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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.

Cantor Friedman for web

Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman brings a large collection of diverse passions and skills to her cantorate. She began her tenure at Beth Emet in July of 2015, just after receiving Cantorial Ordination from The Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion. She holds degrees of Bachelor of Music from Illinois State University, Master of Music from Arizona State University, and Master of Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College. Cantor Friedman has a wide range of musical styles, and feels at home in almost every style of Jewish music, such as playing her guitar in a small setting where everyone is participating with her, or singing a piece of Chazzanut or liturgical music for a large congregation. Her belief is that almost every style of Jewish music has its place in our synagogue, and when done prayerfully and with great intention, can inspire us to hear God’s voice.

In addition to her duties as Clergy, she is also the director of the Adult Choir, Teen A Capella Choir, Jr. Choir, and Intergenerational Band. The choirs rehearse weekly and perform for g’milut chasadim events, social justice concerts and for select Shabbat services throughout the year. The band consists of talented adult and teen musicians in our synagogue community rehearse before each service. Cantor Friedman strives to help all of our members find their Jewish voice and to that end, she often invites talented singers in our congregation to sing with her during Shabbat and High Holy Days services.

From 2011-2015, Cantor Friedman served as Cantorial Intern at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, NJ where she served as Assistant Cantor. There, she founded and directed their 40 member Junior Choir, Keshet, and also served as the cantor of the Barrie H. Greene Early Childhood Center. During her tenure at Jeshurun, she created and implemented the synagogue’s first ever Yom Kippur Family service for which over 600 families were in attendance. It has since been a staple of their High Holy Days services.

One of Cantor Friedman’s biggest passions is helping to sustain and foster the Reform Movement in Israel. From 2010-2011 Susie lived in Israel for the first year of school and volunteered at Congregation Ohel Avraham, part of the Leo Baeck Center in Haifa Israel where she served as volunteer cantor. She formed strong relationships with Rabbi Gabby Dagan, and the congregants who quickly became her Israeli family, and she decided to become a bat mitzvah with them. Six months later, Susie co-officiated a b’not mitzvah for seven Israeli women, all of whom celebrated with Susie at her ceremony and grew up never knowing that a bat mitzvah existed—only bar mitzvah. That year, Susie also conceived, directed, accompanied, and performed in Broadway on the Carmel, a concert to raise money for families who could not afford to have B’nai mitzvah for their children. While in Israel, she was nominated by her piers and received the Rabbi Jason Huebsch Memorial Prize for all of her work with Ohel Avraham.

Prior to becoming a cantor, Susie appeared in the Broadway National Tour of CATS  playing the roles of Jennyanydots and Grizabella. She also performed in regional opera, theater, concert, and as a pianist/singer/entertainer in clubs throughout NYC, hosting her own weekly open mic show at The Duplex. She has had the great fortune to perform with Betty Buckley, George S. Irving, and Alberto Mizrahi, and is frequently sought out to sing in various cantorial concerts throughout the U.S.  She is a proud member of the American Conference of Cantors, the Reform Cantors of Chicago, and Actors Equity Association.

Her love of children and strong desire to inspire b'nei mitzvah to remain engaged in Jewish life inspired her to be a cantor. It is Susie’s goal that every student who walks through the doors of the synagogue will grow up to become vibrant, participating members of congregations. She is married to the love of her life, Ross Friedman. Her absolute greatest achievements are their daughter, Abigail Hannah Friedman, who was born on May 6, 2013, and their son, Zev Noah Friedman, who was born on Nov. 5, 2014. They are both living examples of her answered prayers.

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  • Kol Emet Shabbat & Honoring Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman

    Friday, May 4
    Hearty Oneg Shabbat at 6:45 p.m.
    Shabbat Service at 7:30 p.m. (Please note special time)
    During Kol Emet Shabbat, we will be honoring our musical leader, Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman to and wish her well...

