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.

  • Shabbat, April 27 at 9:30 a.m

    Children ages three to eleven are encouraged to attend to Beth Emet’s Shabbat morning Kahal service with their adult family members to participate in a musical prayer service. During...

  • YWCA Stand Against Racsim

    Wednesday, April 24
    Vigil/Stand at 1:30-1:50 p.m. on Ridge and Dempster
    Discussion: 2:00-3:00 p.m. at Unitarian Church of Evanston (1330 Ridge Ave., Evanston)

    As civil and human rights continue to be eroded for imm...

  • Sundays, April 28 and May 5 | 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    with Rabbi Andrea London and Marci Dickman

    Anyone who is a parent knows that parenting is simultaneously stressful and fulfilling, exhausting and invigorating, frus...

  • Passover Food Drive

    Sunday, April 7 - Friday, May 3


    Pre-Passover Food Collection to benefit Connections for the Homeless
    The Tzedakah Fund Committee will be collecting all unopened, non-perishable food items that will be donated to C...

  • Avodah to honor Rabbi Andrea London as Partner in Justice 2019

    Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Cafe Brauer (2021 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago)
    Join Avodah in honoring their 2019 Partners in Justice honoring the accomplishments of David Axelrod, Rabbi Andrea London, and Jessica ...

  • Parent-Child Book Group: Anything is Possible

    A Parent-Child Book Group on Anything is Possible: A Child’s Journey to America and Hope - a young reader's historical novel by Barbara Stock
    Thursday, May 23 | 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    For children in grades 4 and 5 w...

  • Israel Trip with Beth Emet, Second Baptist Church, and Grace Lutheran Church


    Beth Emet Synagogue, Second Baptist Church, and Grace Lutheran Church are taking an interfaith, dual narrative (Palestinian and Jewish guide) to Israel and the West Bank. Travel with Rabbi London and Pastors Nabors ...

  • New course just added!
    with Eli Rosenblatt, PhD
    Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.

    How have Jews interacted with and responded to the color line? How did Jewish radicals, reformers, rabbis, and laypeople think about racial concepts ...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays through June 7 (No class April 19 and 26)
    9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often overlooked. We will continue our learning from ...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, April 6, May 11, and June 1
    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 pr...

  • with David Zarefsky

    Tuesday, June 4 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Sessions will focus on the place of the United States in the world, including relationships with Israel, the nature of the social contract, and the principles of fed...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesday, June 12; 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

    Percussion offers hands-on, non-verbal access to the spiritual and emotional while connecting with others. Treat your mind, body, and spirit to an uplifting break fr...

  • with Lindy Rubin and Hyma Levin
    Monday, May 6, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Lindy and Hyma will collaborate to explore the story of King David, first as text and then as interpreted and portrayed by renowned artists throughout the ages. We...

  • with Claire Sufrin
    Fridays, May 3 and 10, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    This course will explore different aspects of the relationship between religion and literature. We’ll begin with the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac and c...

  • with Hyma Levin
    Wednesdays, May 22 and 29, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Enjoy the story of Ruth as we explore the relationship of an older woman and a younger woman seeking to preserve themselves in ancient Israel. Is this story a cute fol...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays through June 28 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class April 19 and 26)

    Meeting in person in October, and through Zoom online thereafter, we will continue reading Tractate Avodah Zarah, which deals with...

  • with Ben Frommer
    Fridays, May 17 and 24, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The Nuremberg Tribunal and other courts punished many architects of the so-called Final Solution, while thousands of other Holocaust supporters escaped punishment...

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