Creating Beth Emet Community Together

Wednesday, May 31 | 10 Sivan 5783

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Congregational News: Staffing Change

We are writing to share that we are beginning a search for a new Executive Director for Beth Emet. We are grateful to Geoff Prass, our Director of Operations, who will be finishing his tenure at Beth Emet at the end of July, and to Bekki Kaplan, who will remain in a modified role throughout this transition and beyond.

Two years ago, Beth Emet initiated an experiment to create a new leadership model with full board support. The experimental model created two positions– Director of Operations and Director of Congregational Engagement. We committed to investing in this shared leadership model to drive an increase in membership and member stewardship and to increase revenue through rental and other income. While we have decided to discontinue this experimental model, we have learned a great deal during this time. The original objectives have not changed, and it’s time to use what we have learned and iterate to produce the results Beth Emet needs going forward. The Board of Trustees has decided that a sole leadership model is best suited to our needs and is creating a new Executive Director position.

During this transition, Bekki will focus her energy on preparing for the High Holy Days, managing annual membership commitments, planning Cantor Young’s welcoming events and other Beth Emet priorities. Bekki wishes for us to share that she will not be seeking this new role and that she looks forward to continuing to bring her many talents and gifts to our community in a reduced capacity once a new Executive Director is in place.  

We will immediately post and start recruiting for this new position. We will be searching for a leader who will excel in running the administrative parts of Beth Emet and who has a welcoming and optimistic demeanor and an inspiring attitude. We are looking for a forward-thinking leader who embraces the Middah of Yetzirah—Creativity: someone who has a novel way of thinking about issues and engaging all of us in the vital work of Beth Emet.

Lee Weintraub and Rabbi Andrea London

One Jewish Evanston Celebrates Shavuot Together!

Over 100 people came together from 6 communities around Evanston to celebrate Shavuot, learning, worshiping and (re)building connections. We are grateful to the Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood that provided funding for this event in memory of Daniel Cedarbaum z'"l.

Thank you to our organizers, presenters, funders and participants from the Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University, Lomdim, Shirat HaAgam, Evanston’s Orthodox Community, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation and Beth Emet Synagogue.

We exemplified standing together at Sinai.

Waste Not, Want Not

By Sharon Smaller

Last month, we offered different ways to get started composting and in this blog, we are addressing how to even avoid the need to toss items in the compost bin. Did you know that Americans throw out 30 to 40% of their groceries? It’s astonishing on many levels and contributes significantly to greenhouse gasses. Fortunately, there are simple steps we can all take to cut back on our food and meal-related waste.

BE Connected
Weekly Calendar
Full Calendar with Links
Program Registration 

Wednesday, May 31

Current Politics with Professor David Zarefsky

7:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual

A continuing lecture-discussion class on contemporary public issues of interest to Jews as citizens. Click here for the Zoom Link.

Thursday, June 1

Inclusion Committee Meeting

5:00 pm | In-Person and Virtual

Examine our current practices and explore ways to create a culture of belonging and inclusivity for Beth Emet members of all abilities. This month we will be focused on the ways that our building is (and is not) accessible. 

Friday, June 2

A Close Look at Torah with Rabbi Andrea London

9:30 am | In-Person and Virtual

BESSY Kabbalat Shabbat Service with June Birthday Blessings

6:30 pm | In-Person and Virtual

Led by members of BESSY (Beth Emet Senior Synagogue Youth). The students will share what they have learned and gained through their involvement with BESSY. As this is the first Friday of June, we will also be offering a birthday blessing to all our June birthdays! Here's a list of all those who are celebrating!

Saturday, June 3

Pride Shabbat Sing-Along, Crafts, Story and Yummy Snacks

9:15 am | In-Person

Celebrate Pride at Beth Emet! Families with young children are invited to a Shabbat Sing-Along with Cantor Cotler, followed by playground fun. Perfect for families with children 5 and under. No registration needed–just come!

Kahal Shabbat Morning Service

9:30 am | In-Person and Virtual

Lily Horwich Kabbalat Mitzvah

10:30 am | In-Person and Virtual

Kahal Potluck Lunch

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. If bringing food is not your preference, you can still support us by making a contribution to the Kahal Shabbat fund or sponsoring a potluck luncheon. Your donation and/or sponsorship helps offset the cost of the bagels, cream cheese, lox and other goodies provided by Beth Emet. Each luncheon costs an average of $125-$175, and your support is crucial in making them possible.

