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.

Each year the Tzedakah Fund supports causes, organizations, and projects that promote justice, equality, and social well-being. With the congregation's support of the Tzedakah Fund, including donating at our twice-yearly tzedakah box collections, donations were made to the following organizations:  

Spring 2019

Random Acts of Flowers Chicago improves the emotional health and well-being of individuals in health care facilities by delivering recycled flowers, encouragement, and personal moments of kindness. Their grant will be used to supplement ongoing mental health programming, specifically at their Evanston partner Greenwood Care, located at 1406 Chicago Avenue. This facility serves adults with chronic mental illness, providing psychiatric rehabilitation to its residents.

The Kindness Connection inspires youth to be lifelong volunteers. Their vision is to create lifelong volunteers who are compassionate, philanthropic, proactive and engaged members of the community by providing meaningful, service-learning opportunities to Chicagoland youth. Recently, The Kindness Connection launched Classroom Kindness Kits. Their grant award will be to provide two fifth grade classrooms at Washington School Classroom Kindness Kits to be used during the 2019-2020 school year.

The James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy serves as a zealous advocate for thousands of Evanston low-income youth and their families in need of legal and social work services. Know Your Rights: Navigating the World of Special Education guides parents and caregivers of children with special needs. Their grant will be used to provide three community-based, "Know Your Rights" training for 75 parents and caregivers.

Connections for the Homeless serves and catalyzes our community to end homelessness, one person at a time recognizing that safe, stable housing is the foundation from which we each grow and reach our full potential. Their grant award will support their efforts to provide robust drop-in services at their 2121 Dewey Avenue location which opened last year and now serves approximately 100 people a month.

Family Matters partners with youth and families in northeast Chicago to address and overcome structural racism and systemic oppression to build an equitable society. The grant award will assist the five Youth Development programs which engage 95-100 youth providing small group experiential learning projects several days a week to youth ages 7-12 years old. Instruction employs multi-sensory, project-based design and research-based strategies.

Spring 2018
Center for Enriched Living
Center or Independent Futures
Centro Romero
pdfCurt's Cafe South 
pdfPark School PTA
Rohingya Culture Center

Fall 2017
YWCA Evanston/Northshore

Spring 2017
Center for Enriched Living
Center for Independent Futures
Family Matters
Beth Emet Soup Kitchen

Fall 2016
Curt's Cafe
YWCA Evanston/Northshore
Connections for the Homeless
Moran Center for Youth Advocacy

Spring 2016 
Center for Enriched Living
Center for Independent Futures
Evanston School Children's Clothing Association (ESCCA)
Family Matters
NCJW's Luggage for Freedom

Fall 2015
Angles Reproductive Health Care Clinic (aka Links)
Curt's Cafe

Spring 2015
Center for Independent Futures
Connections for the Homeless

Fall 2014
New Foundation (aka Turning Point)

Spring 2014
Housing Options for the Mentally Ill in Evanston
Links (aka Angles Reproductive Healthcare Center)
Literature for Us All
Maot Chitim
Normal Moments
Beth Emet Soup Kitchen
Tri-Con Childcare Center
YWCA Evanston/Northshore

Fall 2013
American Red Cross, Disaster Relief
Connections for the Homeless
Evanston School Children's Clothing Association (ESCCA)
Family Matters
Grace House
Interfaith House
UAHC, Disaster Relief

Spring 2013
Literature for Us All
New Foundation (aka Turning Point)
Tri-Con Childcare Center
YWCA Evanston/Northshore






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.

  • Lunch, Learn, Love
    A Social Action Committee Program for Kids (kindergarten to grade five)

    Sunday, January 19 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, this year's Beth Emet's annual family service even...

  • Monday, January 20 | 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church (516 Church Street, Evanston)

    On Martin Luther King’s National Day of Service, Walk for Warmth will raise funds for operating the Emergen...

  • PJ Party!

    Saturday, February 8 at 4:30 p.m.
    Wear your PJ's for dinner, crafts, Havdalah, songs, and stories from PJ Library.
    Perfect for families with children ages 8 and under. 
    $5 per person or $20 per family by February 6...

  • Sunday, February 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton-Orrington Hotel

    Beth Emet’s Soup Kitchen is a well-oiled machine, weekly feeding 70 to 120 of the area’s working poor and homeless. The Soup Kitchen, under the leaders...

  • 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...

  • Wednesday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m.
    Join the discussion at our monthly book club! The next book is Book of the Unknown Americans” by Christina Henriquez. Books are available for pick up at Beth Emet. No need to RSVP...

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, February 14-June 12 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. (No class March 6, April 10, and May 15)
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often overlooked. We will cont...

  • 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 Yvette Alt Miller
    Thursday, January 30 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Whether you’re an expert baker or a challah newbie, this evening is for you! Learn how to make and braid challah and explore the meaning and mysticism behind this i...

  • with David Gottlieb
    Fridays, February 14 and 21 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Sigmund Freud and Theodor Herzl lived on the same block in Vienna for two years in the early 1900s. Yet these men, so deeply influenced by
    European cultur...

  • Movie and discussion, led by Bekki Kaplan and Shlomit Hoch
    Saturday, February 1 | 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Rebecca Abarnabel, a single daughter born into an Orthodox Jewish family, is tired of the lifestyle that her father, Reuven...

  • Jewish Vaudeville

    with Alan Teller
    Sunday, February 23, 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 ...

  • with Claire Suffrin
    Fridays, February 28 and March 6 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    This course will explore different aspects of the relationship between religion and literature in contemporary novels and poetry. We’ll consider exa...

  • with Rabbi Allan Kensky
    Fridays, January 24 and 31 | 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
    This small book of the Bible, written in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, expresses the anguish of the people at the calamity that ...

  • with Yvette Alt Miller
    Thursday, January 23 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Shabbat dinner includes some beautiful but puzzling rituals. Why do we make a blessing over wine? Why hide the challah under a cloth? This multi-sensory workshop ex...

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