Creating Beth Emet Community Together

Tuesday, December 20 |26 Kislev 5783

Beth Emet Offices Are Closed

Monday, December 26-Monday, January 2

If you need to reach us during this time, please call 847-869-4230 and press 4. We look forward to reconnecting when our offices reopen!


For more information, click on the headline of a particular program or info-blurb. Or check out the Beth Emet website.

Chanukah Continues at Beth Emet

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for each night of Chanukah!

Shabbat Chanukah: Friday, December 23

We are closely monitoring the weather forecast, and will share any updated plans by Wednesday at 5:00 pm.

Check for the most up-to-date information.

Dedication of the Temple Menorah Lobby and TJM Courtyard

6:00 pm | in-Person

With the mergers of Temple Menorah and Temple Judea Mizpah with Beth Emet in 2018, we will dedicate the Temple Menorah Lobby and the TJM Courtyard, in keeping with the theme of dedication for Chanukah. Celebrate this important moment in the life of the Congregation.

Kabbalat Shabbat Services: A Chanukah Story Featuring Actors from the Fleetwood Jourdain Theater Company and Welcome to New Members

6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual on Zoom

Celebrate Chanukah as a community, complete with lighting candles and a music-filled Chanukah worship service. We’re excited to continue the tradition of welcoming actors from the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre Company to perform a Chanukah story. This evening we also welcome our new members!

Chanukah Shabbat Dinner: Latke/Tater Tot- Who Has the Most Creative Topping?

Prize for the most creative topping: Spicy, Sweet or Savory

7:30 pm | In-Person

After services, we’ll have dinner including latkes and tater tots. This is where you come in – bring the most creative topping you can get your hands on for the latkes. Judging will be based on three categories: spicy, sweet or savory. And, you get to play judge too! Prize to the most creative topping! $8 per person, plus a side dish.

Cantorial Update

We want to let the community know that Cantor Cotler has accepted a cantorial position at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, California. He will begin his tenure there on July 1, 2023. 

We want to congratulate him on his new position, and we wish him well in the future.

We are continuing our cantorial search at Beth Emet. In last Tuesday's EmetMail, we sent this letter to the congregation from the co-chairs of the cantorial search committee, David Graham and Rebecca Raus, about our search process.

We look forward to Cantor Cotler continuing to be our cantor through June 2023. In June we will have the opportunity to celebrate Cantor Cotler’s tenure at Beth Emet and thank him for his service to our community. 

Rabbi London

Lee Weintraub, President

Support This Year's Mitzvah Appeal Campaign

Our Goal is $280,000; No Gift is Too Small or Too Big

Pledge Today & Sign Up for One or Both Events

We are back! Our calendar is full, and we continue to be creative, flexible, and innovative, embracing technology so that everyone can join for prayer, learning, social justice work, and socializing together. We have so much to offer, and we need your support of the Mitzvah Appeal, our primary fundraising effort of voluntary giving, which provides the single greatest source of non-membership revenue necessary to ensure the financial health of our community.

In appreciation of your gift, we will be holding two events:

State of the World Got Your Goat? Rise Above It! Come Party with Beth Emet

Saturday, January 14 | 7:00 pm |In-Person Only (Downtown Chicago)

Minimum Contribution: $360

Celebrate in person, eat, drink and spend a special evening with new and old friends! Food prepared by the celebrated restaurant Girl and the Goat, catered by BOKA executive Chef Giuseppe Tentori.

D.C. 2023 Spotlight: Brunch with U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky

Sunday, January 29 | 9:45 am |In-Person at Beth Emet and Virtual

Suggested Minimum Pledge: $36 per person

With a change in the House leadership, there will be much to discuss as the 118th U.S. Congress convenes in January. Brunch will be served in-person or grab your favorite breakfast food and cozy up to the Zoom screen.

BE Connected
Weekly Calendar
Full Calendar with Links
Program Registration 

Tuesday, December 20

Dayenu Circle Meeting

7:30 pm | Virtual on Zoom

Calling on all those concerned about climate change. Come to the next Dayenu Circle zoom meeting. We are fine-tuning our sustainability priorities for the coming year.

Thursday, December 22

Qigong with Netiva Caftori

10:00 am | Virtual on Zoom

Our very own Netiva Caftori invites us to experience the healing practice of Qigong with her. Qigong is a millennia-old system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health and spirituality.

Social Justice Opportunity for Beit Sefer Families

5:15 pm | In-Person

Friday, December 23

A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London

9:30 am | In-Person and Virtual on Zoom

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.

Dedication of the Temple Menorah Lobby and TJM Courtyard

6:00 pm | in-Person

Kabbalat Shabbat Services: A Chanukah Story Featuring Actors from the Fleetwood Jourdain Theater Company and Welcome to New Members

6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual on Zoom

Chanukah Shabbat Dinner: Latke/Tater Tot- Who Has the Most Creative Topping?

Prize for the most creative topping: Spicy, Sweet or Savory

7:30 pm | In-Person

Saturday, December 24

Christmas Eve

Kahal Shabbat Morning Services

9:30 am | In-Person and Virtual

Sunday, December 25

Christmas Day

Sunday Morning Minyan

9:00 am |Virtual on Zoom

Monday, December 26

Kwanzaa Gathering

11:00 am | Kwanzaa Kinara Lighting | Fountain Square

1:00 - 4:00 pm | Kwanzaa Festival | Robert Crown Community Center

For the past 4 years we’ve been inviting Fleetwood-Jourdain actors to our Chanukah celebration and we’ve been attending their Kwanzaa festivities. We’re invited this year again to the following Kwanzaa gathering on December 26.

Have you liked us on Facebook and Instagram? Check us Out?!

