Rabbi Andrea C. London
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I have written about the need for our continued work on racial justice. With what’s going on in the world, we feel a particular sense of urgency now, but I want to remind you that Beth Emet has a long history of this work which we have pursued for many years. We have been engaged in racial justice work both during times of heightened awareness and of relative quiet when the issue wasn’t on the front page of the newspaper or the dominant topic in our social media feed As many of you might recall, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Beth Emet in 1958 at a time when very few religious institutions would dare to host him, and Rabbi Polish marched in Selma with Dr. King. The pursuit of racial justice continued under the leadership of Rabbi Knobel who had a close relationship with Rev. Hycel Taylor who was the pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Evanston for many years. I will never forget Rabbi Knobel’s and Rev. Taylor’s leadership of the Evanston community in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. They brought the community together in prayer and remembrance. We now stand on the shoulders of the tremendous leadership that preceded us and continue to pursue justice and the elimination of racism in our society.
Things have been happening quickly, and we are working to disseminate information about protests and other actions in a timely manner. As things progress in the weeks to come, the best way to get the most up-to-date information about activities is on the Beth Emet Facebook page, my personal Facebook page, and the Beth Emet website. And when you attend an event—either in person wearing a face mask or at home—I encourage you to take pictures of yourself and write why this issue speaks to you. I’d like to collect these photos and thoughts so we can share them with each other. Please send to Bekki Kaplan.
I also want to remind you to take some time for spiritual and physical care. The issues we are facing are not new, and we will continue to address them in the future. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
With prayers for justice, peace, love and compassion.
Upcoming Events- Updated June 16
Looking for 5 things you can start on your own time? Check out this handout that was distributed at the Skokie Vigil for Black Lives last weekend. Thank you to our very own Judy Caplan for providing examples on this handout.
The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-income people across this nation will be heard!
June 2020 Overview / Frequently Asked Questions / Digital Toolkit
Saturday, June 20 at 7:00-8:30 p.m.
JCUA, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, of which Beth Emet is a member congregation, and the Kol Or Caucus for Jews of Color are excited to invite you to the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Havdalah on June 20 at 7:00 pm, where we’ll come together as a community to commemorate the emancipation of Africans and African-Americans from slavery. RSVP Here.
Juneteenth was first celebrated on June 19, 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally made its way to Galveston, Texas. It was hope that empowered newly liberated people to begin their journey away from the darkness of chattel slavery. On Juneteenth, we honor and celebrate their exodus. Join us for an evening of learning, fun and red soda. (Red soda is prominent at Juneteenth celebrations, so make sure you have a red beverage, such as strawberry pop or fruit punch). This event is family-friendly and is open to all. We will complete the evening with a Havdalah service.
RSVP for the Zoom Link