Creating Beth Emet Community Together

Tuesday, February 14 | 23 Shevat 5783

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Soup Kitchen Celebrates 20 Years and Honors the Legacy of the Rabbi Peter and Elaine Knobel Soup Kitchen at Beth Emet

Sunday, March 19 at 5:00 pm | In-Person

On November 2, 2022, the Beth Emet Soup Kitchen celebrated 20 years of continuous weekly service to the Evanston community. During those 20 years, thousands of nutritious and delicious meals were lovingly prepared by countless volunteers and served in a warm and congenial environment. Even when the building was being renovated and during the COVID pandemic, the creative and dedicated leadership and volunteers found ways to continue to serve our guests.

On March 19, we have the opportunity to celebrate the Soup Kitchen’s accomplishments, raise money to ensure that it can continue its operations long into the future, and honor the legacy of Rabbi Peter Knobel, under whose leadership and in conjunction with a team of visionaries, the Soup Kitchen was founded in 2002. The Knobel family has generously offered to match, dollar for dollar, the first $50,000 of donations received, and the Soup Kitchen will be renamed the Rabbi Peter and Elaine Knobel Soup Kitchen at Beth Emet.

Rabbi Knobel and Elaine were so proud of the Soup Kitchen and how beautifully it lived up to the value of hachnasat orchim—gracious hospitality—a trait the Knobels exemplified in their lives. Whether in their home or at Beth Emet, the Knobels were the consummate hosts, caring lovingly and graciously for everyone.

Your contribution will ensure the ongoing success of this vital communal service, recognize the extraordinary dedication of the Soup Kitchen leadership, and celebrate the legacy of Rabbi Peter and Elaine Knobel.

Register and/or Donate Today

An Amazing Time was had at the First Annual Faux Mitzvah Party for Parents of Kids 6 – 21

Lots of dancing, catching up, and meeting new friends! Thank you to all who attended and made it a celebration. A sincere thank you to everyone who helped with the planning, especially Tamar Karsh-Fogel who spearheaded the event, along with committee members Lynne Abbott, Katie Coombes, Liz Coustan, Melissa Deroche, Caryn Etkin, Elsa Gould, Irina Greenwald, Becca Nolan, Shelli Patt, Jodi Portnoy, Tamar Selch, Deborah Siegel-Acevedo, Randi Singer, Shaina Young and Bekki Kaplan. 

Thank you to Board member Gideon Horberg, the surprise guest at the Faux Mitzvah, who welcomed parents and offered a few words as to why Beth Emet plays such an important role in the lives of our families. He shared the following, "Children are often what bring people to join a synagogue or a Jewish community. And that may be what caused you to join Beth Emet and come together tonight. I hope they continue to bring you together, but Beth Emet is much more than a place for people with children to come together and much more than a school program (Beit Sefer). There's adult education, worship opportunities, social action, social activities for adults only, and more. It's what you put into it. For example, when Nisan Chavkin and Jonathan Hartman-Seeskin saw there was a need for a weekday minyan, they created it. I hope that all of you are able to nourish your souls at Beth Emet and find what is meaningful to you."

Reserve Your Spot on the Bus Before it's Filled!

Tour The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Museum at Legacy Apartments and the Dr. MLK Living Memorial

Sunday, March 12 | 2:00 -7:00 pm | In-person

Sponsored by Evanston Interfaith Clergy and Leaders and Evanston Own It

Please join us in visiting the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Apartments Exhibit & the MLK Living Memorial, followed by dinner & interfaith/interracial conversation at Chicago's Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation.

About the MLK Exhibit Center at Legacy Apartments: "The Lawndale Christian Development Corporation is proud to advance Dr. King’s mission to address disparate housing conditions in Chicago by turning the apartment building on S. Hamilton Ave. into the newly developed Legacy Apartments. The MLK Exhibit Center, also located on S. Hamilton, honors Dr. King’s legacy of fighting redlining and housing inequality."

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Memorial is Chicago's first permanent memorial commemorating Dr. King and the Chicago Freedom Movement's presence and impact in Marquette Park and the Chicagoland area.

The bus tour begins and ends at Beth Emet. Free and open to the public!

Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAAIM)

Organized by the Beth Emet Inclusion Committee

February 1, marked the beginning of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAAIM), a unified effort among Jewish organizations and communities worldwide to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and those who love them. JDAAIM is a call to action to each one of us in accordance with our Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess. Established in 2009 by the Jewish Special Education International Consortium, JDAAIM is observed each February and this year marks the 15th annual observation.

Inclusion Shabbat with Pre-Recorded Guest D'var Torah by Rabbi Sandra Cohen

Friday, February 17 | 6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual on LiveControl

In honor of JDAAIM, we are grateful to share a pre-recorded D'var Torah in honor of Inclusion Shabbat by Rabbi Sandra Cohen, “Creating a Caring Community: opening our doors to those with mental illness and their families”.

Inclusion Committee Meeting

Monday, February 20 | 5:00 pm | Virtual on Zoom

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.

