Comprehensive Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday, January 5, 2022 / 3 Shevat 5782

Start 2022 with Your Donation to the Mitzvah Appeal and Add Your Name Here
A special thank you to all those who have made a commitment to this year’s annual campaign. We are more than 90% towards our goal of $250,000. 

If you have not yet contributed your pledge, no matter the amount, gets us closer to meeting our goal and ensuring that we continue to support all that Beth Emet has to offer. Every donation counts!  
Donate by Check or Credit Card on MyBethEmet
Our new member portal, MyBethEmet, provides an opportunity to both donate/pay by credit card (which would include a 3% transaction fee) or you can pay by check (without a transaction fee). Check it out, and if you have any questions contact Debbie Gilbert. Questions regarding access to MyBethEmet, contact Bekki Kaplan.
This Sunday- DC 2022 Spotlight: Brunch with U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky with Time for Q&A
Sunday, January 9 at 10:00 am
Suggested Minimum Pledge to the Mitzvah Appeal: $36 per Zoom link.
With so much happening in DC right now, here's a perfect opportunity to hear from our own U.S. Representative, Jan Schakowsky (and Beth Emet member!) and ask a question of particular interest. This is the final event in our Mitzvah Appeal 2021-2022 campaign.
Our New Website: Did You Know….
The best way to stay up to date with what's happening at Beth Emet is through the calendar on the website? You can even filter the view depending on category you are looking for!
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!
Eli Coustan Helps People Find At-Home COVID Tests by Creating a New Website!

Eli Coustan, a freshman at Evanston Township High School, realized a need when his family made plans to see Rabbi London a couple weeks ago. As the families had agreed to take Covid tests before seeing each other, Eli helped track down tests online and confirm their availability. Through this, Eli realized the energy and time needed to finding at home Covid tests and came up with his own solution.

A note from Eli: I created because I saw it was difficult to find at-home Covid-19 tests and wanted to make it easier for anyone to purchase them. I used a lot of the same code from which I created last year to help people find vaccines in early 2021 when vaccine appointments were difficult to get.
Congregational Opportunities
Kabbalat Shabbat Services and Kahal Shabbat Services- Online
Friday, January 7 and Saturday, January 8
**No In-Person Services**
Please note that our worship services this Shabbat will be on Zoom only. Larger Update forcoming.
Soul Stitchers – Virtual Knitting Circle
Wednesday, 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
Shmooze with Sam
Thursday, January 13 from 8:30-9:15 pm
Calling all parents of teens! 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.
Young Family Programs
Gan Yom Rishon
Starting Sunday January 9 from 9:30 -11:00 am
Gan Yom Rishon is an interactive class for children ages 3-5, with a parent/caregiver, that meets on Zoom the next two Sundays.

6 Sessions: January 9 - February 13.
4 Sessions: February 27, March 6, March 20, and March 27 (and the Purim Carnival on 3/13!)

Each week we’ll experience Judaism through music, art, cooking, and yoga. Gan Yom Rishon is also open to non-members. Register Here
Shabbat ShaZoom
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. Very short and sweet–a perfect way to begin Shabbat!
Tot Shabbat and Tu B'Shvat Craft Activity
Saturday January 22 from 9:00 -11:00 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 Music with Nicole Jaworski Now on Wednesdays!
Starting 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! Masks for everyone 2+, and social distancing, will be expected. Class will be held on Zoom if conditions change. This program will continue through March 2 from 9:30-10:15 am at Beth Emet Synagogue.
The fee per family is $90.00. Please register here.
Social Justice
Social Action Committee Meeting
Wednesday, 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 is Back!
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. Interfaith Action has expanded its services, extending the dates for the overnight shelter and the hours for our Warming Center and we need your help to sustain these efforts. On MLK Day of Service 2022, join us in the fight against homelessness and hunger in our community. Let’s carry on Dr. King’s legacy and continue his fight for economic, social, and racial justice. Teams will meet at the Hinman entrance of the First United Methodist Church, 516 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201 in Evanston, at 11:00 am to walk a two-mile circuit of eight of the IAE overnight shelter sites.

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 as well as inside.

Contact Leslie Shulruff with any questions
Beth Emet Co-Sponsors Afghan Refugee Family
The refugee family receiving support from the Beth Emet community will be arriving in Chicago the week of January 10th! Help provide family essentials or purchase a gift card for groceries and other household supplies the family will need. If you'd like to join the volunteer committee supporting these efforts, contact Alison Finkel. We look forward to welcoming them in the New Year!
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 7 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
Intimidation and Harassment of Jewish College Students and Faculty
Monday, January 10 at 7:30 pm
Jewish college faculty and students too often face intimidation and harassment for being pro-Israel or sometimes just for being Jewish. This program will examine the challenges faced and available resources.

Rabbi Steven Resnicoff is a prolific author and speaker, and a long-tenured professor at the DePaul College of Law. He is the co-founder and director of its Center for Jewish Law & Judaic Studies, which provides diverse interdisciplinary programming that includes a focus on combating the growing scourge of antisemitism. Rabbi Resnicoff holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a law degree from Yale University.
Ph: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 854 9388 4885
Passcode: 1224
Current Politics With David Zarefsky
Wednesday, 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
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.
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
Save the Date: The Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest
January 10-14
The 2022 Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest will be centered around investing in solutions – focusing on how our values can be expressed through our personal, professional, communal, organizational and societal investments – and shifting away from systems, practices and ways of thinking that perpetuate climate destruction and inequity. This year’s Festival is full of practical and informative workshops on how each person in the Jewish community can take action for our climate. Sessions will be on Zoom, streaming on Facebook, and Instagram Live.

Follow our social channels to get updates, access to archives and much more. You can find more info about the Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest at More details, including the full schedule of Festival programming, will be coming soon!
Parent Survival Guide
Starts Wed, January 12
Being a parent is tough work. Moms and Dads are invited to take some time for themselves with JCC Chicago’s virtual Parent Survival Guide series. Programs include mixology class, yoga, meal prep, professionally-facilitated support groups and more. 
Yale A Capella Group Live
Thursday, January 13 at 7:00 pm
Magevet is an 18-person, co-ed ensemble of undergraduates at Yale University, and together they constitute Yale’s only Jewish, Hebrew, and Israeli a cappella choir. JCC Chicago is hosting this free in-person event at the Marvin Lustbader Center in the Bernard Weinger JCC in Northbrook. Masks required.
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.