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.

Leo Baeck Leadership Corps / Scholarship to Israel

What is NFTY- EIE?
Since 1961 more than a thousand high school sophomores, juniors or seniors have participated in the North American Federation of Temple Youth Eisendrath Israel Exchange (NFTY-EIE)North American Federation of Temple Youth Eisendrath Israel Exchange (NFTY-EIE), an extraordinary semester in Israel for North American Reform Jewish youth. The purpose of NFTY-EIE is to provide an opportunity for outstanding high school students to spend a semester in Israel under the sponsorship of the Reform Movement. The experience is intended to develop young leadership and to increase Jewish knowledge and commitment to Jewish life and learning. Students in NFTY-EIE immerse themselves in study and in experiencing the Land of Israel and its cultures and people during the Spring Semester (January – June) or during the Fall Semester (August – December). Students are immersed in Hebrew Language via Ulpan and also attend fully accredited General Studies Courses whose credits transfer to their regular high school back home.

NFTY-EIE has evolved from a host-family model in the major cities of Israel to a kibbutz residency program at Kibbutz Tzuba in the Judean Hills outside of Jerusalem. NFTY-EIE also features many group experiences, such as a week-long Poland trip, hiking expeditions in the Negev Desert and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee and also “Gadna” (IDF training camp) where students can interact with their Israeli peers.

What is the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps?
The Leo Baeck Leadership Corps (Gar'in Leo Baeck) will (1) support outstanding Beth Emet youth who are attending EIE to develop increased Jewish identity, strong leadership skills, and greater Jewish commitment; and (2) build a community of young Jewish leaders at Beth Emet who, upon returning from EIE, will make meaningful contributions to Beth Emet and the Jewish community.

Who can participate in the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps?
The Leo Baeck Leadership Corps is open to students who commit to developing their leadership potential while in Israel and returning to share their skills and experiences at Beth Emet. Participation is open to any eligible Beth Emet high school student who has been accepted to attend or has an application pending to EIE and who successfully completes the Leadership Corps application and interview. Members selected for the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps may receive a financial award from the Leo Baeck Scholarship Fund from the Beth Emet Foundation. In 5771 Beth Emet sent two students to the program - Itay Solomon and Yonah London - who spent their spring semester in Israel.

What are the privileges and responsibilities of the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps?
Students accepted as part of the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps will:

  • Represent Beth Emet in both formal and informal leadership roles at EIE and at Beth Emet.
  • Participate at EIE with other Corps members in leadership training and activities as identified by Beth Emet.
  • Identify and explore a chosen area of leadership study during their time in Israel.
  • Prepare and implement, in consultation with the Youth Director, a program of activity in their area of leadership study during the year following their return to Beth Emet.
  • Write a personal reflection upon the conclusion of their service experience at Beth Emet.

What is the application process? When is the application deadline?
All applicants to the Leo Baeck Scholarship must first complete the NFTY-EIE application process. After submitting the EIE application to NFTY, Beth Emet members must download, complete, and return the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps application packet:

Download LBLC General Information 

Download LBLC Application Instructions

Download LBLC Application

Interested students must submit a fully completed application. Applications which are incomplete, hard to read, late, or completed by anyone other than the applicant will not be advanced to the interview stage.

What is the selection process?
A personal interview will be conducted by the Beth Emet Leo Baeck Committee with applicants who (1) submit fully completed and legible applications by the deadline and (2) possess a record of service and leadership making them serious contenders for membership in the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps. The purpose of the interview is for the Committee to meet the applicant, to insure membership in LBLC is appropriate, and to explore future leadership possibilities within Beth Emet upon the applicant’s return from EIE.

What if I am not part of the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps? Can I still go on NFTY-EIE?
Participation in the NFTY-EIE program does NOT depend on participating in the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps. All NFTY-EIE participants remain valued Beth Emet representatives in the program and will be invited to share their experiences with the congregation and prospective NFTY-EIE participants.

Do I receive any financial assistance?
Members selected for the Leo Baeck Leadership Corps may receive a financial award from the Leo Baeck Scholarship Fund at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue. Receipt of funds is contingent upon acceptance to the program and upon the annual allocation of funds for the LBLC from the Beth Emet Foundation. Failure to complete the program will necessitate repayment of the scholarship.

What other financial assistance is available to me?
All EIE applicants may apply for additional financial assistance from Beth Emet. Other merit scholarships and financial need-based assistance are available through NFTY and the Jewish Federation. Contact the Rabbi’s Office or call 847-869-4230 ext. 306 for details.

Where can I get more information?
Contact the Beth Emet office or call 847-869-4230  at ext. 301 for more details.

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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.

  • 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...

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