Comprehensive Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 / 6 Kislev 5782

Shout out to Rabbi London for your Moral Leadership
Last week, Rabbi London joined the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA), and partners in the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to demand #Citizenship4All of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Check out these photos, taken by JCUA, of our friends and neighbors demanding Congress deliver a pathway to citizenship and green cards for immigrants families.
OneVoice International with Ezzeldeen Masri
Wednesday, November 10 at 7:30 pm
This organization of Israelis and Palestinians — with active members in the U.S. and Europe — seeks a truly negotiated resolution of the Conflict for a just and lasting peace for Israel and Palestine within their own communities; it provides programs to reduce hate, polarization, and racism. We will hear about issues for a two-state solution and growing up in Gaza.
No fee
Zoom Link - Ph: 312-626-6799 - Meeting ID: 894 2136 1360 l Passcode: 1224

Ezzeldeen Masri is U.S. Outreach Director of OneVoice International. He was born in Gaza City in 1971, completed his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Criminology at Northeastern Illinois University in the spring of 1997, and his Master’s degree in International Relations in the fall of 2000, specializing in conflict resolution. In November 2006, he opened the OneVoice Palestine-Gaza office and was appointed as the Executive Director. He returned to the United States in 2015, and currently lives in the Chicago area.
Being Human
Take a few moments to read this poem by Naima Penniman that Rabbi Andrea London shared with us during Friday Kabbalat Shabbat Services.
I wonder if the sun debates dawn
some mornings
not wanting to rise
out of bed
from under the down-feather horizon
if the sky grows tired
of being everywhere at once
adapting to the mood
swings of the weather
if clouds drift off
trying to hold themselves together
make deals with gravity
to loiter a little longer
I wonder if rain is scared
of falling
if it has trouble
letting go

if snowflakes get sick
of being perfect all the time
each one
trying to be one-of-a-kind
I wonder if stars wish
upon themselves before they die
if they need to teach their young
how to shine
I wonder if shadows long
to just-for-once feel the sun
if they get lost in the shuffle
not knowing where they’re from
I wonder if sunrise
and sunset
respect each other
even though they’ve never met
if volcanoes get stressed
if storms have regrets
if compost believes in life
after death
I wonder if breath ever thinks of suicide
if the wind just wants to sit
still sometimes
and watch the world pass by
if smoke was born
knowing how to rise
if rainbows get shy back stage
not sure if their colors match right
I wonder if lightning sets an alarm clock
to know when to crack
if rivers ever stop
and think of turning back
if streams meet the wrong sea
and their whole lives run off-track
I wonder if the snow
wants to be black
if the soil thinks she’s too dark
if butterflies want to cover up their marks
if rocks are self-conscious of their weight
if mountains are insecure of their strength
I wonder if waves get discouraged
crawling up the sand
only to be pulled back again
to where they began
if land feels stepped upon
if sand feels insignificant
if trees need to question their lovers
to know where they stand
if branches waver at the crossroads
unsure of which way to grow
if the leaves understand they’re replaceable
and still dance when the wind blows
I wonder
where the moon goes
when she is in hiding
I want to find her there
and watch the ocean
spin from a distance
listen to her
stir in her sleep
effort give way to existence
- Naima Penniman
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!
Susan Van Dusen has Published Her First Novel!
Save The Date!
Award-winning editorial and magazine writer Susan Van Dusen has turned her talents to writing a series of Jewish mysteries in the 'cozy' genre that eschews violence, profanity, and sweaty love! Her debut novel, The Missing Hand, centers around an antique yad, the finger-pointing tool that helps people read the Torah. This antique, which is encrusted with valuable gems, goes missing. Julia Donnelly, wife of the Mayor of small town Crestfall, Illinois, who calls herself the lowest member on the Jewish ecological ladder, is tasked to find the yad with the help of her Torah group leader Rabbi Fine. Using Jewish tradition and plain sechel, Donnelly and Fine discover the yad, and return it too the owner, but there’s MORE! When something is stolen and returned, should there be atonement and forgiveness for the action? Ancient Jewish tradition has the answer. We also learn about the members of Julia’s quirky Torah group and many Jewish practices. Van Dusen’s goal is to educate people on the different levels of Judaism, and entertain at the same time. Coming out next year is The Poisonous Passover, followed by The Perilous Purim. The former Editorial Director at WBBM-AM Radio hopes there will be many more Julia Donnelly and Rabbi Fine books to come. Save the date for the Beth Emet book discussion on January 19, 2022 at 7:00 pm.
Congregational Opportunities
Inclusion Committee Meeting-Interested in Being Inclusive?
TONIGHT, November 10 at 6:00 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
Soul Stitchers - Virtual Knitting Circle
TONIGHT, November 10 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.
Zoom Link- Ph: 312-626-6799 - Meeting ID: 854 1648 2781 | Passcode: 1224
Book of Remembrance: Holocaust Photo Restoration Project by Stewart Cherlin
Thursday, November 11 at 11:00 am CST
Beth Emet member, Stewart Cherlin is a photographer and artist. His latest project and exhibit, "The Book of Remembrance," is a photo restoration project in which he has restored and colorized black and white or sepia photo portraits of Holocaust victims. To virtually view the exhibit, hosted by the Florida Holocaust Museum, watch via Facebook.
Kahal Town Hall
Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 pm
We are excited to convene a virtual Kahal "Town Hall". The town hall will be an opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas on Kahal and how we can enhance the worship and communal experience in our hybrid environment.
Kabbalat Shabbat Service with Dedication of the New Mantle for the Czech Torah Scroll and Blessing for Veterans
Friday, November 12 at 6:30 pm

