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.

 Marla Topp Headshot 2019v2

Beth Emet Administrator, Marla Topp, has many years of experience in congregational life. She was the administrator at Temple Judea Mizpah for eight years and was also the Director of Education since 2015. During that time she was active with the Skokie Chamber of Commerce where she served as the Chair of the Nonprofit Roundtable. Prior to returning to the Chicagoland area, Marla served as the Director of Education and Youth at Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor, New Jersey for five years where she supervised all aspects of the religious school, preschool, and youth groups. During her tenure, the youth group won “chapter of the year.” While in NJ she was also a Board Member of the Board of Jewish Education (BJE) in Atlantic County. Previously Marla served as the Director of Education at Congregation Kneseth Israel in Elgin for over 10 years and was the Director of Children’s Services at the Bernard Weinger JCC in Northbrook. For many years Marla was a volunteer counselor for EZRA Helpline, a phone referral hotline in Chicago sponsored by Jewish Children’s Bureau. She is also a past President and Treasurer of Jewish Educator’s Assembly (JEA) and past Chair of the Midwest Conference for the Advancement of Jewish Education. Marla is currently a member of the Chicago Association of Synagogue Administrators (CASA) and the recipient of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism Valued Volunteer of the Year Award. Marla takes pride in making everyone feel comfortable in the synagogue. 

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  • Lox, Bagels, and Leaders

    Sunday, February 9 at 9:45 a.m. (Please note date change)
    This annual event features our Beth Emet member and neighbor, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Writer and Beth Emet member, Mark Caro; and Jon Marshall, a...

  • 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...

 

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.

  • 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...

  • Lox, Bagels, and Leaders

    Sunday, February 9 at 9:45 a.m. (Please note date change)
    This annual event features our Beth Emet member and neighbor, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Writer and Beth Emet member, Mark Caro; and Jon Marshall, a...

  • 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...

  • with Susan Nussbaum
    Sunday, February 23 at 3:00 p.m.
    Susan Nussbaum, the writer/producer of Code of the Freaks, a soon to be released documentary film, will discuss how Hollywood’s depictions of characters with disabi...

  • 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...

  • with Mike Kuhn
    Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. 

    Parent, spend an evening in the kitchen with others learning new tips, tricks, and recipes to make your loved ones breakfast items for dinner. There will be time to enjoy...

  • Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
    Cantor Kyle Cotler leads a spirit-ual evening and his passion for whiskey, rye, and kombucha by teaching tasting techniques and how best to describe their complex elements. There will ...

  • 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 ...

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