Shattering Barriers: I Am Who I Am

Thursday, February 23 | 5:15 pm | In-Person and Virtual on LiveControl

Welcome Tellin' Tales, a Chicago-based theater company! Three seasoned solo performers share personal vignettes based on their real-life stories about living with a disability. The result is a beautiful, and funny, message of independence and the power of dealing with the world on their own terms. Please joins us for this 60-minute performance that includes a question-and-answer session.

Learn More about the Important Work of the Inclusion Committee

Check out Monday’s presentation to the Social Justice Committee by Terri Michaels, Chair, and learn more about the intersectionality of the work with disability awareness and social justice (among other things) from Tammy Besser, LCSW, Services for People with Disabilities at JCFS Chicago. If you’re interested in getting involved contact Terri Michaels or Marci Dickman.

BE Connected
Weekly Calendar
Full Calendar with Links
Program Registration 

Thursday, February 16

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.

Conversations to Nourish Our Souls with Marci Dickman

7:15 pm | Virtual on Zoom

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.

Friday, February 17

A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London

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

Please note, A Close Look at Torah will NOT be meeting on February 24 or March 3.

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.

Tzedakah as a Spiritual Discipline with Dr. Sam Fleischacker

11:00 am | In-Person and Virtual on Zoom

Who can ask us for financial help? How do we maintain respect for people who need money from us? Is it religiously admirable, or something else, to allow ourselves to become poor? We’ll consider these and other questions in connection with texts from the Mishnah and Maimonides.

Inclusion Shabbat with Pre-Recorded Guest D'var Torah by Rabbi Sandra Cohen

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

More Info Above

Saturday, February 18

Kahal Shabbat Morning Services

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

Mayah Prawer-Stock Kabbalat Mitzvah

10:30 am | In-Person and Virtual on LiveControl

Sunday, February 19

Sunday Morning Minyan

9:00 am | Virtual on Zoom Only

No Beit Sefer

In observance of Presidents' Day Weekend there will be no Sunday Beit Sefer.

Monday, February 20

Presidents' Day- Building Closed

Should you need to contact someone at Beth Emet during this time, please call the main number (847-869-4230), and press 4. The Clergy are available in case of an emergency.

Inclusion Committee Meeting

5:00 pm | Virtual on Zoom

Tuesday, February 21

Jamberry Music with Nicole Jaworski Is Back!

Co-Sponsored by JBaby

9:30 am | In-Person

Join us for joyful, collaborative music-making with Nicole Jaworsky 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!

Dayenu Circle Monthly Meeting

7:30 pm | Virtual on Zoom

Calling on all those concerned about climate change. Come to the next Dayenu Circle zoom meeting. We will be exploring ways to become a more zero-waste congregation through looking at other Evanston faith communities who have adopted zero waste practices, e.g., composting and avoiding disposable plastic items. We will also kick off brainstorming about celebrating Earth Day in April. 

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

Purim @ Beth Emet

Purim Clothing Swap: Chavayah Hosts SWAP don't SHOP!

Sunday, February 26 | 12:30 - 2:00 pm | In-Person

In the spirit of bal taschit - do not destroy or waste needlessly, combat fast fashion waste! Meet your community! Clean out your closet! Find a fun (free) Purim look! No donations necessary to join! Open to the congregation!


Purim Celebration for Families with Young Children

Sunday, March 5 | 10:30 am | In-Person

Come for the Purim shpiel (skit), costume parade (kids and adults!), lots of singing, and the famous Purim Carnival! All of this is geared especially for families with kids 5 and under.

BESSY Purim Carnival for All Ages

Sunday, March 5 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm | In-Person

Celebrate Purim with BESSY this year! Our annual Purim Carnival is our biggest fundraiser of the year. So, come support Beth Emet's youth programs and have a great time. There are opportunities for our littlest of littles through our high school seniors. Please reach out to BESSY advisor, Emma Milner-Gorvine, with any questions, concerns, or just plain excitement. 

Megillah Reading and Shpiel

Monday, March 6 | 7:00 pm

In-Person and Virtual on LiveControl

Purim fun for everyone! We can't wait to see you at this year's Purim Shpiel, Romancing The Throne. Whether you attend in-person or participate online via LiveControl, we promise you'll have a good time and much-needed laughter!

Costumes are encouraged (whether you are joining in the Sanctuary or in your living room!)

BE Involved

Volunteer Opportunities

See all our current volunteer opportunities

Don’t mind getting a little dirty while doing good?

The Beth Emet Soup Kitchen needs your help. Clean-up volunteers are needed from 5:45 - 7:15 on Wednesdays. Join other fun people on the Soup Kitchen clean-up team! Sign up for a regular slot 1-2x a month. To sign up or to get more info, contact: Leslie Shulruff.

Serve/Cook Lunch at A Just Harvest with Other Beth Emet Members 

Wednesday, February 22

Continue the tradition! Temple Judea Mizpah worked with A Just Harvest, serving meals on the fourth Wednesday for about 35 years. Seeking volunteers to help prepare and cook meals (10:00 – 11:30 am ) and/or serve meals (12:00 – 2:00 pm). Donations are always welcomed as well! If you are interested in volunteering or learning more, please email Michelle Oxman or call 847-558-9797.

