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.

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ACL March 5 31 20Rabbi 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 weekendThank you to our very own Judy Caplan for providing examples on this handout.

Poor Peoples Campaign June 20

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


Juneteenth Havdalah
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




  • 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...

  • Maia Volk

    Maia Volk joined Beth Emet in July 2018 as the Director of Youth Programs, overseeing the formal and informal education of Beth Emet youth.  Maia grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent her summers as a camper and staff at...

  • Marla Topp


    Beth Emet Administrator, Marla Topp, has many years of experience in congregational life. She was the administrator at Temple Judea Mizpah for eight years and was also the Director of Education since 2015. During that time...




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.

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