Beth Emet - The Free Synagogue

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.

Cantor Cotler new headshto for web

Kyle comes from a long line of Jewish music – his great-grandfather was a Chazzan in Russia; his grandfather, Ted, served in Ventura; and his father, Doug, is currently the cantor at Or Ami in Calabasas. Kyle studied at the Academy for Jewish Religion in California and is now a fourth-generation cantor and first-generation rabbi. That has to be some kind of record! 

Kyle’s love for music was nurtured at a young age. His room was next to his father’s music room, and he remembers falling asleep to the sound of his father practicing and writing liturgical songs and prayers. It was only a matter of time before he began his own musical sojourn. By the end of high school, he was a proficient drummer, guitarist, and pianist. He received his B.A. in music theory and composition from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He was a baritone/tenor in the choir and was the principal composer and conductor for the Knights of Classic Lore vocal ensemble. Kyle’s primary medium of composition was the guitar and piano, but he has since embraced the digital age and now composes on his computer. 

Kyle’s first taste of Jewish music began at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) camps. Having attended Camp Swig and Camp Newman as a child and teenager, by the end of college, he served as the head song leader at Camp Hess Kramer and then Camp Kalsman. He has also composed a number of original Hebrew songs and prayers and made his musical debut at the Center for Advancement of Jewish Education convention in Vermont in 2008, and was later a featured performer at the URJ Biennial in 2009. From 2010 to 2012 he served as the Cantorial Soloist at Temple Beth Ohr in La Mirada. From 2012 to 2016 Kyle was the cantorial intern and rabbinic intern at Stephen Wise Temple in Bel Air. From 2016 to 2019 Kyle served as the Cantor at North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, New York.

Kyle is thrilled to embrace his lech l’cha moment as he sojourns to Evanston. He brings a passion for Judaism, a love of all things musical, and a zest for creating meaningful connections with people. His primary goal and sincere hope are that he will enrich the lives of all those in our community and bring an innovative, infectious energy to all forms of worship in which he is involved. Though Kyle grew up a lifelong Dodgers and Seahawks fan, he is learning to love the ursine Chicago athletics teams. Kyle lives with his fiancée, Rachel, and their dog, Wishbone.

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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.

  • Lunch, Learn, Love
    A Social Action Committee Program for Kids (kindergarten to grade five)

    Sunday, January 19 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, this year's Beth Emet's annual family service even...

  • Monday, January 20 | 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church (516 Church Street, Evanston)

    On Martin Luther King’s National Day of Service, Walk for Warmth will raise funds for operating the Emergen...

  • PJ Party!

    Saturday, February 8 at 4:30 p.m.
    Wear your PJ's for dinner, crafts, Havdalah, songs, and stories from PJ Library.
    Perfect for families with children ages 8 and under. 
    $5 per person or $20 per family by February 6...

  • Sunday, February 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton-Orrington Hotel


    Beth Emet’s Soup Kitchen is a well-oiled machine, weekly feeding 70 to 120 of the area’s working poor and homeless. The Soup Kitchen, under the leaders...

  • Beth Emet Community Retreat

    February 28-March 1, 2020
    After a five-year hiatus, Beth Emet’s Community Retreat is back and better than ever! Spend a relaxing weekend with friends and family in beautiful Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, celebrating Shabb...

  •  Thinking about keeping your slate clean after Yom Kippur? Want a Jewish way to deepen your focus on your speech, behavior, and ideas? Looking to connect to people in meaningful ways? You may be looking for tikkun m...

  • Wednesday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m.
    Join the discussion at our monthly book club! The next book is Book of the Unknown Americans” by Christina Henriquez. Books are available for pick up at Beth Emet. No need to RSVP...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, February 14-June 12 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. (No class March 6, April 10, and May 15)
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often overlooked. We will cont...

  • Thursdays, January 16, February 27, March 19, April 23 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

    Participants study as a small group of adults studies to become b’nei mitzvah together at Beth Emet. Requirements for Adult B’nei Mitzvah at Beth Emet...

  • with Yvette Alt Miller
    Thursday, January 30 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Whether you’re an expert baker or a challah newbie, this evening is for you! Learn how to make and braid challah and explore the meaning and mysticism behind this i...

  • with David Gottlieb
    Fridays, February 14 and 21 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Sigmund Freud and Theodor Herzl lived on the same block in Vienna for two years in the early 1900s. Yet these men, so deeply influenced by
    European cultur...

  • Movie and discussion, led by Bekki Kaplan and Shlomit Hoch
    Saturday, February 1 | 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Rebecca Abarnabel, a single daughter born into an Orthodox Jewish family, is tired of the lifestyle that her father, Reuven...

  • Jewish Vaudeville

    with Alan Teller
    Sunday, February 23, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Distinct from Yiddish theater, Jewish vaudeville had its own flavor. Alan Teller grew up with a larger-than-life grandfather in the business — a guy who pulled quarters ...

  • with Claire Suffrin
    Fridays, February 28 and March 6 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    This course will explore different aspects of the relationship between religion and literature in contemporary novels and poetry. We’ll consider exa...

  • with Rabbi Allan Kensky
    Fridays, January 24 and 31 | 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
    This small book of the Bible, written in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, expresses the anguish of the people at the calamity that ...

  • with Yvette Alt Miller
    Thursday, January 23 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Shabbat dinner includes some beautiful but puzzling rituals. Why do we make a blessing over wine? Why hide the challah under a cloth? This multi-sensory workshop ex...

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