On Tuesday, November 9 we marked Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, in which violent acts of antisemitism took place in Nazi Germany and surrounding regions occupied by German troops. In commemoration of this anniversary, we will be dedicating a new mantle for our Czech Memorial Trust Torah Scroll (the old one is pictured here), which survived the Holocaust. This mantle is designed by Beth Emet's own Jerri Zbiral with the assistance of Alan Teller and Peter Sis and donated by Sharon and David Kessler in memory of David's parents.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, which we observe on November 11, we want to offer a blessing to those who served our country. At Friday night’s Shabbat Services, November 12, we welcome the veterans of our community to attend in person, or via LiveControl. If you or someone you know is a veteran, please invite them to receive this blessing. 

Kabbalat Shabbat services will take place both online and in person for those who are fully vaccinated. Advanced registration is encouraged but not required for those who have already submitted vax information. If you have not yet shared the date of your vaccinations and signed the Brit (Covenant of Responsibility), please complete the online form before coming for services. P.S. Come for a special celebratory treat
For Audio only, call 847-869-4230 and press 7
High Holiday Survey and Feedback Opportunity  
Before Thursday, November 18
We are now safely past all of the 5782 High Holy Days! We are looking for your feedback on what you thought worked and what we might do better for both in-person and remote participation. Please fill out this brief survey. Your feedback is very much appreciated!
Interfaith Action of Evanston 23rd Annual Thanksgiving Eve Service
Wednesday, November 24 at 7:00 pm
This year the annual interfaith service will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 24th at Lake Street Church (607 Lake St., Evanston) at 7 pm and over Zoom. The service will feature keynote speaker: Bennett Johnson, Evanston history maker, the Evanston Interfaith Community Choir led by Music Director Dr. Diana Schmück, of Lake Street Church of Evanston. All attendees must wear a mask and be fully vaccinated.  
Virtual Chanukah Candle Lighting: Save The Date
Sunday, November 28 - December 5
Celebrate Chanukah as a community by joining on zoom each night at 6:30 pm for candlelighting, led by our members. In this time of rededication come learn how we can each rededicate ourselves through the lens of Beit T'filah, Beit Sefer, Beit Knesset, Beit Tzedeck, and Beit Chesed.
Beth Emet Camp Scholarships
Deadline is January 14, 2022
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.
Thank you to all those who made a generous contribution to Beth Emet this past month!

To make a donation, please contact our office or you can do so online.
Social Justice
REMINDER: Support the Freedom to Vote Act with the Religious Action Center
Through, tomorrow November 11
Join with other Reform Jews both at Beth Emet and across our country who are taking part in a national effort to support passage of voting rights legislation. The Religious Action Center (RAC) of Reform Judaism is calling  on individuals, communities, and congregations to commit to joining our call-in week November 8th-11th to call on the Senate and President Biden to reform the outdated filibuster and swiftly pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Beth Emet has committed to 20 calls. Be part of our double moral minyan. If you have questions, share them with Judy Caplan.
Fall Tzedakah Box Drop-Off/Exchange
Monday, November 15 - Friday, November 19
The Beth Emet Tzedakah Committee is pleased to announce our fall tzedakah box drop-off/exchange for the week of November 15 (Monday-Friday) from 9:00am-5:00pm (Mon.-Thurs.) and 9:00am-3:30pm on Friday. Please note: Drop off during Beit Sefer hours is also an option. Drop your tzedakah boxes off just inside the west-side entrance of the building off the parking lot. Please bring your tzedakah box to Shlomit Hoch in the office or take a new box available in the west entrance area. Note that the Lucite tzedakah boxes are located by west entrance area and the Temple Menorah Lobby. You may also use the slot at the sanctuary entrance to deposit donations.
For those of you who have not yet returned to the building, you also have the option of contributing to the Tzedakah Fund by credit card. Visit the Beth Emet Tzedakah page and click on "Donate directly to the Tzedakah Fund here." Or, you may submit a request to Debbie Gilbert, Beth Emet's finance manager, to transfer a portion of your account balance to the Fund. If you prefer to donate by check, make your check payable to Beth Emet and enter "Tzedakah Fund" on the memo line. 
As always, the contributions received are used exclusively to fund our grant program for the benefit of local and Israeli not-for-profits whose missions align with Beth Emet's social justice core values of righteousness/justice, love of one's neighbors and for the stranger, compassion, kindness, and hospitality. For more information about the Tzedakah Grant program, please view our Tzedakah page or contact committee chair, Barry Isaacson by email or by phone at 847-624-6434. For those unable to drop off their contributions during the week of November 15, please contact Shlomit to schedule your drop-off. 
Learning From One Another: Let's Talk About Reparations
Wednesday, November 17 at 7:00 pm 
Whether you are in favor of, against or undecided about national reparations legislation, this is your opportunity to deepen your understanding. Join us to share your thoughts, concerns, questions and feelings so we can all learn from each other.
This program will include small group discussions in breakout rooms. Each breakout room will have one topic which will be randomly assigned using the ten specific reparations points of the National African Americans Reparations Commission’s plan for national reparations. A moderator will give a short summary of some key points for the assigned topic, followed by open discussion so everyone can consider other congregants’ views. We will then come back together to hear a short summary of key points discussed.
Let’s see where the conversation takes us.
Click here to read the Social Action reparations group’s executive summary regarding reparations.
Young Family Programs
Jamberry Music with Nicole Jaworski is Back at Beth Emet! Co-sponsored by JBaby
Starting November 30
Nicole is back! 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 take place from November 30- January 18 from 9:30-10:15 am at Beth Emet Synagogue.
The fee per family is $90.00. Please register here.
Chanukah Concert for Families with Young Children
Sunday, December 5 at 4:00 pm
Come enjoy Chanukah songs and fun with Cantor Cotler and guest Aimee Leigh! Holiday treats for everyone! Masks are required for all attendees. Please note, you can participate in this event in person as well as virtually.
Save The Date: Winter Fun Fest for Young Families
Sunday, December 19 from 11am -12:00 pm
Come create a gift for our animal friends and a gift for your family. 
Lifelong Learning
Adult Education
All the listings for Adult Education Courses are now up on our website with more details. Please do register in advance.
A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London
Friday, November 12 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. Texts will be provided.
No fee for members, non-member fee $100
Zoom Link - Ph: 312-626-6799 - Meeting ID: 880 3271 0378 | Passcode: 785827
Rabbinic Inferno: Hell in Classical Judaism with Dov Weiss
Friday, November 12 at 11:00 am
The leading rabbis of American Reform Judaism declared in the 1885 Pittsburgh Platform that “we reject as ideas not rooted in Judaism, the belief … [in] Gehenna (Hell).” Arguing that this claim misrepresents the history of Judaism, this two-part class will examine ancient Jewish discourse about Gehenna to unearth the distinctive values, aesthetics, fantasies, and hopes found within classical Jewish culture. Without such an analysis, one’s understanding of Judaism remains incomplete.
Member fee $25, or included in Friday morning package; non-member fee $35
Zoom Link - Ph: 312-626-6799 - Meeting ID: 853 8717 8252 | Passcode: 1224

Dov Weiss is an Associate Professor and Conrad Humanities Scholar (21-26) of Jewish Studies in the Departments of Religion, Classics and Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed his PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School as a Martin Meyer Fellow in 2011 and was the Alan M. Stock Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies in 2012. Dov’s first book, Pious Irreverence: Confronting God in Rabbinic Judaism (University of Pennsylvania Press), won the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Scholarship.
Current Politics with David Zarefsky
Tuesday, November 16 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
Zoom Link -Ph: 312-626-6799 - Meeting ID: 898 8073 2872 l Passcode: 1224

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.
Resources for Well-BEing
Programs and materials to support us during this challenging time
Every week, this section will highlight a few resources—programs/services/guidance—to enhance our well-being. We have also created a webpage on the Beth Emet website that has a more comprehensive list of resources.
Skokie Public Library: Business and Employment Resources
Skokie Public Library has resources to help people exploring new careers and starting new enterprises.
Contacts: Mike Buhmann (job search)
Womencare Counseling
Address: Center 1740 Ridge Avenue, Suite 201, Evanston IL 60201
Womencare provides individual, group, couple and family counseling, as well as sponsoring educational and professional workshops. We offer counseling to children and adolescents ages 4-21 and their families. Womencare is home to a team of skilled, licensed clinicians trained in the treatment of the complex issues of childhood and adolescence. Therapists use a variety of counseling techniques and tools that are chosen based upon each child’s unique strengths and vulnerabilities as well as their presenting issues. Treatment may include: play therapy, individual talk therapy, family therapy, and a range of creativity-based interventions, including art therapy, drama and role-play, journaling and poetry.
Contact: 847-475-7003
Community Programs
Reserve Your Seat On The Couch
Streaming, November 5-21
JCC Chicago kicks-off the 2021 Fall Festival with 8 films streaming over 3 weekends. From documentaries to dramas and accompanying Q&A's with subject matter experts, you won't want to miss these carefully curated films. Special festival passes on-sale now for a limited time.