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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Why Join?

Community
Beth Emet’s strength is the diversity and active participation of its members. The congregation welcomes people of all ages, races, abilities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Our religious, social and educational community comprises members from Evanston, Wilmette, Skokie, Chicago, Lincolnwood and other nearby suburbs. New members are assigned a buddy to help acclimate them to all of the activities and personal connections that Beth Emet has to offer.

Young Families
Beth Emet offers an exciting array of young family programs, monthly Tot Shabbats (third Shabbat morning of each month at 9:00 am), and weekly online sing-alongs with our Cantor. Starting this Fall, the JCC Early Childhood program will be at Beth Emet, holding a variety of programs from full-day infant care to junior kindergarten. For more information, contact Anita Denes-Meador.

Religious School (Beit Sefer)
From junior kindergarten through high school, our Beit Sefer (religious school) and Chavayah (high school) programming offers curriculum to deepen our children’s Jewish identification and understanding of Torah, and Jewish tradition, and the importance of being engaged as a Jew in the greater world. The majority of Beit Sefer students celebrate their b’nai mitzvah with the synagogue and many continue their studies through high school.  You can find more information on our website.

Social Action
Multiple opportunities to volunteer and serve our community as well as address social issues abound at Beth Emet. There are groups focused on advocacy, social action programs, providing Tzedekah grants for local organizations, racial justice, the environment, and recently released asylum seeker. Our weekly soup kitchen on Wednesdays is a cornerstone of our active participation in addressing those who are hungry in our community.  

Building
With the success of our recent multi-year capital campaign, our building has been transformed that supports our ever changing programming, provides for greater security, and enhances our spiritual home.  The renovations include a renewed Sanctuary and social hall (the Herman & Mildred Crown Room), our main lobby, both the Sanctuary and West entrances, our lower level social hall (the Weiner Room), and classrooms.  While the building is closed at this time due to COVID19, we look forward to welcoming you into our building in the near future.

Worship and Lifecycle Events
Services take place every Friday evening with multiple worship opportunities on Shabbat mornings. In addition, congregational services commemorate both the High Holy Days as well as other holidays throughout the year. Our highly participatory style of worship encourages individual pursuit of spirituality within a supportive community. You can find out more information and a complete service schedule on our website.

Meet the Clergy and Klei Kodesh (senior staff)
Our world-class clergy team includes two experienced rabbis and a fourth-generation cantor - each of whom is highly accessible and well regarded nationally. Beth Emet also has a team of well-respected educators and administrative staff, who truly partner with all new and seasoned members to intentionally engage with all aspects of congregational life.  You can find a complete listing and their contact info online.

Youth Activities
Youth groups and innovative courses for junior high through high school help our teens stay connected with each other as well as the greater Evanston/Chicago area community. Another key focus of the program is social action and Beth Emet has created integrated programming with other religious organizations within the community. Find out more.

Adult Education
The vast adult education options include short courses, lectures, films, and Torah study sessions.  For more information, check the website.

Membership
Beth Emet’s leadership strive to ensure that there are no barriers to joining the community. Should you have questions regarding membership, exploring the Beth Emet community and ways in which to engage, financial considerations, or to learn more, contact Bekki Harris Kaplan, Executive Director by email or by phone (cell: 847-903-2332)

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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  • Rabbi Andrea C. London

    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...

  • Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler

    Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler, D.D. became a rabbi because of her love of Judaism and desire to teach others, share in their spiritual journey and make the world a better place than we found it.

    She joined Beth Emet in the Fall...

  • Cantor Rabbi Kyle Cotler

    Kyle comes from a long line of Jewish music – his great-grandfather was a Chazzan in Russia; his grandfather, Ted, served in Ventura; and his father, Doug, is currently the cantor at Or Ami in Calabasas. Kyle studied at the...

  • Rabbi Peter S. Knobel z"l

    Rabbi Knobel was rabbi emeritus at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois where he served since 1980, following 11 years at Temple Emanu-El in Groton, Connecticut.  He served as the Interim Senior Rabbi of Templ...

  • Bekki Harris Kaplan

    Bekki Harris Kaplan joined Beth Emet's professional team in July 2001 after working as the Associate Executive Director and Membership Director at Temple Sholom of Chicago. In addition to supervising the functioning of Beth...

  • Marci Dickman

    Marci Dickman joined Beth Emet in July, 2009 with more than 25 years of experience in Jewish education. Marci serves as the Director of Lifelong Learning, acting as the Principal of Beit Sefer and overseeing our Early Child...

  • Kathy Kaberon

    Kathy Kaberon is Beth Emet's Director of Young Family Programs. She has been an administrator in Beth Emet's Early Childhood Program for the past 10 years. Her affiliation with the program began in 1988, when she enrolled h...

  • Maia Volk

    Maia Volk joined Beth Emet in July 2018 as the Director of Youth Programs, overseeing the formal and informal education of Beth Emet youth.  Maia grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent her summers as a camper and staff at...

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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.

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