WEEKLY NEWS

Aug. 2, 2022


HUMANISM ... THE FINAL FRONTIER


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Friday Night Services

In-Person and on YouTube

✦ Aug. 5, 7PM


  • TEXT STUDY & COMMENTARY WITH RABBI FALICK


TISHA B'AV: IS THE JEWISH DAY OF MOURNING RELEVANT TO HUMANISTIC JEWS?

This Saturday night and Sunday Jews worldwide will observe the Fast of Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of the Month of Av) mourning the destruction of the First & Second Jerusalem Temples, along with other tragedies of Jewish history. Rabbi Falick will lead an interactive text study exploring the day for contemporary meaning.


(The previously scheduled Aug. 5 topic, "Christian Nationalism Ascendant," has been re-scheduled to Aug. 26. Please see below.)

Aug. 5 service is in person and online at YouTube.


Click HERE or on the graphic to watch.

✦ Aug. 12, 7PM


  • GUEST SPEAKER: JOURNALIST (& CHJ MEMBER) JON ARKING WILL SPEAK


THE UNHOLY TRINITY: HOW POLITICS, RELIGION & BUSINESS COMBINED TO TRY TO SILENCE A SMALL-TOWN JOURNALIST

Jon is a freelance journalist with 35 years of experience in broadcast journalism. His work currently appears in Michigan Advance and PrideSource, among other places. He also serves as adjunct professor of journalism at Cleary University.


✦ Aug. 19, 7PM


  • GUEST SPEAKER: PSYCHOLOGIST (& CHJ MEMBER) DR. BRUCE HILLENBERG


THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF OUR AMERICAN CRISES

Dr. Hillenberg will discuss some of the tools we possess to help us deal with psychological consequences arising from these challenging times.


✦ Aug. 26, 7PM


  • RABBI FALICK WILL SPEAK


CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM ASCENDANT

Recent court decisions and federal and state legislation are upending many of our illusions about a neutral America. Rabbi Falick will discuss where we've been and where we are headed.

COVID SAFETY UPDATE:

Please note that the current CDC transmission level for Oakland County is ORANGE so masks are now REQUIRED in all public spaces. Weather permitting, the Oneg Shabbats will be held outside so that those eating may more comfortably remove them. For more information, including the current CDC transmission by county, please visit THIS LINK at our website. This guidance is subject to change after each Thursday's CDC update.

SPECIAL CONCERT!


SUNDAY, AUGUST 14

3PM & 4:45PM at CHJ!

Tickets available at THIS LINK

EXCLUSIVE CHJ-DETROIT ONLINE EVENT!


New Israel Fund Executive Director


DANIEL SOKATCH


Speaking about his new book:

A Guide for the Curious, Confused and Conflicted



Monday, Aug. 15, 7PM

On Zoom: Click HERE to register

About the Book:

"Can't you just explain the Israel situation to me? In, like, ten minutes or less?"


This is the question Daniel Sokatch is used to answering on an almost daily basis as the head of the New Israel Fund, an organization dedicated to equality and democracy for all Israelis, not just Jews, Sokatch is supremely well-versed on the Israeli conflict.


Can We Talk About Israel? is the story of that conflict, and of why so many people feel so strongly about it without actually understanding it very well at all.


About the Author:

Daniel Sokatch is the chief executive officer of the New Israel Fund. He has been named four times to the Forward’s “Forward 50,” and annual list of the fifty leading Jewish decision makers and opinion shapers. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. He holds an MA from Tufts University, a JD from Boston College, and a BA from Brandeis University.

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!!!


TELL YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY WITH SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN ABOUT...

👇👇👇

SPINOZA PROGRAM END-OF-SUMMER

INFO NIGHT &

Thursday, Aug. 18

6-7:30PM


Short presentation begins at 6:45PM:


✻ Meet our great teachers!


✻ Learn about meaningful changes next year!


✻ Get your calendars & registration materials!


✻ Playground open / Arts & Crafts fun!


✻ Talk to Rabbi Jeff about upcoming B'mitzvahs!



Spinoza Program continues to be FULLY INCLUDED with membership (for which there are NO minimum dues).*


No charge! Please RSVP by Aug. 16 to:

office@chj-detroit.org


Questions? Contact Rabbi Falick at:

rabbi@chj-detroit.org


or Program Coordinator Melanie Goldberg at:

mdg0906@gmail.com


* Excludes a small materials fee for each participant.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS:


LUNCH BUNCH GATHERINGS

4th Wednesday of each month,

Next session:

Wed., Aug. 10, 12:30PM

GETTING GOOD AT GETTING OLDER

Next session:

Wed., Aug. 10, 1:15PM


Led by several facilitators, this group will look at a number of topics, including: lifelong learning, "rekindling the flame," adult children, dealing with illness, friendships, community, self-care and more.

