Creating Beth Emet Community Together

Tuesday, April 25 | 4 Iyar 5783

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In honor of Israel’s 75th birthday, while Israelis and Palestinians are on the ground continue to struggle to preserve and create a full democracy, we offer this prayer by Rabbi Ayelet Cohen for the state of Israel.

In the News: Rabbi London and U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky

Israel's Right-Wing Government Has Jewish Democrats at a Loss

The New York Times; April 20, 2023

Oneg, Kabbalat Shabbat Service and Dinner Celebrating Israel's 75th Anniversary

Friday, April 28 | 6:00 pm

Can We Count You In? A Memorable Evening You Won't Want to Miss! Register for the dinner today!

This Shabbat we will be celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s 75th Anniversary, starting at 6:00 pm with an Oneg Shabbat, followed by Kabbalat Shabbat services to include a special video greeting from Rabbis Gabby Dagan and Naama Dafni Kellen of Shir Hadash in Haifa, one of the oldest and most prominent Reform congregations in Israel. 

Following services, we will come together as a community to enjoy a festive evening of a delicious catered Israeli-style dinner, uplifting music (and even dancing!) featuring Shakshuka. Dinner and live music cost: $18 per person (through Wednesday) and $22 per person thereafter. RSVP in advance.

Shakshuka is a Chicago-based band performing their unique brand of Israeli and Sephardic music spiced with jazz. "Shakshuka" is also the name of a Sephardic/Israeli food that is an eclectic and zesty blend of spices, tomatoes and eggs, and an appropriate metaphor for the band. Like the food, Shakshuka’s music is a fusion of Israeli, Sephardic, and Mizrahi elements, as it incorporates spicy musical accents of jazz, Latin and rock. The result is a satisfying musical dish for all ages and tastes

Thinking of Composting? Tips for Composting at Home

by Chris Wynn

Our monthly blog, edited by Dayenu Circle (climate action and environmental justice) members Chris Wynn and Sharon Smaller, will give you ideas, information, and resources, to make this world a better place environmentally, tikkun olam. As a community, we can learn from each other, so we welcome your ideas and questions. Please share with us your successes in your endeavors to “go green.”

Earth Day Launch of Beth Emet Zero Waste Initiative

In honor of this year's Earth Day, the Dayenu Circle launched Beth Emet's Zero-Waste Initiative (composting and reducing single-use plastic). At Friday night's service on 4/21, Evanston Township High School sophomore Eli Coustan, who chairs the Zero-Waste Committee, introduced the Zero-Waste Initiative.

Eli added some good humor to his talk, garnering laughter among the congregation. To kick off the program, Dayenu Circle has contributed glass kiddush cups, which will now be used instead of plastic cups for wine and juice following Friday night services. Next month, the initiative will be introduced in the soup kitchen. In the fall, we plan to gradually phase in other areas of the synagogue.  Learn more about this program by listening to Eli.

On Sunday, the Dayenu Circle hosted a film presentation and discussion of “Waste,” one episode of the eco-documentary series “Down to Earth” along with Beit Sefer grades 5 and 6. You too can watch the series on Netflix.

One Book, One Congregation

Here All Along Discussion with Rabbi London on Chapter 8: Jewish Holidays and the Power of a Well-Placed Banana

Sunday, May 7 | 11:00 am | In-Person

Rabbi London will lead a conversation about Chapter 8: Jewish Holidays and the Power of a Well-Placed Banana, from Sarah Hurwitz's book, Here All Along. This is a wonderful opportunity to contemplate questions about Judaism and explore Jewish identity. The book is accessible and thought-provoking.

Books and bookmarks are available in the front office for anyone who would like one. Babysitting will be provided, advanced registration is required.

Conversation with Sarah Hurwitz, author of Here All Along

Monday, May 15 | 7:00 pm | In-Person and Virtual

This past year, our congregation has been reading, Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life — in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There). You’ve read the book, listened to the Divrei Torah, engaged in a book circle, or even participated in Sunday morning conversations with Rabbi London. Or perhaps you have been reflecting on your own relationship to Judaism, observing Shabbat, developing a spiritual practice, and being a great person. Now's the time to meet the author, hear her insights, and be inspired to continue the journey. Even if you have not participated yet, Sarah's visit is sure to spark your interest.