  • BESSY Kabbalat Shabbat Service & Honoring Abby Backer


    Friday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m.
    (5:45 p.m. Shabbat Oneg)
    Beth Emet's Senior Synagoge Youth Group (BESSY), our peer-led school youth group, hosts a special service filled with music and reflections. During this annual ser...

  • Travel to Israel with Beth Emet & Second Baptist Church

    Members from both Second Baptist Church and Beth Emet Synagogue will travel together to Israel and the West Bank November 18-30, 2018. Palestinian and Jewish guides will introduce us to the complex narratives and ...

  • Sanctuary - 5778

    In Exodus 25:8, God says to Moses, “Create for me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among them.” These words set the building of the Tabernacle into motion. But the verse’s ending has an interesting grammatical anomal...

 

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 Project of the Religious Action Center (RAC)
    Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Chicago Sinai Congregation (15 W. Delaware Place, Chicago) featuring Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of RAC

    Reform IL, a project of the...

  • Stand with Beth Emet


    Friday, April 27 

    2:00-2:25 p.m.

    Participate with Beth Emet at the annual YWCA Stand Against Racism. We'll gather along Ridge Avenue from 2:00 to 2:25 pm to take our place as we stand along the corner of Dempster an...

  • Kol Emet Shabbat & Honoring Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman

    Friday, May 4
    Hearty Oneg Shabbat at 6:45 p.m.
    Shabbat Service at 7:30 p.m. (Please note special time)
    During Kol Emet Shabbat, we will be honoring our musical leader, Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman to and wish her well...

  • Explorations of Our Changing Selves

    Monday, May 7 at 3:00 p.m.

    Audrey Thompson, Ombudsman for the City of Evanston, will facilitate a discussion on the nuts and bolts of aging.  Audrey is approachable and knowledgeable about the services available ...

  • DATE CHANGE!
    Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Reception at 7:00 p.m. (please note the date has changed from Monday, March 26)

    Learn more about the state of the congregation from Rabbi London, President Ross Bricker, a...

  • BESSY Kabbalat Shabbat Service & Honoring Abby Backer


    Friday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m.
    (5:45 p.m. Shabbat Oneg)
    Beth Emet's Senior Synagoge Youth Group (BESSY), our peer-led school youth group, hosts a special service filled with music and reflections. During this annual ser...

  • Groundbreaking Ceremony & Kabbalat Shabbat Service

    Friday, May 18
    5:00 p.m. - Savory Hors d'oeuvres, Delicious Desserts and Festive Beverages
    6:00 p.m. - Groundbreaking Ceremony and Lighting of Shabbat Candles
    6:30 p.m. - Kabbalat Shabbat Service followed by Kiddush ...

  • Travel to Israel with Beth Emet & Second Baptist Church

    Members from both Second Baptist Church and Beth Emet Synagogue will travel together to Israel and the West Bank November 18-30, 2018. Palestinian and Jewish guides will introduce us to the complex narratives and ...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, October 20- June 8 (No class December 8, 22, & 29, January 12 & 26, March 30, April 6)
    9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often o...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, March 10, May 12, June 9
    3:30–5:30 pm This class meets at Rabbi London's home.

    Once a month on Shabbat afternoon at Rabbi London's home, explore Jewish spiritual practices that combine praye...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesdays, April 18 and June 20 and Monday, May 14

    7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

    How would it feel to take a break from the regimen and “noise” of everyday life and instead focus on renewal of mind, body, and spir...

  • with Claire Sufrin
    Fridays, April 27, May 4 and 11, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The Holocaust left many Jews with serious theological questions: Where was God while the Nazis tortured and murdered millions of Jews? Should (or could...

  • The Chosen People (Film and Discussion)

    with Marci Dickman
    Monday, April 30, 7:00 p.m.
    This wonderfully provocative film illuminates the complexities of Jewish identitytoday and probes the question of the chosen people as seen through the eyes ofJews and Christians...

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