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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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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.

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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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.

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, October 20- June 8 (No class December 8, 22, & 29, January 12 & 26, March 30, April 6)
    9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often o...

  • with Gerry Macsai
    Sunday, April 8, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
    Prompted by her recent trip to Budapest, Gerry Macsai will present a current picture of Jewish life in that area amid the blatant anti-Semitism still displayed and expressed th...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, March 10, May 12, June 9
    3:30–5:30 pm This class meets at Rabbi London's home.

    Once a month on Shabbat afternoon at Rabbi London's home, explore Jewish spiritual practices that combine praye...

  • Chametz Fest, Movie, and More: The Women's Balcony

    with Bekki Harris Kaplan
    Saturday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m.
    As Passover concludes, enjoy a light ‘chameitz’ supper, recite Havdalah, and watch the Israeli film, The Women's Balcony , to be followed by a discussion. Israel’s number ...

  • with David Zarefsky
    Monday, April 9 and Tuesday, June 12 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Sessions are expected to focus on the place of the United States in the world, including relationships with Israel, the nature of the social contr...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesdays, March 21, April 18 and June 20 and Monday, May 14

    7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

    How would it feel to take a break from the regimen and “noise” of everyday life and instead focus on renewal of mind, body...

  • with Lindy Rubin and Jonathan Orlove
    April 15, 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (bus leaves Beth Emet at 9:30 a.m.)
    Art educator Lindy Rubin and architect Jonathan Orlove will lead a tour of sacred art located in three area synagogues: ...

  • with Rabbi Burton Cohen
    Friday, March 23, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Participants will examine a selection from the Mishnah and Talmud (the first postbiblical codes of Jewish law) dealing with the origins and rationale for the b...

  • with Marilyn Price
    Shabbat, April 7 (potluck lunch following Kahal service)
    Marilyn’s recent book, From Gratitude to Blessings and Back, helps the reader enter into the exercise of thanking, through the avenues of Jewish bles...

  • with David Shyovitz
    Fridays, April 13 and 20 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    We will read and analyze several pre-modern Jewish narratives, seeking to uncover their historical and theological significance. As we shall see, Jewish s...

  • Thursday, April 12, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
    Chicago area Holocaust survivors of Nazi persecution in the former Soviet Union will share their compelling and previously unheard stories. Presenters Elliot Lefkovitz and Yonit Hoffman will...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays October 20 - April 13 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class, November 24, December 29, January 5, March 30, & April 6)

    This year we will continue reading Tractate Avodah Zarah, which deals with idolatr...

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