Supporting Israel and Our Community

We’ve created a dedicated page on our website to coordinate our efforts in supporting Israel during this crisis. This page will serve as a central hub to access essential resources, upcoming educational programs, and recordings of previous programs, provide information on how you can contribute and get involved, and ways in which you can support our community. Check regularly for updates.

Support Kibbutz Kissufim – Together We Raised $207,000 – Kibbutz Kissufim, located adjacent to the Gaza Strip, was largely destroyed in the horrific Hamas attacks of October 7. Members of Beth Emet, together with members of Temple Beth Israel, Congregation Hakafa, and Oak Park Temple, have been working to provide Kibbutz Kissufim with the financial resources for six months of much-needed ongoing trauma counseling and related activities for the community’s children. To donate, click here and select the Kibbutz Kissufim fund. The outpouring of generosity and support has been inspiring. Click here to learn more about Kibbutz Kissufim.

Lighting Candles with Members of Kibbutz Kissufim – On Tuesday morning, December 12 more than 60 members of Beth Emet joined with members of Kibbutz Kissufim to light candles for the 6th night of Chanukah. It was very special to connect in this way and continue to offer words of friendship and support as they continue to live in temporary housing in an isolated hotel on the Dead Sea. Click here for the recording.

Donate – Consider a donation to organizations that most need additional resources in Israel.  Check here for a list of organizations.

Bring Them Home – A banner now adorns the north side of Beth Emet voicing our hopes and prayers for the return of the hostages to their families and loved ones. Yard signs with the same design and message are available in the office for interested members.  Contact Miriam for more information.

Evanston Interfaith Clergy Respond to Israel/Gaza Crisis, Local Antisemitism and Islamophobia
On April 3 Rabbi London and President, Lee Weintraub, sent a note to the congregation sharing a statement that was published in the Evanston Roundtable, reflecting shared concerns as faith leaders for everyone in the war-torn region and for the rights and dignity of people here at home in our own community. Click here to read their note and the article.

A Prayer for Our Hostages Both Those Who Have Been Released and Those Still Held in Captivity
We are grateful for the hostages that have been released this past week from captivity in Gaza and pray for that the rest of the hostages will return home speedily and safely. Click here to hear Cantor Young share a reading by Alden Solovy, Beth Emet community member, liturgist, poet, author, journalist, and educator.

Keeping Loved Ones in Our Hearts – We continue to keep the names in our hearts of loved ones within our community who are living in Israel. If you wish to share a name or two, contact Bekki.

Listen to the Hope and Healing Kabbalat Shabbat Service on Friday, October 13.

Add a Name to the Mi Shebeirach (Healing ) and Kaddish List – We pray for those who are being held captive, those who are healing from loss and dealing with trauma, and those who are on the front lines.  If you know of someone in Israel who you wish to add to the Mi Shebeirach (healing) list or a name to add to the Kaddish list, please let us know so we can collectively keep their names in our prayers.

Congregational Emails

United Jews and Palestinians of Israel for Peace, Justice and Equality
Tuesday, April 2 | 7:30 pm | Lake Street Church (607 Lake Street; Evanston)
Standing Together is a progressive grassroots movement, organizing Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel against the occupation, and for equality, peace, and social justice for over eight years. Hear from Standing Together leaders, Itamar Avneri and Rula Daood, as they discuss how their movement is leading the fight on the ground for a ceasefire and hostage deal. Learn more on their website.

Join Rabbi London for a two-part discussion of the book, Can We Talk About Israel? A Guide for the Curious, Confused and Conflicted by Daniel Sokatch
Part Two: Sunday, April 21 | 10:00 am | In-person and Zoom
Register / Info

See below for a recording of Part One.
The Jewish Book Council wrote this review of Sokatch’s book: “Can We Talk about Israel? is a supreme­ly nuanced dis­cus­sion of the Israeli-Pales­tin­ian con­flict, past and present. It is broad in scope yet detailed in analy­sis, thought-pro­vok­ing for the well-informed yet acces­si­ble for the new learn­er. It is an impor­tant and need­ed addi­tion to the books on the subject. Sokatch is remark­ably deft at hold­ing mul­ti­ple com­pet­ing nar­ra­tives at once.” On March 17 we discussed the first half of the book and on April 21 we’ll discuss the second half of the book. Daniel Sokatch will also be coming to Beth Emet this spring (date to be determined) to talk about the book.