Reproductive Rights: Purchasing and Packing Gift Bags for Abortion Patients

On March 4, Beth Emet's Reproductive Rights Task Force is supporting Planned Parenthood of Illinois by packing care bags for people who have had abortions. Our goal is to provide 100 bags. You are invited to donate funds, purchase supplies through our Amazon wishlist, and/or help pack the bags. Click on the link above for details. We'll also write notes to abortion patients and clinic staff. Inspired by Anya and Teo Siegel-Acevedo's Gemilut Chasadim Project, we are continuing the work as a congregation.

Shiva Minyan Leaders Needed

Performing the mitzvah of comforting the bereaved is one of the highest honors a person can do for another in our community. And one way in which to serve is by being a part of a volunteer corp of Shiva Minyan leaders. If you read Hebrew and are interested in leading a short minyan, contact Bekki Kaplan. Whether you can do it once every so often or more frequently, consider being a part of this invaluable service to the community. Training will be provided, and the support of other wonderful Shiva Minyan leaders is invaluable.  

Looking for Shabbat Connections Cooks

Would you like to share your delicious cooking with others? Every Friday, one volunteer cooks for Shabbat Connections, and another delivers a home-cooked meal to someone in our Beth Emet family who may need support in times of need. Whether you would like to make a lovely dinner once or twice a year, or more often, it’s a mitzvah! Contact Kathy Kaberon.

Upcoming Congregational Opportunities

Part 2: Tzedakah as a Spiritual Discipline with Dr. Sam Fleischacker

Friday, February 24 | 11:00 am | In-Person and Virtual on Zoom

Who can ask us for financial help? How do we maintain respect for people who need money from us? Is it religiously admirable, or something else, to allow ourselves to become poor? We’ll consider these and other questions in connection with texts from the Mishnah and Maimonides.

Shabbat Service Dinner for Families with Children Up Through 3rd Grade

Friday, February 24 | 5:30 pm | In-Person

Welcome Shabbat with Cantor Cotler, Marci Dickman, and lots of friends!

Board of Trustees Meeting

Monday, February 27 | 7:00 pm | Virtual on Zoom

If you are interested in attending the meeting, please reach out to Geoff Prass for the password-protected Zoom link. This is done for security purposes.

What Are The Takeaways for the U.S. From Uruguay's Transformative Climate Change Measures?

Wednesday, March 1 | 7:30 pm | Virtual on Zoom

Uruguay is an international Climate Change leader which has transformed its energy sector to 90% renewables, planned relocation of vulnerable coastal communities, built climate resilient infrastructure, and changed agriculture as well as cattle ranching, for sustainability and climate resilience. We will be joined on zoom by Jackson Mihm, Associate Editor, and Alejandro Trenchi, Research Assistant for the Caribbean Climate Change Project, both from Global Americans. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Beth Emet Dayenu Circle, Interfaith Action Climate Change and Justice Subcommittee, Citizens Climate Lobby Evanston Northshore Chapter, Citizens’ Greener Evanston and Go Green Wilmette

The Purpose of Jewish Literature Today with Dr. Claire Sufrin

Friday, March 3 and 10 | 11:00 am | In-Person and Virtual on Zoom

Do novelists fill the role once occupied by prophets? Are Jewish novelists writing books that are either too Jewish or not Jewish enough? We will read and discuss two recent essays- each addressing one of these questions- alongside two recent novels, The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen and Fleischman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. We will consider: Are these novelists saying something prophetic? What makes these works Jewish and is it enough or too much? 

Click on the title above for links to the article and book excerpts. Prior reading is welcomed but not necessary for participation.

Reproductive Rights Kabbalat Shabbat Services with D'var Torah by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Friday, March 3 | 6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual on LiveControl

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg will share this Shabbat’s D’var Torah titled, ” The Torah of Reproductive Justice” in honor of Reproductive Rights Shabbat.

Kahal Potluck Luncheon

Saturday, March 4 | 11:30 am | In-Person

We will gather for lunch immediately following the Kahal service in while adhering to our current Covid protocols. If you are able to attend on Saturday morning, please consider bringing a vegetarian, nut-free dish or lunch item for all to enjoy.

Reproductive Rights: Packing Gift Bags for Abortion Patients

Saturday, March 4 | 4:00 pm | In-Person

For our first event, Beth Emet’s Reproductive Rights Task Force is supporting Planned Parenthood of Illinois packing care bags to people who have had abortions. Our goal is to provide 100 bags. You are invited to donate funds, purchase supplies through our Amazon wishlist, and/or help pack the bags. We’ll also write notes to abortion patients and clinic staff.

Congregational Announcements

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.

Watch the recording here

Tax Wise Charitable Giving

Tax planning experts, Adam Prawer-Stock, Ted Froum and Steve Reiches will lead this informative session. Discussion and Q&A moderated by Karen Isaacson.

Sponsored by Dor L'Dor, From Generation to Generation, Beth Emet's Planned Giving Program.

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. 

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