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.

During these challenging times (and really always) there is a need to become more engaged in the issues of the day.  The purpose of the page is to hold the many ways to get involved, make our voices heard, and connect with other like minded Beth Emet members who have expressed interest as well.  Below you will find information which we hope you will bookmark and reference often.  Please take a moment to take a quick survey, and together we can make the world a better place.  For questions, please contact Bekki Harris Kaplan, Executive Director

Events

For more upcoming events, please check the main upcoming events page, latest edition of EmetMail,  or our Facebook page.

Local Involvement

Beth Emet Soup Kitchen

Connections for the Homeless
Contact: Sheryl Bartol

Interfaith Action of EvanstonInterfaith Action of Evanston
Produce MobileProduce Mobile
every other Tuesday, sponsored by the Interfaith Action of Evanston
Contact: Simon Anolick

Uniting Voices Team
The “Uniting Voices Team” is a part of “Evanston For All”, an effort spearheaded in November 2016 by the Evanston Interfaith Clergy Association to oppose hatred and bigotry. “Uniting Voices” seeks to counter the growing polarization in our society with dialog and activities that find common ground between diverse groups. So far, the team has explored various methods of non-violent communication using techniques of conflict resolution. The “Uniting Voices Team” is in the early stages of defining its goals and strategies.
Contact: Jessie McDonald

Evanston Protection Teams 
The Evanston Interfaith Clergy of Evanston have created "Evanston Protection Teams" to stimulate engagement of everyone in Evanston to support neighbors especially those who feel fearful of their immigration status or religious beliefs because of the Trump Administration's threats. Evanston prefers to be called a "welcoming community" with legislation from city council to support this claim. We aim to clarify that those threatened by illegal government behavior are welcome, not just protected.
Contact: Phil Bashook

Evanston Justice Team 
The Evanston Justice Team is a coalition of Evanston religious and community organizations to identify, prioritize and seek solutions to local social justice issues. It is one of a series of local justice teams organized by Open CommunitiesOpen Communities.

The coalition has called for creation of a citizens advisory board for the new equity position in the Evanston government (see Beth Emet news). Other issues currently under discussion are (1) whether there should be an independent citizens review board regarding the Evanston police and (2) the lack of sufficient of affordable housing in Evanston.

Volunteers will participate in considering issues as well as supporting campaigns for social justice.
Contact: Mark Schoenfield

Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA)
For over 50 years, JCUA has been as the Jewish voice for social justice in Chicago. Together with our members, we combat poverty, racism and anti-Semitism in partnership with our city’s diverse communities.
Contact Paul Peterson and Deana Kobrynski

Small Dialogue Group 
I’m seeking four mild-mannered, civically minded and concerned people to join me in a pilot project. I find myself troubled by the rancor, even hatred, that has accompanied our current national conversation. My interest is to initiate a conversation with a small number of similarly concerned people on “the other side.” My hope is to focus on the tone of the national debate, not its content, and see whether, in a small way, we could explore the rancor together and see whether and where that might take us. The goal is quite modest and purposefully not defined in a hard and fast way. Changing political opinions is not what I envision.
Contact: Allen Siegel

Open CommunitiesOpen Communities 
Open Communities is a leading voice for housing, economic and social justice in north suburban Chicago, working to promote inclusive communities that are welcoming to all. It provides services for homeowners in danger of foreclosure, landlord-tenant mediation, a testing program to fight discrimination by landlords, and an advocacy and organizing program, the Justice Project, that supports volunteer Justice Teams, currently organizing in Evanston, Skokie, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Highland Park, and Park Ridge. These teams work on issues such as affordable housing, services for the disabled, seniors, and at risk youth, protection of immigrants and other issues. 
Contact: Ted Smukler

Get Involved

If you are an attorney interested in providing pro bono legal assistance to refugees, there is an opportunity for you to help immediately. The International Refugee Assistance Project is looking for attorneys who are willing to work pro bono shifts at the international airports to assist refugees arriving in the U.S. today, tomorrow, and in the coming days. Click here for more.

Jewish Council on Urban AffairsJewish Council on Urban Affairs - For over 50 years, JCUA has been as the Jewish voice for social justice in Chicago. Together with our members, we combat poverty, racism and anti-Semitism in partnership with our city’s diverse communities.

Open CommunitiesOpen Communities is a leading voice for housing, economic and social justice in north suburban Chicago, working to promote inclusive communities that are welcoming to all.

Religious Action CenterReligious Action Center - For more than 50 years, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (or "the RAC") has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C. As the DC office of the Union for Reform Judaism, the RAC educates and mobilizes the Reform Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on more than 70 different issues, including economic justice, civil rights, religious liberty, Israel and more. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the RAC's advocacy work is completely non-partisan and pursues public policies that reflect the Jewish values of social justice that form the core of our mandate.

