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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Part of Beth Emet's social action mission has always been to be an active partner with people of other cultures, races and faiths. In keeping with that goal, we offer this list of resources you may find useful to explore. Check back periodically, as we will keep adding more titles.

Documentaries & Films

Body and Soul directed by Oscar Micheaux (1925)
Imitation of Life directed by Douglas Sirk (1959)
Shadows directed by John Cassavetes (1959)
Sapphire directed by Basil Dearden (1959)
Skin directed by Anthony Fabian (2009)
Little White Lie directed by Lacey Schwartz, James Adolphus (2014)
White People directed by Jose Antonio Vargas (2015)
The Interrupters directed by Steve James (2011)
Dope directed by Rick Famuyiwa (2015) (some sex and drugs, so not for more sensitive viewers)
Chi-Raq directed by Spike Lee (2015) (some sex and drugs, so not for more sensitive viewers)
A United Kingdom directed by Amma Asante (2016)
Loving directed by Jeff Nichols (2016)
The Birth of a Nation directed by Nate Parker (2016)
13th directed by directed by Ava DuVernay (2016)


The Sellout by Paul Beatty
The Sympathizer by Viet Nguyen
Drown by Junot Diaz
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Caucasia by Danzy Senna
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones
Serious Men by Manu Joseph
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
Reuben by John Edgar Wideman
Middle Passage by Charles Johnson
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan A Stevenson
Colour Bar by Susan Williams
Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor
The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why by Jabari Asim
The Color of Water by James McBride
Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self by Rebecca Walker
Darkwater: Voices From Within the Veil by W.E.B. Du Bois
The Sweeter the Juice by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip
Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (essay and poetry)
We Are Who We Say We Are: A Black Family's Search for Home Across the Atlantic World by Mary Frances Berry
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to be Black Now by Touré
Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity by Ytasha L. Womack
Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving


How 'Privilege' Became a ProvocationHow 'Privilege' Became a Provocation by Parul Sehgal, The New York Times Magazine
• On the Death of Sandra Bland and Our Vulnerable Bodies• On the Death of Sandra Bland and Our Vulnerable Bodies by Roxane Gay, The New York Times
• Who Owns Black Pain? by Zadie Smith, Hapers Bazar

Interviews and websites

Ta-Nehisi Coates at the 2015 Chicago Humanities Festival
Shaka SenghorShaka Senghor  
Campaign ZeroCampaign Zero


The Longest Shortest Time episode #116: How to Not (Accidentally) Raise a RacistThe Longest Shortest Time episode #116: How to Not (Accidentally) Raise a Racist


  • 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...




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