beth emet banner logo 72res 450

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

A Time to Live and a Time to Die: Resources for End of Life Issues

At Beth Emet, we are committed to caring for each other throughout our lives. The resources below along with the Yahrzeit Memorial Observance information, are designed to help you plan for and respond to the profound loss of a loved one.

Please note that the pdfBeth Emet Funeral Plan is available through participating funeral homes at a fixed cost negotiated for our members. This rate does not include or cover any cemetery costs, and other services can be arranged for an additional cost. For more information and/or to receive a copy of the plan with Chicago Jewish Funerals or Weinstein Funeral Home, please contact Bekki Harris Kaplan.

Progressive Chevra Kadisha (Burial Committee) and Tahara

Beth Emet is part of the Progressive Chevra Kadisha (PCK), a volunteer inter-congregational society dedicated to conducting the ceremony of tahara in preparation for Jewish burial. PCK is run by volunteers from Beth Emet, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Lomdim, Or Chadash, and the Egalitarian Minyan/Ner Tamid of West Rogers Park to serve the needs of members and their families.

When someone dies, PCK members visit the funeral home-- as part of the Beth Emet Burial Plan or at a family's request--and prepare the body of the deceased according to the centuries-old customs of our people. PCK members wash the body (rechitza), perform a tahara (ritual cleansing), and dress the deceased in a set of tachrichim (simple white garments) for burial. The Progressive Chevra Kadisha performs this service anonymously as g’mitlut chesed  (an ultimate act of lovingkindness) to honor the dead and to comfort the living who remember them.

To learn more about the work of the Progressive Chevra Kadisha, to inquire about arranging a tahara, or to volunteer, call 847-440-4725 or email.

Comforting Mourners in Our Beth Emet Community

Jewish law and tradition encourage us to surround mourners with a supportive community. At Beth Emet, there are many ways to provide comfort and support to those in mourning. pdfThis brief guide shares the practices of our community.

Three Kinds of Wills: A Planning Resource

pdfThis resource offers guidance for thinking and planning about end of life issues in the context of three kinds of wills: a last will and testament that discusses your wishes about the disposition of your property, a so-called living will that provides advance directives about health care decisions if the time comes when you are unable to communicate your wishes, and an ethical will that transmits your values and describes the Jewish standards you’ve lived by to the next generations.

In Lieu of Flowers...

When a loved one dies, many families suggest that memorial gifts be given to charity instead of receiving flowers. Beth Emet The Free Synagogue is honored to be a named charity.

Memorial gifts can be made to Beth Emet online, by telephone or via postal mail. The synagogue office will promptly notify the family in mourning that a gift has been received and a thank you letter will be sent to the donor. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Notify the funeral director of your wish to name Beth Emet as a suggested charity and provide the contact information at the bottom of this page. Usually this type of request is included in published death notices and in shiva information distributed by the funeral home at the time of the funeral.

Donations will support the synagogue’s ongoing programs and services or, if you wish, can be directed to a specific synagogue department. If you have questions, please contact the Beth Emet office at 847-869-4230 ext. 301.

Beth Emet Dor L’Dor Society

The Beth Emet Dor L’Dor Society encourages congregants to include the synagogue in their estate plans and recognizes those who do so. Learn more

Selected Resources for End of Life Issues

End of Life Decisions: A Discussion Guide from Reform Judaism On LineEnd of Life Decisions: A Discussion Guide from Reform Judaism On Line
Embracing Life and Facing Death: A Jewish Guide to Palliative CareEmbracing Life and Facing Death: A Jewish Guide to Palliative Care
Jewish Sacred AgingJewish Sacred Aging, as filtered by Rabbi Richard Address
End of Life GuidesEnd of Life Guides from Congregation Rodeph Sholom, New York
Shiva ConnectShiva Connect - Jewish Funeral and Shiva Information
Resource Materials Downloadable from Chicago Jewish FuneralsChicago Jewish Funerals

Jewish Funeral Homes in Greater Chicago
(check with Beth Emet office to verify availability of Beth Emet Funeral Plan)

Illinois Information on Advance Directives and Living WillsIllinois Information on Advance Directives and Living Wills

Statement of Illinois Law on Advance Directives and DNR Orders
Statement of Illinois Law on Advance Directives and DNR Orders

Links to Approved FormsLinks to Approved Forms

FacebookTwitterYoutubeListen Live

be-slide-simchat-torah

  • Kol Emet Shabbat

    Friday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. (5:45 p.m. Oneg Shabbat)

  • On the Table, Evanston

    Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Evanston prides itself on being a vibrant, diverse community. But more often th...

  • Yom Space

    A Yom HaAtzmaut SpaceIL Family Program
    Thursday, May 12, 5:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    For families with children age three through fifth grade.
    Celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with a virtual trip into space! SpaceIL i...

  • Beth Em-eats

    A Delicious Way to Support Beth Emet

    Various times and locations:
    Saturday Night, May 7
    Saturday Night, May 14
    Sunday Brunch, May 15

    Come to Beth Emet's FUNdraiser featuring home-cooked meals prepared for you by Bet...

 

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

  • Beth Emet Commemorates Yom HaShoah

    Beth Emet will be hosting two special programs to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

    Hidden But Not Forgotten

    with Danny M. Cohen
    Sunday, May 1 at 10:00 a.m.
    How do we come to remember Holocaust history? Why ...

  • Kol Emet Shabbat

    Friday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. (5:45 p.m. Oneg Shabbat)

  • On the Table, Evanston

    Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Evanston prides itself on being a vibrant, diverse community. But more often th...

  • Yom Space

    A Yom HaAtzmaut SpaceIL Family Program
    Thursday, May 12, 5:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    For families with children age three through fifth grade.
    Celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with a virtual trip into space! SpaceIL i...

  • BESSY Kabbalat Shabbat Service


    Friday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m.
    (5:45 p.m. Oneg Shabbat)
    Beth Emet’s peer-led high school youth group hosts a special service filled with music and reflections. The congregation will also celebrate the upcoming marriage ...

  • Shared Society in Israel: Challenges and Opportunities in the Struggle for Equality
    Presented by the New Israel Fund with with Ron Gerlitz and Rawnak Natour, Co-Directors of Sikkuy – the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality


    Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.
    Alongside increasing incitement ...

  • Dinner After

    Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services

    The next Dinner After will meet May 20 at Koi (624 Davis St., Evanston)

    Following Kabb...

  • with Andy Montgomery
    Shabbat, May 21 at 10:30 a.m.
    Shabbat morning regular and experienced teacher Andy Montgomery will meet with kids during the Kahal Torah service (at about 10:30 a.m.) to facilitate a discussion am...

  • Toward a Vision for a Democratic Jewish State

    with Rabbi Marc Rosenstein
    Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC) 303 Dodge Ave., Evanston

    What could an ideal Jewish state look like?

    Listening to a rabbi who has been involve...

  • No Asylum: The Untold Chapter of Anne Frank's Story


    Thursday, May 5 at 7:15 p.m.

    A documentary film directed by Paula Fouce.

    The story that has never been told about Anne Frank reveals new information about her father, Otto, and his struggle to obtain visas and save his family d...

  • with David Zarefsky
    Monday, May 9
    7:30-9:00 p.m.

    An interactive discussion of contemporary events focusing on topics such as recent Supreme Court decisions, congressional and gubernatorial elections, Israel and the larger Midd...

  • Friday, May 13
    10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    with Rabbi Herbert Bronstein
    We regularly talk about and teach the Sh’ma, as we should, but little about the K’dushah, a prayer of equal importance to our religious outlook. This prayer, wi...