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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.

At Beth Emet, we celebrate the simcha by sharing a bit about our recent b'nei mitzvah students with the entire congregation as a welcome to the "adult" community. Let us wish "mazel tov" to the following:

Sebastian Henson for webSebastian Henson
son of Julie Henson
March 25

I have always had unbounded curiosity and the urge to learn new things about most aspects of our complicated world. Going to Anshe Emet (a Jewish school), I have been given the opportunity to experience many different aspects of our Jewish culture, including things from Israeli dancing to eating a delicious Shabbat lunch every Friday. Jewish history and tradition interest me, and I hope to study even more about it as I become a Bar Mitzvah and as I turn into a Jewish adult.

In school, I enjoy delving into newly discovered areas of science, finding new equations and strategies in math, attaining new historical knowledge about humanity’s past, and expressing my creativity through writing. Outside of school, I like to participate in many sports. Though soccer is my specialty, I also enjoy most other games. When I am not playing, I spend time expanding my learning that started in school and exploring more about those areas on YouTube and other places online.

As I continue on my journey through life, I hope to keep learning about my culture and other areas that interest me.

Ellie Bollinger for webEllie (Eleanor) Bollinger
Daughter of Aviva Bollinger and Steve Bollinger
March 10

Ellie is a 7th grader at Nichols Middle School. Her favorite subjects include anything that allows her to use her creativity and imagination or lets her be active! She plays the violin in the school symphony orchestra and has been on the school's volleyball team for the last two years. Outside of school, Ellie is a competitive swimmer and proud member of MYST - the McGaw YMCA Swim Team. And when she's not in school or practicing for her Bat Mitzvah, you can generally find her in their pool lapping and laughing her way to the front of the pack.

Ellie is passionate about environmental issues and protecting native pollinating species, particularly the Bumble Bee population. Her Mitzvah Project - reflecting Tikkun Olam and the ability to repair our earth to it's greatest ability - involved learning ways to create nontoxic and sustainable gardens to attract and maintain healthy pollinators, writing letters to the EPA to encourage them to make and enforce laws against the use of poisonous pesticides, and to show our community how easy it is to do the same.

When Ellie stood on the Bimah and read from the Torah for the first time, she saw how all of the hard work has been worth it. She could finally sense the accomplishments and growth she's made and felt very "grown up". That pride will stay with her for a long time.

Jack Kaplan for webJack Herschel Kaplan
son of Elizabeth Feiertag and Seth Kaplan
March 17
I'm a seventh grader at Haven Middle School. My family have been members of Beth Emet for a long grandfather, dad, uncle and sister all had bar or bat mitzvahs at Beth Emet.  I love all sports, and play soccer for FC United, FAAM, and EYBA Travel Baseball. In honor of becoming a Bar Mitzvah, I am raising money and collecting canned goods for the Greater Chicagoland Food Depository. I think it's very sad that there are people without enough to eat.  If you would like to donate in honor of my bar mitzvah, I have a web page set up at:  Thank you.  





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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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