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

FacebookTwitterYoutube@bethemetevanston

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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.

  • Adults and Kids Night Out at Beth Emet


    Saturday, December 7 | 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

    Last year's Adults and Kids Night Out at Beth Emet events were such a hit that we're doing it again!

    The evening begins with Havdalah together in the Lobby, then, we'll spli...

  • November 1 - December 8

    Cleaning out your closet this fall? Consider helping our Soup Kitchen guests stay warm this winter by donating your gently used coats, scarves, hats, gloves, and boots. Please make sure pock...

  • Chanukah Concert with Cantors Cotler

    Sunday, December 15 at 5:00 p.m.
    This concert will feature many of your favorite Chanukah tunes and some new melodies as well! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (from laughing), and you’ll revel in the stories and music whi...

  • Ivrit with Ronit

    With Ronit Levy
    Wednesdays, October 23 - November 18 | 4:30-5:30 p.m.

    A fun afternoon Hebrew class for children ages 4-6. Learn Hebrew through songs, games, dance, snack, yoga and more.

    $10 per session. Please co...

  • Celebrate & Commemorate - BE@70

     


    January 10-12, 2020

    View the weekend events and register today! 

    For 70 years, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue has created a community uniquely open to diverse understanding and expression of what it means to be a J...

  • Beth Emet Community Retreat

    February 28-March 1, 2020
    After a five-year hiatus, Beth Emet’s Community Retreat is back and better than ever! Spend a relaxing weekend with friends and family in beautiful Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, celebrating Shabb...

  •  Thinking about keeping your slate clean after Yom Kippur? Want a Jewish way to deepen your focus on your speech, behavior, and ideas? Looking to connect to people in meaningful ways? You may be looking for tikkun m...

  • Beth Emet Book Club


    facilitated by Judith Pittel
    Count to a Thousand: Negotiating life as an American in modern-day Israel 
    with author Caroline Goldberg Igra
    Wednesday, November 20 at 1:00 p.m. 
    Count to a Thousand tells the story of an A...

  • Thursdays, January 16, February 27, March 19, April 23 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

    Participants study as a small group of adults studies to become b’nei mitzvah together at Beth Emet. Requirements for Adult B’nei Mitzvah at Beth Emet...

  • with David Shyovitz
    Fridays, December 13 and 20 | 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
    The relationship between Christians and Jews has been marked by violence and mutual antagonism for much of the past 2000 years; but at the same time, Jews and ...

  • with David Zarefsky

    Tuesdays, November 12 and January 7 | 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
    This is a continuing lecture-discussion class on contemporary public issues of interest to Jews as citizens. We will focus primarily on United States ...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesday, December 11; 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 an uplifting brea...

  • facilitated by Wendy Yanow and David Futransky
    Wednesday, December 4 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. and repeated Friday, December 6
    10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    What is whiteness and how does it show up in our daily lives? We hear and talk a lot...

  • with Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler
    Monday, December 9 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Jewish values teach us that we are obligated to treat the sojourner with dignity. In the chapter, Imagining Immigration: The Stranger in Jewish Law and Lore, f...

  • with Jerry Kaye, Marilyn Price, and Zach Selch
    Sunday, December 8 | 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    An evening of telling and listening and laughing and learning that delves into the different paths a story can take and where it can go. ...

  •  Thinking about keeping your slate clean after Yom Kippur? Want a Jewish way to deepen your focus on your speech, behavior, and ideas? Looking to connect to people in meaningful ways? You may be looking for tikkun middot.

    Be...

  • with Carolyn Dinofsky
    Sunday, December 15 | 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    In ancient times, people regarded death and sickness as caused by supernatural hostile forces. The proliferation of superstition escalated as epidemics, earthquakes,...

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