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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.

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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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.

  • Sundays, November 18, December 16, January 13 & 27, February 10, March 10
    1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Led by congregants Sue Nadel, Clark Ellithorpe, and Jane Weintraub, Wise Aging, Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit...

  • Scholar-in-Residence Weekend

     

    with Rabbi Marc Margolius
    November 16, 17, 18
    Middot: Nurturing the 'Better Angels of our Nature' in Challenging Times
    How can Judaism help us actualize our innate potential to do the right thing, even in challengin...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, October 5 - June 7 (No class November 23 and 30, December 21 and 28; January 4 and 25, April 19 and 26)
    9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning...

  • Thursdays, October 11 and November 8; Wednesday, December 5; Thursday, January 10; Wednesday, February 6; Thursdays, March 7, April 4, and May 2
    7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

    Partcipants study as a small group of adults studies to be...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat, October 6, November 10, December 15, January 19, February 9, March 9, 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 R...

  • Current Politics

    with David Zarefsky
    Monday, November 12; Tuesday, January 8; Monday, March 11; Tuesday, June 4 | 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Sessions will focus on the place of the United States in the world, including relationships with Israel, t...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesday, October 17; Monday, December 10; and Wednesday, February 13; 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

    Percussion offers hands-on, non-verbal access to the spiritual and emotional while connecting with others. Treat ...

  • Hebrew 1

    with Nancy Fink

    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
    Master the Hebrew alphabet and learn how to sound out printed He...

  • Hebrew 2

    with Bluma Stoller
    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    10:30 a.m. -11:50 p.m.

    For learners already able to sound out Hebrew words. Improve y...

  • Hebrew 3

    with Dorit Flatt
    Sundays, September 30 - May 12 (No class October 28; November 25; December 23 and 30; January 6; February 17; April 21)
    11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
    For learners who have completed Hebrew 2 or an equivalent, includin...

  • with Leslie Yamshon at the Chicago History Museum
    Sunday, November 11. Tour begins at 1:00 p.m. Carpool from Beth Emet at 11:00 a.m.

    We have all heard that Chicago is a ‘salad bowl’ of immigrants, but how much do you know a...

  • Mindful Torah: Engaging with Middot

    facilitated by Marci Dickman
    Monthly, October 8, October 29, November 19, December 17, January 14, February 4, March 4, April 1, and May 13, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    This Torah study program will guide us to realize our best selves...

  • Soap Opera in the Bible: King David

    with Hyma Levin
    Wednesday, November 28 and December 5, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    Here is your opportunity to grapple with some of the stories about David. Was he moral or immoral? Many have described him as charismatic; how did that ...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays October 5 - June 28 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class, November 23, December 21 and December 28, January 4, April 19 and 26)

    Meeting in person in October, and through Zoom online thereafter, we wil...

  • with Rabbi Michael Balinsky
    Fridays, November 30 and December 7, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Although the Reform movement is steeped in ritual/mitzvah expressions, it does not define itself as a halachic movement. However, halacha...

  • with Sam Fleischacker
    Fridays, November 9 and 16, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy,” says Leviticus. What on earth (or out of it) does that mean? Maimonides and Nachmanides disagree strongly, an...

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