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 


  • 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...

  • Marla Topp


    Beth Emet Administrator, Marla Topp, has many years of experience in congregational life. She was the administrator at Temple Judea Mizpah for eight years and was also the Director of Education since 2015. During that time...




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