SAVE THE DATE:


AUGUST OUTING

Friday, Aug. 26, 10:15AM


Visit to the Detroit Historical Museum

and Lunch at Nearby Babo Restaurant


VISIT THE CHJ TABLE AT...

This year's event is family-oriented and CHJ's table will feature our SPINOZA PROGRAM and other news about our congregation, too!


LEARN MORE ABOUT IT AT THIS LINK

No experience necessary. We weed, pick up trash, rake, and more. 


People with power tools are needed to cut scrub around parking circle and parking lots. 

For more information, please contact Cathy Radner, radner210@gmail.com.

NEXT COMMITTEE MEETING: 

Saturday, Aug. 13, 11:30AM


AGENDA WILL INCLUDE:


  • Sukkot / Social Justice Shabbat to take place on Oct. 14
  • Support for CARES of Farmington Hills
  • First Day Kits for people transitioning from houselessness to new homes
  • School Supplies for Detroit children

JOIN THE SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE'S EMAIL LIST

There has never been a more urgent time to keep up with what our congregation is doing to advance our values.


The Social Justice Committee's email list helps you stay informed and gives you a direct line to the committee to share the things that you're concerned about.


There is NO obligation! Send your request to join to audreypleasant@gmail.com.

MICHIGAN COALITION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (MCHR)

Thursday, Aug. 25, 5 - 8PM


Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish

13500 Oak Park Blvd, Oak Park, MI 48237


A time to gather, connect, and dialogue with renowned local activists. Grow in knowledge! Support human rights! Empower yourself and others!


This is the first annual event to raise awareness, educate, and mobilize the community. Join us for a powerful talk with activists sharing lived experiences of the civil rights movement and beyond.

Speakers


** Gloria Aneb House, Ph.D. Author, Scholar, Artist, Civil Rights Activist

** John W. Hardy, Actor, Narrator, Educator, Civil Rights Activist

** Tyrone Green, Activist, Son of Sarah Evans (civil rights mother in the movement)


CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND PURCHASE TICKETS!


HUMANISM ... THE FINAL FRONTIER

Nichelle Nichols died on Saturday. If that name is unfamiliar to you, it’s because you’re not a fan of Star Trek.


I’ll return to Ms. Nichols below, but first a little personal revelation. I was recently asked by an interviewer if there was something about me that might surprise our congregation. I’m a fairly open book but I surmised that some might not know about my love for all things Star Trek. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that without Star Trek I wouldn’t be a humanist today.


The original series – which I watched in reruns – was an episode-by-episode exploration of how humanism might solve our planet’s problems. As past president of the Council for Secular Humanism Ken Marsalek put it, the show and its many spinoffs promote “a naturalistic worldview, dedicated to using reason, science, and logic in understanding the universe, solving problems, and improving the human (and alien) condition. It accepts universal ethical norms that transcend religion and culture.”

At a time when most scripted television consisted of unserious garbage, Star Trek was exploring humanistic principles and ethics. And it was completely by design. The show’s creator Gene Roddenberry was a committed secular humanist who rejected supernaturalism and superstition, believing that only humans could solve our own problems. He would go on to receive the Humanist Arts Award of the American Humanist Association (AHA) in 1991, the same year that Rabbi Wine received the AHA’s Humanist Pioneer Award.


Famously, Star Trek confronted many of the most serious issues of the day, typically depicting them as problems of some alien culture. This allowed the humanists on the Starship Enterprise to model humanistic solutions. Among the serious issues that the show addressed was racism. Which brings me back to Nichelle Nichols. She played the chief communications officer Lt. Uhura.


Consider the significance of that. A Black woman in the early to mid-1960s portrayed a senior officer on a starship at a time when roles for Black people in television were mostly stereotypical and demeaning. Not only did she play the role, she lived it. As Star Trek’s popularity continued to grow after its abrupt cancellation in early 1969, she put her fame to great use as a spokesperson for NASA. In the first year after she began that role, NASA welcomed its first women and minorities to the astronaut program. Her work for the program continued for well over thirty years. Among those who cited her and her role as an inspiration were Guy Bluford (the first Black American in space), Mae Jemison (the first Black woman in space), Sally Ride (the first American woman in space), Ronald McNair, Frederick Gregory, Judith Resnick, and current NASA administrator Charlie Bolden.


It almost didn’t happen. Ms. Nichols was a very talented entertainer and early on, before her character became more prominent, she announced to Roddenberry that she was leaving to pursue a career on stage. That she did not leave was due to an exchange she had with one very dedicated fan.