Bend the ArcBend the Arc - Bend the Arc is building the power and passion of the progressive Jewish movement in America by bringing together Jews from across the country to advocate and organize for a more just and equal society. 

It is the only national Jewish organization that is focused solely on promoting these values here in the U. S. Two community meeting shave been held in the Chicago area. Work groups have been established along three distinct strategies:
• Supporting endangered populations-- Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ communities
• Encouraging Democrats and approachable Republicans to resist the Trump agenda
• Working for a shift in power by mobilizing for the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Contact: Judy Caplan

HazonHazon - Hazon works to create healthier and more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond.  Hazon programs are multi-generational and give entry points for Jews of all backgrounds who are concerned about the environment and the world. Hazon serves a national and international population; members of every denomination and those who are unaffiliated; intergenerational from children to seniors – including families and singles, with a particular focus on young adults interested in developing the skills to take on leadership roles in their communities and make a difference in the world.

Send an Email, Postcard, or Letter

T’ruahT’ruah – Send a message to the President that American Jews oppose executive orders that effectively close our borders to refugees and Muslims, mandate the construction of a border wall with Mexico, and threaten cities that have declared themselves a sanctuary for immigrants.

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  • Lunch, Learn, Love
    A Social Action Committee Program for Kids (kindergarten to grade five)

    Sunday, January 20 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Following Beit Sefer, join friends for an afternoon of lunch, learning, and volunteering together...

 

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.

  • Beth Emet Blood Drive

    Sunday, January 27 | 8:30-2:30 p.m. in the Crown Room.

    Do a mitzvah and save a life!

    Participating donors will receive a pair of Vitalant socks and a coupon for a cupcake and 10% off any order at North Shore Kos...

  • Toy and Book Collection for Rohingya Cultural Center

    Sunday, January 13 - Sunday, February 10

    The Beth Emet Social Action Committee together with Beit Sefer is planning a collection of gently used (or new) toys and books for the Rohingya children who live in Rogers...

  • Lunch, Learn, Love
    A Social Action Committee Program for Kids (kindergarten to grade five)

    Sunday, January 20 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Following Beit Sefer, join friends for an afternoon of lunch, learning, and volunteering together...

  • Young Family Chicken Soup Shabbat Dinner

    Friday, February 1 at 5:30 p.m.

    RSVP now or call 847-869-4230 ext 308.

  • Understanding Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community and Beyond

    with Anita Pildes, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator of Shalva
    Tuesday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m.

    One in four women will experience domestic ...

  • Sommelier Soiree

    Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (*please note new date!)
    at the home of Neal Moglin and Mark Tendam

    Spend a relaxing evening with Beth Emet friends tasting and learning more about wines with an ex...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays through June 7 (No class November 23, December 7, 21 and 28; January 4 and 25, 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...

  • Thursdays, Wednesday, December 5; Thursday, January 10; Wednesday, February 6; Thursdays, March 7, April 4, and May 2
    7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

    Participants study as a small group of adults studies to become b’nei mitzvah togethe...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, December 15, January 19, February 9, March 9, April 6, May 11, and 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, expl...

  • Current Politics

    with David Zarefsky
    Tuesday, January 8; Monday, March 11; 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 soci...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Monday, December 10; and Wednesday, February 13; 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 sp...

  • Hebrew 1

    with Nancy Fink

    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
    Master the Hebrew alphabet and learn how to sound out printed He...

  • Hebrew 2

    with Bluma Stoller
    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    10:30 a.m. -11:50 p.m.

    For learners already able to sound out Hebrew words. Improve y...

  • Hebrew 3

    with Dorit Flatt
    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
    For learners who have completed Hebrew 2 or an equivalent, includin...

  • with Rabbi Allan Kensky
    Fridays, February 1 and 8, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Is there one Jewish path to spirituality or are there many pathways to God? What is the function of Jewish prayer? What are some of the pitfalls in trad...

  • Shabbat, February 2 at 9:30 a.m.

    Interested in the worship experience? Feel overwhelmed by the Hebrew or the choreography? Wish you understood more of what it is all about? On this Shabbat morning, we will explore the struct...

  • Mindful Torah: Engaging with Middot

    facilitated by Marci Dickman
    Monthly,  November 19, December 17, January 14, February 4, March 4, April 1, and May 13, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    This Torah study program will guide us to realize our best selves in everyday life. Par...

  • with David Shyovitz
    Fridays, February 22 and March 1, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Repentance (t’shuvah) is a central theme of biblical and rabbinic tradition—but its meaning has not remained static over the course of Jewish history...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays October 5 - June 28 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class, November 23, December 21 and December 28, January 4, April 19 and 26)

    Meeting in person in October, and through Zoom online thereafter, we wil...

  • with Rabbi David Rosenberg
    Friday, February 15, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The b’rachah (blessing) is one of the great literary achievements of the rabbinic tradition. HaMotzi, Shehecheyanu, and other blessings have a broad appeal...

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