A Conversation with Dr. Yael “Yuli” Tamir – Friday, March 22, 2024
Check out the recording and hear from Dr. Tamir as she shared an update from Israel, the importance of resilience and compassion in the educational realm as well as other important perspectives given her work as an academic and former Israeli politician.

Check out Rabbi London’s Two-Part Conversation on Can We Talk About Israel? A Guide for the Curious, Confused and Conflicted by Daniel Sokatch.

  • Sunday, March 17 – Part 1 (recording)
  • Part Two is Sunday, April 21 at 10:00 am

Learning Together: An Interfaith Approach to the War in Gaza – How Israelis and Palestinians See Themselves and Each Other: A Multi-Lens Perspective on Israel-Palestine
Jewish scholar Dr. David N. Myers and Arab scholar Dr. Hussein Ibish explored the intricate history of Israel/Palestine in this engaging two-part-lecture series.

  • Saturday, February 17 – From the Origin of Zionism to the Fateful Year of 1948 (recording)
  • Sunday, February 18  – From Independence/Nakba to October 7 and its Aftermath (recording)
  • Bibliography from Drs. Myers and Ibish

Professor Sara Yael Hirschhorn, a Visiting Professor at the University of Haifa Will Speak about Contemporary Zionism – Sunday, February 11
Click here to listen to the recording. Dr. Hirschhorn provided a brief history of Zionism and the challenges of today, especially after October 7.

Up Close with Kibbutz Kissufim – Saturday, February 3.  Check out the recording.  We heard a live update from members of Kissufim via Zoom, about their current circumstances, challenges and hopes, and thoughts about what the future may hold.

Professor Dov Waxman, Professor of Israel Studies at UCLA and Author of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know – Monday, January 29.  Check out the recording.
Dov Waxman is the Director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. He is a Professor of Political Science and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair of Israel Studies at UCLA. You can learn more about Professor Waxman by clicking here.

Suffering, Salvation, and Human Rights” – A Conversation with Rabbi Noa Sattath, Executive Director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel – Sunday, January 14
Rabbi Sattath shared the important work of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, especially over the past few months, as well as discussed the suffering, salvation, and human rights, especially within the context of the current situation in Israel. Rabbi Sattath is the Executive Director of ACRI, the oldest and most influential civil and human rights organization in Israel. She is an ordained Reform rabbi and spent the past 11 years as Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC). Click here to learn more about ACRI. With much appreciation to an anonymous donor who has sponsored Rabbi Sattath’s program.  Check out the recording.

Joel Braunold Trying to Piece Together the Past Two+ Months – Thursday, December 21
Joel Braunold, Managing Director of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, spoke at Beth Emet. Not only did he provide a thorough assessment of the situation in Israel, but also shared regional perspectives from the Middle East as well as a deeper dive into U.S. domestic politics and the fractures in the left-right political arena.  Check out the recording.

Mickey Gitzin, Director of the New Israel Fund in Israel – Friday, November 17
We heard from Mickey Gitzen about the NIF’s work on the ground with the southern communities in Israel, including an update on Kibbutz Kissufim, the kibbutz that Beth Emet is supporting. Mickey also provided an update and insights into what is happening in Israel. Check out the recording.

Check out the following links which can help process what’s happening and offer ways in which to talk to children, adults, and the general community.

ADL Presents to Beth Emet Adults and Teens about Antisemitism – On Sunday, December 10, Trent Spoolstra, the ADL Associate Regional Director, presented a program on the State of Antisemitism to adults in our community and then a program entitled Words to Action to our high schoolers. Both programs were well received and left participants with concrete ideas of how to respond to troubling comments they hear and of ways to continue to educate themselves. Trent shared the following resources for you to check out.

ADL Survey Reports

ADL Resources

How to Partner with ADL

  1. Encourage Your Workplace to Sign the Fight Antisemitism Pledge
  2. Sign ADL’s petition to have Students for Justice in Palestine investigated for student codes of conduct violations
  3. Tell the Associated Press to Label Hamas a terrorist organization
  4. Email Associate Regional Director Trent Spoolstra to offer a free presentation to your non-Jewish organization about Jewish diversity and dispelling Jewish myths
  5. Text ‘ACTNOW’ to 72572 to complete our form to receive text alerts about advocacy initiatives

All Ages:

Young Kids

Elementary School: