Bekki Harris Kaplan (she/her/hers), with her famously bright smile, has been lighting up Beth Emet for more than two decades. She became Beth Emet’s Director of Congregation Engagement in the summer of 2021 after serving as the synagogue’s Executive Director for 20 years. Aside from supervising Beth Emet’s day-to-day operations and working closely with leadership, Bekki focuses her abundant energy and enthusiasm on helping congregants connect and engage with one another and with the community as a whole.
Much of Bekki’s work is driven by her belief in the importance of a strong, cohesive Jewish community and the Jewish value of Hachnasat Orchim, or welcoming the stranger. These values spring from her own experiences growing up in West Lafayette, Ind., within a small tight-knit Jewish community.
Bekki joined Beth Emet’s professional team in July 2001 after working as Associate Executive Director and Membership Director at Temple Sholom of Chicago. She previously was a Field Consultant with the Chicago Chapter of Hadassah; Midwest Regional Director of Young Judaea, a national Zionist youth movement; and Assistant Director at Camp Young Judaea in Waupaca, Wis. Following her passion for Jewish camping, Bekki is a member of the Camp Young Judaea Board.
She is a senior member of the National Association of Temple Administrators (NATA), served on the NATA National Board and the Executive Board, was the co-chair of the NATA 2017 annual conference (Boston) and the NATA Online Educational Task Force, and has worked on numerous NATA Committees. She also has served as the President of Chicago-area Association of Synagogue Administration (CASA) and is a graduate of Leadership Evanston (a program through Evanston Community Foundation).
Bekki earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in business, journalism and Jewish Studies and a master’s degree in human services administration from Spertus College of Judaica at Spertus. She lives in Evanston with her husband, Dan, and has two children, Hannah and Eytan.
Call: 847-869-4230 x 304