those of us who are People of Color and do not identify as Jewish, but are partnered with a Jewish person or part of a Jewish family).  Affinity spaces offer People of Color a safe space to have honest and open conversations. Affinity spaces can provide a space for People of Color to connect around their lived experiences, without having to comfort or teach white people about race & racism.  The hosts for these calls are Yolanda Savage-Narva and Deitra Reiser. 
 
To learn more about these gatherings and/or to register, please visit:  
Educational Scholarship Funds available through the
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
Application deadline February 1
Educational scholarship funds from grants administered by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago are now available for Jewish college and graduate students for the 2022-2023 academic year! Approximately $350,000 in total is available each year to be allocated accordingly for full-time students with financial need who are pursuing careers primarily in the helping professions. Awards range up to $4,000 and may be renewable. Make sure you check out the Faye Goldfarb Tatel Memorial Scholarship Fund, awarded to one Jewish female college and post-graduate student in the field of math education. For more information and/or to apply, please visit our website.