One Book, One Congregation

Here All Along Discussion with Rabbi London

Sunday, January 15 | 9:45 am | In-Person

This year the Beth Emet community is reading the book, Here All Along by Sarah Hurwitz. Rabbi London will lead a conversation about the first section of the book. This is a wonderful opportunity to contemplate questions about Judaism and explore Jewish identity. Babysitting will be provided. Advanced registration requested.

Subsequent discussions led by Rabbi London will take place on Sunday, March 12l Sunday, April 23; and Sunday, May 7. The book is accessible and thought-provoking. Books and audiobooks are still available in the office.

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.

BE Involved

Volunteer Opportunities

See all our current volunteer opportunities

Interfaith Action Evanston (IAE) Needs Volunteers for Hospitality Center and for the Overnight Shelter

  • Door Greeters for Hospitality Center - Monday-Friday - 7:00 am - 11:00 am (two-hour shifts) at St. Mark’s, 1509 Ridge, Evanston. Sign Up Here

  • Overnight Shelter - At Beth Emet through December 25, there are three shift options (Set up 8:30-10 pm, overnight 9:30 am - 7:00 am, clean up 6:00 -7:00 am) Sign-Up Here

Questions: Contact Sue Murphy Berube.

Support Rebecca Weiner's Gemilut Chasadim Project

Hi! I’m Rebecca Weiner, and I am in seventh grade and at Beth Emet, and recently celebrated my Kabbalat Mitzvah. For my mitzvah project, I’ve made a commitment to clean and restock the Evanston food fridges, (community fridges that anyone is free to take from or add to). Starting this January, I will be restocking the fridge with staples weekly, but I am also aiming to be able to do larger restocks about once a month. My goal is to make a positive impact on our local community, especially during January and February when resources are in shorter supply. You can help me by donating to this GoFundMe! 

Congregational Announcements

Purim Spiel “Auditions”

Want some other outlet other than your shower to belt out a tune? Then come be part of our multi-generational Beth Emet Purim Spiel!! The theme this year is "Romancing The Thrown" (songs from romantic comedy soundtracks)

All singers are welcome. Everyone who wants to participate will get a role in the production! if you're interested in being part of the Purim players, contact Susan ForteAdditional notes for Spielers

Did You Know a New Illinois law requires sealed battery smoke alarms starting in 2023?

A new law in effect on January 1 that requires all Illinois homes to have a smoke alarm with a sealed 10-year battery by Jan. 1, 2023.

Did You Know You Can Order 4 Free Covid Tests Today?

Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from Limit of one order per residential address

Missed a Program? 

When possible, we record our programs for those who were unable to participate. When recordings are available for adult programming, you can find them on the calendar event and on the website.

Additional Congregational Opportunities

Shabbat Babayit: Friday (12/30) and Saturday (12/31)

Kabbalat Shabbat Babayit- Shabbat at Home

Friday, December 30 | 6:30 pm | Virtual on Zoom Only

Kahal Shabbat Morning Services- on Zoom Only

Saturday, December 31 | 9:30 am | Virtual on Zoom Only

Taste of Wise Aging Through the Lens of Tikkun Middot with Sue Nadel and Jane Weintraub

Wednesday, January 11 | 7:30 pm | Virtual on Zoom

Have you been thinking of retiring, is your nest emptying, are you facing age related challenges and moving from one phase of life to another, are you sandwiched between generations? These and other issues will be addressed in this new Beth Emet offering. Middot are character or soul traits and the study of Tikkun Middot uses curiosity and openness to investigate our internal and external reactions to situations. This one hour session will give you a taste of this program. 

Questions? Contact Marci Dickman

New Tikkun Middot Va’ad (small group) Facilitated by Marci Dickman

Monthly, January- June; Specific days and times to be determined by the participants

The Va’ad focuses on a particular character trait each month, and each session includes meditation, mindfulness practice, study of Jewish and secular texts, and self-reflection. Between sessions, participants work with a chevruta (partner) to explore the internal and external obstacles and opportunities present in each moment in order to access more wholesome choices. The group is open to congregants of all ages and interests.

Interested? Contact Marci Dickman

Competing Narratives of the 1948 War with Dr. Maayan Hilel 

Fridays, January 6 and 13 | 11:00 am

In-Person and Virtual on Zoom

We will discuss the major events that led to the outbreak of the war of 1948, its main stages, and the different, even contrasting, narratives Israelis and Palestinians created about it. We will examine the diverse voices of those who participated in or experienced the war to shed new light on this constitutive and complex event.

Current Politics with Dr. David Zarefsky

Tuesday, January 10 | 7:30 pm

In-Person and Virtual

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.

2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Community Worship Service

Sunday, January 15 | 3:00 pm | In-Person at Faith Temple Church of God in Christ and Virtual

This program includes a special presentation to the Reparations Stakeholders Authority of Evanston.

Murder on a Kibbutz: A Book Discussion led by Lisa Lieberman

Wednesday, January 18 | 7:30 pm | Virtual on Zoom

In a recent Guardian review, Lavie Tidhar called the late Israeli author Batya Gur's Murder on a Kibbutz (1991) one of the top ten books of all time about Israel. The daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, Gur had a special interest in how kibbutznikim who came from the death camps found solace in the rhythms of communal life.

This program is sponsored by the Israel Committee

Community News

Zumwalt Acres Spring 2023 Interest Form

Zumwalt Acres is a regenerative agriculture community working to develop a model of land stewardship in Illinois that is ecologically sustainable and socially responsible, rooted in Jewish values. Seeking young people (approximately aged 19-27) interested in regenerative agriculture who are excited by communal living and looking forward to spending the majority of their time tending to land and building a shared community.

Current COVID Protocols: Masks are now 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. 

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