At an NAACP benefit in 1967, Ms. Nichols was approached by the organizer with a request from that fan to meet her. It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is how she described the encounter:


He complimented me on the manner in which I'd created the character. I thanked him, and I think I said something like, “Dr. King, I wish I could be out there marching with you.” He said, “No, no, no. No, you don't understand.... You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for.”


I said, “Well, I told Gene just yesterday that I'm going to leave the show after the first year because I've been offered...” — and he stopped me and said, “You cannot do that.” And I was stunned. He said, “Don't you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen.” He said, “Do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch?” I was speechless.


Dr. King, of course, was not a secular humanist but in many ways his values were the same. I also don’t know what Ms. Nichols believed about God though she clearly loved science.


But the point of secular humanism has never been to create a society of enforced non-belief. It has been to steer humanity to a place where human beings recognize that no matter what they may believe about the great beyond, we ourselves are the only hope for a brighter future. Personally, I don’t want or need God to motivate me, but I accept that some people do even if I do think they’re hanging onto fictional inspiration. The important thing for humanists is that humanity gets the job done. Right now we are sorely failing.


I continue to be a fan of Star Trek. There are several new series and movies in the franchise and they’re making more all the time. Am I entertained by them? Of course! I’m entertained by Star Wars, too, though it’s basically a space western bereft of any higher message. But I think the reason that I and so many others continue to love the show is that through every iteration it continues to promote human progress through science and reason. And while none of us will live to see anything like the universe in which it takes place, we’ve already seen the effects of its message on our own reality.


Nichelle Nichols’ life story is proof of that. May her memory be a blessing.

*IMPORTANT LINKS - TRIBUTES & YAHRZEITS


Click here to see recent Tribute Gifts.


Click here to see upcoming Yahrzeit Memorials.

*REFUAH SHLEMA (SPEEDY RECOVERY)

Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to:


Joe Gadon, RuthE. Goldman, Max Lark, Rabbi Peter Schweitzer


Please inform us if you know that someone is ill or in need.

*CONGREGATIONAL NEWS

... to Nico Tobocman who celebrated his bar mitzvah on July 22.

Nico spoke about Jewish humor.

... and to Tommy Zeldes who celebrated his bar mitzvah on July 29.

Tommy spoke about Charles Darwin. 

CURRENT COVID-19 SAFETY POLICY


VACCINATION & MASK REQUIREMENTS

All visitors to our building who are eligible for inoculation must be fully vaccinated. Members may provide verbal confirmation of this. Guests who are not members may be asked to show proof of vaccination. When CDC transmission levels are GREEN, masks are recommended but not required for everyone in public areas. When CDC transmission levels are at YELLOW or ORANGE, masks are required in public areas. (At congregational events where a meal is served, when seated at a table participants may eat and drink without masks.) For current Oakland Co., Michigan transmission levels, go to THIS LINK.

For more details on safety and mitigation efforts, please click here.


(Those who are unable to be vaccinated - due solely to medical reasons - may contact the office to make advance arrangements for socially distanced participation at certain public gatherings; email office@chj-detroit.org or call 248.477.1410.)

ONLINE, IN-PERSON & BOTH!

In-person classes require full vaccination; see above


RABBI FALICK'S SATURDAY CLASS ("REBBE'S TISCH")

Join him for a historical look at Jewish texts throughout the ages.

Saturdays, 10AM, Zoom Only

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/759671597


UNROLLING JUDAISM WITH RABBI FALICK

A deeper look at Jewish customs, traditions, and historical events ... from ancient times to today!

Mondays, 1PM, Zoom Only

Class on hiatus until autumn.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/214102965


JEWISH HISTORY (& CURRENT EVENTS DISCUSSION) CLASS WITH NATAN FUCHS

"The National Conflict in Israel & Palestine" (and "News for Jews")

Sundays, 11AM, In-Person Only


SOCRATES CAFE

Every Tuesday, 10:30AM, Zoom Only

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/182488428


MAH-JONGG

Tuesdays, 1-2:30PM, In-Person

For more information, contact Denise Parker, 248.321.9428


YOGA

Wednesdays, 9:30AMIn-Person

ZOOM REQUIRES A PASSWORD!

The password was sent under separate cover. Please contact rabbi@chj-detroit.org if you need it.


ONLINE VIDEOS OF PROGRAMS & CLASSES

Visit LibrarySHJ.com and our YouTube page for videos of past services, classes, lectures, and more!

CONGREGATION FOR HUMANISTIC JUDAISM

OF METRO DETROIT


248.477.1410 / office@chj-detroit.org


STAY CONNECTED:

VISIT OUR WEBSITE!