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.

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Rabbi Andrea London is a nationally recognized Jewish leader who has served at Beth Emet since 2000 and was named the congregation’s Senior Rabbi in July 2010. Rabbi London is deeply engaged in all aspects of congregational life, including worship, lifecycle events, counseling and support, adult education, youth education and programming, social action, and interfaith relations. She strives to teach and encourage individuals and communities through contemplative, social, and spiritually based actions.

Social justice activism is an integral part of Rabbi London’s rabbinate. She has led several social action trips, including two congregational trips to hurricane-devastated areas on the Gulf Coast, where Beth Emet teens and families repaired homes and community centers and forged relationships with Reform Jews and members of a local church. In April 2013, teens from Beth Emet and Second Baptist Church in Evanston, led by Rabbi London and colleagues from Second Baptist Church, spent their spring break on a six-day “Sankofa" bus journey to civil rights sites throughout the southern United States. (Sankofa is a West African word meaning “go back and get it.”) During the trip, the group explored the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, using various racial and religious lenses through which we experience the world to understand the roles that race and racism play in our world and how we might be change agents in the quest to create a more equitable and compassionate society. Rabbi London is committed to continuing the work of racial justice.

Rabbi London has long promoted learning, dialogue and action on Israel and Zionism. At her initiative, Beth Emet raised more than $80,000 to aid Israelis seeking refuge during the 2006 Lebanon war and was a leader in local efforts to promote the 2003 Geneva Initiative crafted by Israeli and Palestinian politicians and diplomats. She has been a strong proponent of congregational participation in the Reform Movement’s EIE high school program in Israel and regularly invites speakers from diverse backgrounds to offer challenging perspectives on Jewish/Muslim and Israeli/Palestinian issues. She is a member of J Street’s rabbinic cabinet.
Rabbi London has also worked to build bridges between Chicago-area Jews, Christians, and Muslims. She chairs the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs’ Jewish-Muslim Community-Building InitiativeJewish Council on Urban Affairs’ Jewish-Muslim Community-Building Initiative that works with the Chicago-area Muslim community to build relationships and understanding through educational, artistic, and religious activities and to stand up for each other when our communities face discrimination, threats, intimidation and acts of physical violence.

Jewish spirituality plays an important role in Rabbi London's rabbinate. She is a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s rabbinic cohort and its Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training program. She has initiated a variety of programs on spirituality at Beth Emet, including an ongoing Shabbat afternoon spirituality group and a yoga minyanyoga minyan.

Rabbi London holds several national leadership positions within the Reform Movement. She serves on the President’s Rabbinic Council of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of ReligionHebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and has served on the board of Rabbis for Human Rights North America (T’ruah) and the Rabbinic Advisory Committee of the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI), the Reform Movement’s summer camp in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where she has been on the faculty since 2001. She is also the secretary of the Chicago Board of Rabbis. In 2014 she was named by The Forward newspaper as one of 28 inspirational rabbisone of 28 inspirational rabbis

Rabbi London holds a degree in applied mathematics from Brown University and worked as a management consultant before becoming a rabbi. She received her smicha (ordination) in 1996 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and served as assistant rabbi at Temple Israel in Minneapolis from 1996 to 2000. She is married to Danny London and has two children, Yonah and Liora.

pdfRabbi London's speech from the Annual Meeting on May 9, 2018

pdfIntermarriage Officiation Policy Statement - March 11, 2010

Divrei Torah/Sermons

High Holiday Sermons 5778
Rosh HaShanah Chavurah Service, Rabbi Andrea London (Listen
Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rabbi Andrea London, The Call of the Shofar (Listen | pdfRead)
Kol Nidre, Rabbi Andrea London, And I Will Dwell Among Them (Listen | pdfRead)
Yom Kippur Traditional Reform Service, Politics in the Pulpit, Rabbi Andrea London, Pastor Daniel Ruen, and Pastor Michael Nabors (Listen | pdfRead Rabbi London's remarkspdfRead Pastor Daniel Ruen's sermon)

High Holiday Sermons 5777
Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rabbi Andrea LondonAre We in Control of Our Destiny? (pdfRead | Listen)
Kol Nidre, Rabbi Andrea LondonFive Habits of the Heart That Make Democracy Possible(Listen part 1 | part 2pdfRead)

High Holiday Sermons 5776
Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rabbi Andrea LondonGod as Sovereign Over us? Really? (pdfread)
Kol Nidre, Rabbi Andrea London, Makhloket L'shem Shamayim: Argument for the Sake of Heaven (pdfread)
Yom Kippur Traditional Reform Service, Rabbi Andrea LondonA Social Justice Selfie (pdfread)

High Holiday Sermons 5775
Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rabbi Andrea LondonThe Place Where We Are Right (pdfread)
Rosh HaShanah Chavurah Service, Rabbi Andrea London (listen)
Kol Nidre, Rabbi Andrea LondonIn Defense of Liberal Zionism (pdfread)
Yom Kippur Traditional Reform Service, Rabbi Andrea London, A Year Dedicated to Shabbat/Shmita Observance (listen | pdfread)

High Holiday Sermons 5774
Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rabbi Andrea London, New World Still A-Coming (pdfread | listen)
Kol Nidre, Rabbi Andrea London, Embracing Holiness (pdfread | listen)

High Holiday Sermons 5773
Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rabbi Andrea London, An Accounting of our Souls (listen)
Rosh HaShanah Adult Morning Service, Rabbi Andrea London, An Accounting of the State of our Country (listen)
Kol Nidre, Rabbi Andrea London, The State of the Jewish People (listen)
Yom Kippur Adult Morning Service: Rabbi Andrea London, Taking Stock of Our Relationships (pdfread)

Email  Rabbi Andrea London

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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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