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.

sanctuary logo for web min

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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  • Cap It Off!
    Complete the Capital Campaign and See What’s Yet to Come.... with an Ice-Cream in Hand 

    Thursday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m.

    The Capital Campaign is nearly across the finish line! The school entrance is moving and the se...


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 through June 7 (No class April 19 and 26)
    9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often overlooked. We will continue our learning from ...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat,  June 1
    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 prayer, meditation, st...

  • with David Zarefsky

    Tuesday, June 4 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Sessions will focus on the place of the United States in the world, including relationships with Israel, the nature of the social contract, and the principles of fed...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesday, June 12; 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

    Percussion offers hands-on, non-verbal access to the spiritual and emotional while connecting with others. Treat your mind, body, and spirit to an uplifting break fr...

  • with Hyma Levin
    Wednesdays, May 22 and 29, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Enjoy the story of Ruth as we explore the relationship of an older woman and a younger woman seeking to preserve themselves in ancient Israel. Is this story a cute fol...

    with Cantorial Soloist Shawna Rosen
    Thursdays June 13 and 20 | 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Learn the basics of the traditional cantillation system to chant Torah and the common trope families. All beginners and almost ...

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