Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering as a member of the community is not only good, but it’s a place to connect to our shared Jewish values and build relationships.

Looking for volunteers or know of other opportunities? Contact Bekki Kaplan or call her at 847-869-4230 x 304

** Notes this is a one-time opportunity**

Bringing the Warmth of Shabbat Dinners to Our Community

Do you enjoy cooking? Are you comfortable delivering a meal made by someone else? If your answer is yes, we have a volunteer program geared for you.

Every Friday, one Shabbat Connections volunteer prepares a home-cooked meal and brings it to Beth Emet. Later that day, another Shabbat Connections volunteer picks it up and delivers the meal to a Beth Emet family who may be recovering from illness, had a recent death in the family, recently moved, is homebound, or recently had a baby. The delicious dinner makes Shabbat special (and easier) for the recipient.

Whether you would like to regularly participate or lend a hand once or twice a year, we need you to help perform this mitzvah of cooking and delivering dinner. Funding is available to help defray the costs.

Please contact Arlene Berke or Kathy Kaberon if you are interested in volunteering or learning more about Shabbat Connections.

This Month: bar soap, body lotion and shampoo

Interfaith Action Evanston (IAE) operates the monthly Producemobile, which distributes fresh produce to Evanston’s families experiencing food insecurity. For the past year, Interfaith has added SNAPGap to collect and distribute items that most of us consider necessary but are not eligible for purchase with federal benefits, such as toilet paper, toothpaste, soap or shampoo. Interfaith identifies 1-3 items for distribution each month.

This month, for the first time, Beth Emet is stepping up to coordinate SNAPGap! Ideally, our community will be able to supply the bulk of the items for the August 9 distribution. Last month, not nearly enough items were collected for the folks who needed them. If you’re able to donate, please know that these items are greatly needed by families and nothing will go to waste.

The items IAE will distribute in August are new packages of bar soap, body lotion, and shampoo. Items can be purchased online.

If you purchase these items locally for donation, you can drop them at:

Beth Emet The Free Synagogue
1224 Dempster St.
Evanston, IL 60202

Drop-off Hours at Beth Emet are:
Monday-Thursday, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Friday, 8:00 am-2:00 pm
*Last Day to drop-off items is Monday, August 8*

In addition, you may drop off items at:
Leslie Shulruff
1140 Forest Ave
Evanston, IL 60202

Feeding the Hungry with Respect and Love

The Beth Emet Soup Kitchen is currently recruiting volunteers to help on most Wednesday evenings in July and August. We are making assignments for sack lunches, salads, and nut-free desserts, which are made at home and delivered to the synagogue between 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on the assigned date. In addition, adults are needed to help onsite 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. to prepare the rest of the meal, and to serve it to a portion of our guests who choose to dine inside. (Please note that there are very limited opportunities for youth to participate onsite.) Those working onsite will be asked to purchase and bring certain ingredients used in the food preparation. Please let us know your interest, and we’ll find you an open date and provide additional instructions.

Learn More about the Soup Kitchen


Beth Emet Co-Sponsors Afghan Refugee Family

The family continues to need help with English practice, such as learning letters, numbers, and American money, or rides for shopping and to appointments.

Contact Alison Finkel or Jessie MacDonald.

Serving Dinner to Warm the Soul as Well as the Stomach

For over 35 years members who came to Beth Emet from Temple Judea Mizpah have volunteered at this location to provide dinner for the guests on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Volunteers shop, cook on site and serve approximately 160 guests.

Contact: Michelle Oxman

Sharing a D'Var Torah (Sermon) with the Community

Following the Torah reading at Kahal Shabbat morning services, a member of the clergy, Director of Lifelong Learning or a member of the community offers a D’var Torah (sermon) and questions for the community to discuss.

Whether you’re a seasoned leader or wish to learn (you’re welcome to meet with the rabbi as you prepare), we would love to learn from and with you.

Contact: the office

Ushering in Shabbat

A great way to meet others in others in the congregation is by ushering for Shabbat services.

Offering a “Shabbat Shalom,” ensuring that everyone has a siddur (prayer book), and making sure everyone feels welcome & included is an important part of building a community.

Contact: Bekki Kaplan

Honoring the Deceased

Beth Emet is part of the Progressive Chevra Kadisha (PCK), a volunteer inter-congregational society dedicated to conducting the ceremony of tahara in preparation for Jewish burial.

PCK is run by volunteers from Beth Emet, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Lomdim, Or Chadash, and the Egalitarian Minyan/Ner Tamid of West Rogers Park to serve the needs of members and their families.

When someone dies, PCK members visit the funeral home — as part of the Beth Emet Burial Plan or at a family’s request — and prepare the body of the deceased according to the centuries-old customs of our people.

PCK members wash the body (rechitza), perform a tahara (ritual cleansing), and dress the deceased in a set of tachrichim (simple white garments) for burial. The Progressive Chevra Kadisha performs this service anonymously as g’mitlut chesed (an ultimate act of lovingkindness) to honor the dead and to comfort the living who remember them.

To learn more about the work of the Progressive Chevra Kadisha, to inquire about arranging a tahara, or to volunteer, call 847-440-4725, or email pckadisha@gmail.com.

Leading Kaddish for Those in Mourning

When a member of our community experiences a loss, Shiva Minyan volunteers offer comfort and support by leading services in the homes of mourners. This volunteer opportunity is for you if you’re comfortable leading a shiva service (or learning how to).

Contact  the office at 847-869-4230 to request a minyan leader. If you have experience leading a shiva minyan or are interested in being trained to become a minyan leader, please contact Jack Levie or Howard Sachs.

For Crochet and Knitting Lovers

Know how to knit and/or crochet?

As a tribute to Nikki Zarefsky z”l, join us for an hour (on zoom) of knitting and connecting as we create shawls to warm people during services and/or healing shawls that will bring warmth to those in need in a hospital, home, or other settings.

Newcomers are welcome and encouraged to join!

Contact: Beth Emet Soul Stitchers

Reading Torah and Learning Cantillation

Chant Torah? Care to learn trope (cantillation)?

At our weekly Kahal Shabbat morning service Torah is read by a member of the community. Add your name to the list of those who are interested in reading. And if you wish to learn, check out our Adult Programming classes.

Contact the office to sign up for a Torah reading for Shabbat or offer to read Torah for the Holidays.

Limited time to volunteer? Consider making a donation.

Donate Now