The One Book, One Congregation programs are generously sponsored by the Judith F. Krug Fund, David and Florence Fingeret Fund, Solomon and Lillian Krug Fund, and the JELLO (Jewish Education: Lifelong Learning Opportunities) Funds in the Beth Emet Foundation. 

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Tuesday, April 25

Dayenu Circle Monthly Meeting

7:30 pm | Virtual

Calling on all those concerned about climate change. We will be focus on our zero-waste initiative and start thinking about our goals for the fall. We will also have a listening session for RAC-IL.

Wednesday, April 26

Yom Ha'atzmaut

Thursday, April 27

Qigong with Netiva Caftori

10:00 am | Virtual

Unite Against Racism

10:15 am | In-Person at Dempster and Ridge (Southwest Corner)

Beth Emet is joining members of Evanston schools, churches and organizations, along Ridge Avenue with signs and noisemakers to raise awareness of institutional and structural racism and the fact that Beth Emet stands against such injustice. Click the link above to download signs and find out more information.

Laundering Antisemitism: Jews, Identity Politics and the University with Professor Marc Dollinger

7:30 pm | Virtual

Professor Dollinger will talk about what it’s like to be called a left-wing Jew while fighting antisemitism on a right-wing campus, only to be called a right-wing Zionist when he fought antisemitism on a left-wing campus. Learn about two campus antisemitism fights and important insights into the role of the university, the place of identified Jews on campus, and the ways in which identity politics plays out in sometimes surprising ways.

Friday, April 28

A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London

9:30 am | In-Person and Virtual

There are many ways to interpret Torah and its nuances of meaning that are often overlooked. We will continue our learning, reading, and interpreting the text of the Book of Deuteronomy line by line. New learners are always welcome.

Kabbalat Shabbat Service and Dinner Celebrating Israel's 75th Anniversary

6:00 pm

See above for more details. Register for the dinner today!

Saturday, April 29

Kahal Shabbat Morning Service

9:30 am | In-Person and Virtual

Isaac Lefkovitz Kabbalat Mitzvah

10:30 am | In-Person and Virtual

18th Annual Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema

Continuing through Sunday, May 9

Award-winning features, documentaries, shorts, and TV series made in Israel sharing what Israelis are thinking and doing; how they feel about each other and their neighbors; deeper dives into the foodie, music, and club culture; and what’s “in” and “out.” 

Sunday, April 30

Sunday Morning Minyan

9:00 am | In-Person and Virtual on Zoom

First-timers are encouraged!

Violins of Hope for Beit Sefer Students and Parents

11:30 am | In-Person and Virtual

In conjunction with the JCC Chicago, the Violins of Hope, a collection of 70 string instruments played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust that have been painstakingly restored will be played in a performance for our congregation and our students in Beit Sefer.

Mark Your Calendar: Kabbalat Shabbat Service with Violins of Hope on Friday, May 5

Monday, May 1

Women in American Jewish History That You Might Not Know About with Rabbi Toby Manewith

7:00 pm | In-Person and Virtual

You know about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sarah Silverman, and Sheryl Sandburg. Come learn about other Jewish women, including “The Girl Rabbi of the Golden West,” who deeply impacted American and/or Jewish life over the last 300 years.

Tuesday, May 2

Parents and Grandparents: Jamberry Music with Nicole Jaworski! Co-sponsored by JBaby

9:30 am | In-Person

Join us for joyful, collaborative music-making! You and your little one can sing, dance, play, pretend and experiment with instruments. Class is geared to kids 6 months to 2.5 years old and siblings are welcome! Every Tuesday through May 16. $60 (one child), $90 (two children).

Soul Stitchers-Knitting Circle

7:00 pm | Virtual

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!

Missed last Week's Event?

Israel at 75: How Far We’ve Come, What We Must Do with Gershom Gorenberg

This event was co-sponsored by Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, Temple Beth Israel, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Congregation Hakafa, and Congregation Sukkat Shalom.

In The BE Family

Lindy Rubin, a congregant and art teacher, brought Shabbat items to show our younger students and their parents. The students also brought meaningful Shabbat ritual objects from home, which they described to the group.

Dr. Ed Linn led a tour on Sunday to the International Museum of Surgical Science. This museum was founded by a Jewish surgeon; its art, paintings, and artifacts imaginatively capture the history of surgical medicine. 

We Want to Hear From You!

Whether it's good news to share or you would like to be featured or know someone who should be featured "In The BE Family," let us know or contact Bekki Kaplan.

BE Involved

Volunteer Opportunities

Unite Against Racism (Formerly Stand Against Racism) with YWCA Evanston/NorthShore

Thursday, April 27 |10:15 am | In-Person

See above for more details.

Soup Kitchen Help Needed in May/June

The Rabbi Peter and Elaine Knobel Soup Kitchen at Beth Emet is currently seeking volunteers for several Wednesday evenings in May and June.  Onsite volunteers work a 4:15 - 7:00 pm shift, cooking and serving the dinner. They also purchase and bring certain ingredients used in the meal preparation. For open dates and more information, please email.

Upcoming Congregational Opportunities

Kabbalat Shabbat Service with Violins of Hope and May Birthday Blessings

Friday, May 5 | 6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual

Shabbat Sing-Along with Cantor Cotler

Saturday, May 6 | 9:15 am | In-Person

Sing, Shake and Slide and Snacks

Young Families are invited to Shabbat Sing-Along, with Cantor Cotler, followed by playground fun at Beth Emet. Perfect for families with kids 5 and under.

No registration needed–just come!

Kahal Potluck Lunch

Saturday, May 6 | 12:00 pm | In-Person

If you are able to attend on Saturday morning, please consider bringing a vegetarian, nut-free dish or lunch item for all to enjoy.

Please also take a moment to jot down a list of ingredients that can be displayed with your dish for the benefit of those with food allergies.

Part 2: Women in American Jewish History That You Might Not Know About with Rabbi Toby Manewith

Monday, May 8 | 7:00 pm | In-Person and Virtual

You know about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sarah Silverman, and Sheryl Sandburg. Come learn about other Jewish women, including “The Girl Rabbi of the Golden West,” who deeply impacted American and/or Jewish life over the last 300 years.

Social Justice Committee Meeting

Monday, May 8 | 7:00 pm | In-Person with Virtual Option

A Discussion of Ken Burns' Film, “The US and the Holocaust” Led by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz

Wednesday, May 10 | 7:00 pm | In-Person and Virtual

The 2022 documentary by Ken Burns raises significant concerns relevant to our time. We will first review the film itself, including the myths about the Holocaust and America’s response to it, which the film seeks to dispel. The discussion will then turn to American Jewry’s response to the Shoah, FDR’s reaction to this genocidal catastrophe, and whether or not the U.S. should have bombed Auschwitz.

Kabbalat Shabbat Service Honoring Klaus Georg, Beth Emet Choir Director

Friday, May 12 | 6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual

Conversations to Nourish Our Souls with Marci Dickman

Thursday, May 18 | 7:15 pm | Virtual

Not sure how to connect to the Mystery or the Divine in the world? Perhaps you are seeking an honest conversation about making meaning in life and what really matters. We will use the prayerbook, poetry, prose, and ourselves as our texts, aiming to deepen our connections and discern meaningful paths in our daily lives.

Kabbalat Shabbat Services with Kabbalat Torah and Gesher Tekes

Friday, May 19 | 6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual

Dayenu Circle Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, May 23 | 7:30 pm | Virtual

Leil Shavuot: One Jewish Evanston

Thursday, May 25 | 6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual Options

Save the date, more information coming soon.

Current Politics with Professor David Zarefsky

Wednesday, May 31 | 7:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual

*Note Date Change*

Missed a Program? 

Watch the recording from Burlington’s “Little Jerusalem” and The Lost Mural, an International Treasure in Vermont with Aaron Goldberg and Jeff Potash.

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Current COVID Protocols: Masks are recommended, but not required. We ask that whenever you are in the building, we each continue to respect one another’s personal space and comfort levels. Everyone must still have the most recent booster shot they are eligible for.

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