Comprehensive Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 / 17 Shevat 5782

We're Getting There! YOU can Make the Difference in Reaching Our Goal for the Mitzvah Appeal Campaign.

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. It takes a community to meet our goal!
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 to Bekki Kaplan, and if possible, please include a photo!

Spotlight on Rachel Durango-Cohen
Rachel is a freshman at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) and the social media chair for BESSY (Beth Emet Senior Synagogue Youth).  After spending most of last year at home, Rachel challenged herself to be more engaged both in school and at BE. This meant adding to her busy figure skating schedule. In addition to the 15-20 hours she spends in the rink weekly, Rachel also competes for ETHS’ Math Team, serves as a contributing writer (in Portuguese) for The Magazine of Unspoken Languages at ETHS (The Mule), is part of ETHS’ first Improv Club troop, and a member of the Israeli club.
“Being in BESSY board has been an extremely fulfilling experience for me. I love engaging with other socially conscious kids at Beth Emet,” said Rachel Durango-Cohen.
Rachel hopes to pursue a career in engineering, and is currently a member of ETHS’ Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (WiSTEM) club, and as well as a science bowl competitor for Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE, Jr). This fall Rachel competed in the US Figure Skating Championship Series held in Fort Wayne, IN and performed for the 12th year in a row in the Robert Crown’s production of the “Nutcracker on Ice.” 
Beth Emet is well represented on the Evanston Township High School Bowling Team
Junior Jonah Fogel and Seniors Andrew Bartol, Benecio Caro and Justin Davis have been bowling together for years. In fact, Beth Emet makes up 3/5 of the senior bowler class! Practice and dedication have paid off for sure. The 'Kits bowlers recently won their first ever Central Suburban League conference tournament and title, which they followed last weekend by winning the Lincolnshire Regional tournament. They bowl at Sectionals in Glendale Heights this weekend. 
Good luck bowlers!  
Congregational Opportunities
Inclusion Committee Meeting
TONIGHT, 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
Kabbalat Shabbat Services and Kahal Shabbat Services- Online
Friday, January 21 and Saturday, January 22
**No In-Person Services**
Please note that our worship services this Shabbat will be on Zoom only.
Save the Date: 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 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).
Taharah Training for All- *Postponed Untill May 1*
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 has been postponed and will take place on Sunday, May 1.

To RSVP and/or to share any questions: contact Marci Dickman
Our New Website: Did You Know You can Update Your Booster Information in MyBethEmet (Member Portal)?
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
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.
Tot Shabbat and Tu B'Shvat Craft Activity
Saturday, January 22 from 9:00 - 10:15 am
Celebrate Shabbat with Cantor Cotler, and give thanks to the trees on Tu B’shvat Shabbat. We’ll sing, pray, chat and enjoy a fun and interactive Tu B’shvat craft project using materials that you have around the house. Perfect for families with children under age 5. 
Ph: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 824 7921 9569
Passcode: 1224
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
Fall 2021 Tzedakah Grant Award Winner
Each spring and fall, the Tzedakah Committee awards grants to deserving non-profit organizations that best exemplify Beth Emet’s social justice core values of righteousness and justice; love of one’s neighbors and for the stranger; compassion; kindness; and, hospitality. This fall, the committee awarded one $500 grant to Family Matters, Inc. of Chicago. Since 1987, thanks to the Congregation’s continuing generosity and commitment to social justice, the committee has awarded 323 grants totaling $141,264.
Family Matters partners with youth, families, and communities to develop skills and abilities that will enable their clients to build successful futures. The grant will be used to partially fund a project to build teen technical skills and leadership abilities by launching new, teen-led podcasts to amplify youth voices on social justice issues. Together with Family Matters staff, volunteer mentors, and professional recording engineers, the teens will research social justice topics, record and edit interviews, and then publish and market the podcasts.
The Tzedakah Committee will continue to provide grants to eligible and deserving non-profits. The filing deadline for the spring 2022 award cycle is March 31. We encourage congregants to continue to contribute to our grant program and help charitable organizations with which they may be involved to submit grant applications for future grant cycles. The application packet is linked to Beth Emet's Tzedakah Fund webpage. 
Social Action Committee Meeting
Wednesday, 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

The Missing Hand, Book Discussion with Author Susan Van Dusen
TONIGHT, 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: 899 1780 5739
Passcode: 1224
A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London
Friday, January 21 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 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.
Ph: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 884 1432 7090
Passcode: 1224
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.
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 office at Beth Emet and it is 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.
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: