Soup Kitchen

Every Wednesday evening since 2002, Beth Emet has opened its doors to members of our community in need of a nutritious dinner.

Guests sit at linen-covered tables with fresh flowers and listen to live music while enjoying their meal, and they leave with a sack lunch to enjoy on the following day.

The Soup Kitchen has continued providing weekly meals throughout the pandemic. However, we have made important operational changes in order to safeguard the health of our guests, volunteers, and staff.

Please email the volunteer coordinator, Susan Melczer, for more details and available dates.


Beth Emet Soup Kitchen Cooks and Servers

How to be a SOUP-er helper:

The Soup Kitchen needs your time and talent to help prepare and serve meals, donate non-perishable foods and supplies, or donate second-hand books to our patrons.

Onsite: Come to Beth Emet from 4:00pm to 5:30pm and be part of a small team of 4-5 adults, wearing masks and gloves, and observing social distancing. Prepared meals are packaged into individual portions, which guests pick-up at the door; volunteers have no contact with the guests.

At-home lunch makers: Shop for groceries and make 20-60 sack lunches, using instructions provided upon sign-up, and deliver them to Beth Emet on the scheduled date.

At-home salad makers: Shop for groceries, and make one or more large salads according to instructions provided upon sign-up, and deliver it to Beth Emet on the scheduled date.

Additional Ways to Support the Soup Kitchen

Do you have a group of friends, family, or colleagues who would like to “sponsor” a night at the Soup Kitchen? Sign up as a group coordinator, assemble your team, and dole out assignments for the onsite and at-home tasks mentioned above! Groups also contribute to the purchase of the bulk of the meal by donating $350 to the soup kitchen. Please note there are a limited dates available.

Please email the volunteer coordinator, Susan Melczer, for more details and available dates.


Keeping the Soup Kitchen pantry stocked with essential supplies keeps our doors open. You can help us defray operational costs by donating some items to our pantry. Items may be dropped off at Beth Emet during business hours.

The Soup Kitchen pantry needs:

  • Salad dressing (Italian or Balsamic)
  • Large cans of coffee (ground)
  • Large containers of non-dairy creamer
  • Pourable sugar
  • Napkins
  • Quart and gallon size ziplock bags
  • Hefty Earthchoice 3 compartment containers (9×8.8×3)
  • Bottled, aluminum cans or boxed water
  • Individual hot chocolate packets
  • Easy-open cans or pouches of tuna fish
  • 8 – 12 oz. hot cups with lids (not styrofoam)

The unplanned expense of changing Soup Kitchen operations during the pandemic has strained the Soup Kitchen budget. We welcome donations of any amount to help us purchase meals from restaurants and caterers.

Beth Emet members may donate online through the member portal. Others may make donations online.

Donations may also be made by checks made payable to Beth Emet The Free Synagogue.

Please indicate “Soup Kitchen” in the check memo and mail to:
Beth Emet Synagogue
1224 Dempster Street
Evanston, IL 60202