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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In Exodus 25:8, God says to Moses, “Create for me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among them.” These words set the building of the Tabernacle into motion. But the verse’s ending has an interesting grammatical anomaly. Instead of telling the Israelites to create a sanctuary so God can dwell within it, the wording suggests that the dwelling may be among the people, or within them, suggesting that God can live within us rather than exclusively in a physical sanctuary. This year at Beth Emet we’ll explore the multiples meanings of sanctuary—as physical space to gather as a community for prayer, as spiritual space where we feel safe and whole, and as an attitude that is welcoming and accepting of everyone.

Rabbi Andrea London introduced this year's Sanctuary theme on Kol Nidre with her sermon, And I Will Dwell Among Them (Listen | pdfRead). The theme followed though to the next morning where during the Yom Kippur Chavurah Service, Beth Emet teens reflected on their recent border immersion trip to El Paso (Listen | Read). During the Yom Kippur Traditional Service, fellow Evanston Clergy, Pastor Daniel Ruen and Pastor Michael Nabors, spoke about their experiences and hopes for Evanston being a Sanctuary city (Listen). 

This weekly e-mail project, curated by David and Ellen Barish, allows congregants to express themselves in any of a variety of media: speechmaking, poetry, essay, story, photography, film, paint, sculpture, printmaking, textile, sound or music. If you'd like to contribute, please email Ellen and/or David.

June 1 -  The Sanctuary of Music, Myra Shneider and Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman
May 25 - A Sanctuary of Sacred Space, Rabbi Peter Knobel
May 18 - Finding Sanctuary from Within, Dan Kaplan
May 11 - Sanctuary: Serving the Soul, Fay Lipschultz
May 4 - Poetry as Sanctuary, Dina Elenbogen
April 27 - The Irony of Sanctuary, Letitia Mann 
April 20 - A Lesson About Home in a Class About the Holocaust, Miriam Ben Yoseph
April 13 - Embraced by Sanctuary, Judy Aronson
April 6 - Oh Lord Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary, Deborah Siegel
March 16 - A Safe HavenA Safe Haven, Louise Motel
March 9 - Sanctuary Through the Eyes of ChildrenSanctuary Through the Eyes of Children
March 2 - "Sanctuary" performed by Celeste Kellogg
February 23 - Sanctuary as Soup KitchenSanctuary as Soup Kitchen, Jessie Macdonald
February 16 - Sanctuary Between Heart and SouSanctuary Between Heart and Soul, Alden Solovy
February 9 - Sanctuary for the SoulSanctuary for the Soul, a conversation between Jonathan Yenkin and Sue Nadel
February 2 - Audacious HospitalityAudacious Hospitality, Julie Schrager, Emily Dana, Michael Orenstein
January 26 - A Moving SanctuaryA Moving Sanctuary, Susan Fisher
January 19 - Some Thoughts on SanctuarySome Thoughts on Sanctuary, Alice Segal
January 12 - A Port in a StormA Port in a Storm, Charolette Jaffe
January 5 - The Sanctuary of CommunityThe Sanctuary of Community, Jackie Berman
December 29 - An Improbable SanctuaryAn Improbable Sanctuary, Roger Price
December 22 - Simple SanctuarySimple Sanctuary, Nina Kavin
December 15 - A Moving TargetA Moving Target, Jerri Zbiral
December 8 - A Sanctuary of People, Places, and ThingsA Sanctuary of People, Places, and Things, Laura Miller
December 1 - Finding Sanctuary in Declaring our SolidarityFinding Sanctuary in Declaring our Solidarity, Alan Teller
November 24 - The Sanctuary in SongThe Sanctuary in Song, Sarina Elenbogen-Siegel
November 17 - Jewish and SafeJewish and Safe, Marilyn Price
November 10 - Love is a SanctuaryLove is a Sanctuary, Ellen Frank-Miller
November 3 - Sanctuary, WithinSanctuary, Within, Barbara Stock
October 27 - A Penny for Your ThoughtsA Penny for Your Thoughts, David Barish
October 20 - A Living TabernacleA Living Tabernacle, Ellen Blum Barish
October 13 - Sanctuary: Where God DwellsSanctuary: Where God Dwells, Rabbi Andrea London 

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  • Lox, Bagels, and Leaders

    Sunday, February 9 at 9:45 a.m. (Please note date change)
    This annual event features our Beth Emet member and neighbor, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Writer and Beth Emet member, Mark Caro; and Jon Marshall, a...

