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.

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)

Books

Fiction
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

Non-fiction
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

Articles

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

 Podcast

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

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  • One Jewish Evanston Presents: Dr. Daniel Matt Teaches Zohar

    Sunday, March 24 at 4:00 p.m.
    Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation - 303 Dodge Avenue, Evanston
    Most of us have heard of The Zohar, the foundational medieval work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known ...

  • The Kind Words — a Movie about Siblings and Secrets

    Movie and Discussion led by Bekki Kaplan and Shlomit Hoch
    Saturday, March 30, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
    This quirky and wry dramedy follows three Jewish Israeli siblings — Dorona and brothers Netanel and Shai — who, in the w...

  • Passover Food Drive

    Sunday, April 7 - Friday, May 3


    Pre-Passover Food Collection to benefit Connections for the Homeless
    The Tzedakah Fund Committee will be collecting all unopened, non-perishable food items that will be donated to C...

 

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.

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays through June 7 (No class 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 often overlooked. We will continue our learning from ...

  • with Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler
    Friday, April 12, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    This session will take a look at the bigger picture and deeper meanings connected to various texts of the Passover story.
    Please bring a Haggadah that inclu...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, 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, explore Jewish spiritual practices that combine pr...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Monday, April 1 and Wednesday, June 12; 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 spirit to a...

  • with Stacey Lyn Brown
    Tuesday, April 2 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Pairing the psychological views of C.G Jung with biblical stories, this class will reveal how the archetypal figures of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, and Moshe are amplificatio...

  • with Dara E. Goldman
    Sunday, April 14, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Professor Goldman will present a brief overview of the Jewish community in Havana and describe her scholarship on Cuban Jews and Cuban Jewish literature. The presentation...

  • Jewish Vaudeville

    with Alan Teller
    Sunday, March 24, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Distinct from Yiddish theater, Jewish vaudeville had its own flavor. Alan Teller grew up with a larger-than-life grandfather in the business — a guy who pulled quarters out...

  • Nadav and Avihu: A Pastoral Study in Bereavement

    with Rabbi Doctor Joseph S. Ozarowski
    Fridays, March 22 and 29, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    In one of the most dramatic narratives from the Torah, Aaron’s two sons lose their lives when they “come too close” during the joyous dedic...

  • One Jewish Evanston Presents: Dr. Daniel Matt Teaches Zohar

    Sunday, March 24 at 4:00 p.m.
    Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation - 303 Dodge Avenue, Evanston
    Most of us have heard of The Zohar, the foundational medieval work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbala...

  • with Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler
    Monday, April 8, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    You may be hosting a seder this Passover, or you may be a guest at someone else’s home. Learn new and traditional commentaries on some stories in the Haggadah, whi...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays through June 28 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class April 19 and 26)

    Meeting in person in October, and through Zoom online thereafter, we will continue reading Tractate Avodah Zarah, which deals with...

  • The Kind Words — a Movie about Siblings and Secrets

    Movie and Discussion led by Bekki Kaplan and Shlomit Hoch
    Saturday, March 30, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
    This quirky and wry dramedy follows three Jewish Israeli siblings — Dorona and brothers Netanel and Shai — who, in the wake of
    thei...

  • with Arthur Feldman
    Sunday, April 7, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    What stories do family seder plates, commemorative coins, and synagogue memorabilia tell? Judaica expert Arthur Feldman invites us to join him on a journey that explores sn...

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