Sunday, June 4

Sunday Morning Minyan

9:00 am | In-Person and Virtual

Over the summer, the Sunday Morning Minyan will meet around town! To find out where this week’s Minyan will meet, please email Jonathan Hartman-Seeskin.

Tuesday, June 6

New 6-Week Session

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 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! Every Tuesday through June 27. Register here.

Soul Stitchers- Virtual Knitting Circle

7:00 pm | Virtual

BE Involved

Volunteer Opportunities

We Would Love Your Takeout Containers 

The Rabbi Peter and Elaine Knobel Soup Kitchen is looking for clean takeout containers (with matching lids!) for leftovers for our guests. Please make sure the containers are dishwasher safe. Drop them off at the office any time during business hours. Thank you!  

BE an Usher and Make Shabbat Extra Special

Add to your celebration of Shabbat by being an usher for Kabbalat Shabbat Services. We are looking for volunteers to greet, wish everyone a Shabbat Shalom who comes for services, and offer a siddur (prayerbook) to those who are interested. It’s a great way to get to know people and a wonderful way in which to make your Shabbat a bit more joyful.  Interested? Want to learn more? Contact Bekki Kaplan.

Upcoming Congregational Opportunities

Kabbalat Shabbat and Oneg Honoring Cantor Kyle Cotler

Friday, June 9 | In-Person and Virtual

5:45 pm Festive Oneg

6:30 pm Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Join the entire Beth Emet community as we show our appreciation and thanks for Cantor Cotler as he sets forth on his new journey at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, CA. Prior to services, there will be a Festive Oneg to honor Cantor Cotler.

Social Justice Committee Meeting

Monday, June 12 | 7:00 pm | Virtual and In-Person

Board of Trustees Meeting

Tuesday, June 20 | 7:00 pm | Virtual

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.

Community News

Fostering Trans-Affirming Faith Communities

Friday, June 2 | 10:00 am | In-Person at Church House of First Congregational Church of Evanston

An interfaith workshop for clergy and lay leaders offering practical strategies for confronting transphobia and building inclusive, affirming faith communities. Please RSVP by today, May 31.

Every Conceivable Way – Family Building LGBTQ+ Community  

Wednesday, June 07| 7:30 pm | Virtual 

A free webinar for Jewish couples and individuals seeking support to build their families. Presentation and Q&A featuring: Rabbi David Chapman, Congregation Beth Shalom, Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Specialist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, and Dena Levy, Attorney, Levy Law Solutions. 

21st Annual Community Mental Health Conference: Untying the Human Knot: Managing Stress and Anxiety in Today's World

Saturday, June 10 | 9:30 am - 3:30 pm

In-Person at Evanston Township High School

Explore the stress response and the impact it can have on our physical and mental health, as well as when everyday anxiety becomes an anxiety disorder, one of the most common mental health challenges in the US. You’ll also learn what you can do to manage stress, and about local community resources. Sponsored by the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education.

Kol Zimrah Sings!

Sunday, June 11 | 3:00 pm | In-Person at Makom Solel Lakeside Congregation and Virtual

Kol Zimrah, Chicago’s premier Jewish community choir, is proud to announce its first in-person benefit concert since 2019: Kol Zimrah Sings! Kol Zimrah Sings! will celebrate the choir by honoring its past while looking ahead to its continued growth and evolution.

Israel @ 75: A Celebration in the Sky with Jewish United Fund

Tuesday, June 13 | 9:00 pm | In-Person or Virtual

An epic, Israel-themed show featuring music and 500 drones over Chicago's beachfront, honoring the special bonds our communities share. Gather your friends and family at home—or in person—for the biggest and brightest salute to Israel that Chicago has ever seen!

Kol Or 6th Annual Juneteenth Havdalah

Saturday, June 17 | 6:00 pm | In-Person

Join us at KAM Isaiah Israel as we celebrate Juneteenth Havdalah presented by the Kol Or Jews of Color Caucus of JCUA. The theme is Liberation: Can you feel it? Come celebrate our diverse identities with our community.

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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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