  • Beth Emet Community Retreat

    February 28-March 1, 2020
    After a five-year hiatus, Beth Emet’s Community Retreat is back and better than ever! Spend a relaxing weekend with friends and family in beautiful Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, celebrating Shabb...

 

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.

  • PJ Party!

    Saturday, February 8 at 4:30 p.m.
    Wear your PJ's for dinner, crafts, Havdalah, songs, and stories from PJ Library.
    Perfect for families with children ages 8 and under. 
    $5 per person or $20 per family by February 6...

  • Lox, Bagels, and Leaders

    Sunday, February 9 at 9:45 a.m. (Please note date change)
    This annual event features our Beth Emet member and neighbor, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Writer and Beth Emet member, Mark Caro; and Jon Marshall, a...

  • Sunday, February 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton-Orrington Hotel


    Beth Emet’s Soup Kitchen is a well-oiled machine, weekly feeding 70 to 120 of the area’s working poor and homeless. The Soup Kitchen, under the leaders...

  • with Susan Nussbaum
    Sunday, February 23 at 3:00 p.m.
    Susan Nussbaum, the writer/producer of Code of the Freaks, a soon to be released documentary film, will discuss how Hollywood’s depictions of characters with disabi...

  • Beth Emet Community Retreat

    February 28-March 1, 2020
    After a five-year hiatus, Beth Emet’s Community Retreat is back and better than ever! Spend a relaxing weekend with friends and family in beautiful Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, celebrating Shabb...

  • with Mike Kuhn
    Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. 

    Parent, spend an evening in the kitchen with others learning new tips, tricks, and recipes to make your loved ones breakfast items for dinner. There will be time to enjoy...

  • Through March 11, 2020
    “Vote Reform” in the World Zionist Congress (WZC) Elections. When you go to the American Zionist Movement website, scroll down to watch an informative video about how to vote. You must be a Jew...

  • Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
    Cantor Kyle Cotler leads a spirit-ual evening and his passion for whiskey, rye, and kombucha by teaching tasting techniques and how best to describe their complex elements. There will ...

  • Wednesday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m.
    Join the discussion at our monthly book club! The next book is Book of the Unknown Americans” by Christina Henriquez. Books are available for pick up at Beth Emet. No need to RSVP...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, February 14-June 12 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. (No class March 6, April 10, and May 15)
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often overlooked. We will cont...

  • Thursdays, January 16, February 27, March 19, April 23 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

    Participants study as a small group of adults studies to become b’nei mitzvah together at Beth Emet. Requirements for Adult B’nei Mitzvah at Beth Emet...

  • with Yvette Alt Miller
    Thursday, January 30 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Whether you’re an expert baker or a challah newbie, this evening is for you! Learn how to make and braid challah and explore the meaning and mysticism behind this i...

  • with David Gottlieb
    Fridays, February 14 and 21 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Sigmund Freud and Theodor Herzl lived on the same block in Vienna for two years in the early 1900s. Yet these men, so deeply influenced by
    European cultur...

  • Movie and discussion, led by Bekki Kaplan and Shlomit Hoch
    Saturday, February 1 | 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Rebecca Abarnabel, a single daughter born into an Orthodox Jewish family, is tired of the lifestyle that her father, Reuven...

  • Jewish Vaudeville

    with Alan Teller
    Sunday, February 23, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Distinct from Yiddish theater, Jewish vaudeville had its own flavor. Alan Teller grew up with a larger-than-life grandfather in the business — a guy who pulled quarters ...

  • with Claire Suffrin
    Fridays, February 28 and March 6 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    This course will explore different aspects of the relationship between religion and literature in contemporary novels and poetry. We’ll consider exa...

  • with Rabbi Allan Kensky
    Fridays, January 24 and 31 | 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
    This small book of the Bible, written in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, expresses the anguish of the people at the calamity that ...

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