WEEKLY NEWS - Jan. 12, 2021
PHYSICALLY APART.
HUMANISTICALLY TOGETHER.
Office Hours
(Suspended For Now):

*Monday/Friday 
9:30am-2pm
*Tuesday-Thursday
10am-3pm

248.477.1410
Published on Tuesdays.
Deadline for submissions: Mondays at noon.
Scroll down for Rabbi Falick's commentary
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
THIS FRIDAY AT 6PM
(or anytime after that)
SPECIAL SUNDAY PROGRAM: A CONGREGATION-WIDE DISCUSSION
THE ASSAULT ON THE CAPITOL
facilitated by Prof. Fran Shor
SUNDAY, JAN. 17, 2PM
Join us for this unique opportunity to share our feelings and observations about the events of last week.

We will explore these topics and more:

  • In what ways was the attack the culmination of myriad efforts by Trump and his followers to overturn the legitimate results of the presidential election?

  • Was the vigilante violence a harbinger of more domestic terrorism?

  • Is the country on the brink of widespread attacks against those deemed enemies of these authoritarian mobs?

  • How does the January 6 insurrection in D.C. reflect the long history of white supremacist terror?

with Rabbi Falick
Continues TONIGHT, Jan. 12, at 7pm
Eight Sessions:

1. The Quandary: Who, What & Why is a Jew: CATCH UP AT THIS LINK

2. The Textline: Origin Stories & Texts: CATCH UP AT THIS LINK

3. The Wanderings: Diasporas: CATCH UP AT THIS LINK

4. The Laws, Pt. 1: Doing the Jewish: CATCH UP AT THIS LINK

5. The Laws, Pt. 2: Celebrating the Jewish: CATCH UP AT THIS LINK

TONIGHT
6. The Beliefs: Religious and Other Ways of Jewish Thinking (Jan. 12)

7. The Troubles: Antisemitism Throughout the Ages (Jan. 26)

8. The Modern Days: Israel, America, Europe and Beyond (Feb. 9)
On Zoom:


  • No registration or password required.
  • No membership required.
  • This class is open to anyone anywhere!
  • Sessions will be recorded.
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 8pm

Jews for a Secular Democracy Presents:
How the Jewish Community Can Challenge Christian Nationalism

With Katherine Stewart,
Author of "The Power Worshippers - Insde the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism"

Join Jews for a Secular Democracy for a discussion and Q&A with Katherine Stewart, who will discuss the rise of the Christian Nationalism movement, how its leadership has eroded the separation of church and state, and how the Jewish community can fight back!

Katherine Stewart is an investigative reporter and author who has covered religious liberty, politics, policy, and controversies over the separation of church and state for over a decade. Her book is a rare look inside the machinery of the movement that brought Donald Trump to power, taking readers inside key gatherings and strategy meetings and introducing them to the movement’s most intriguing personalities. She has written for the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the New York Review of Books.

WINTER MITZVAH (N.O.A.H. FEEDING CTR.)
PANDEMIC VERSION WAYS TO HELP!
Sunday, Feb. 21 - Monday, Feb. 22
Because of generous participation in this year's Souper Supper and other donations, we can carry on with this important effort.

Julie of Cafe Clare has offered to make 400 sandwiches and place them in individual plastic wrappings. (Julie has supported many previous food efforts as well as this one. Please consider patronizing her catering business; a "two-fer": express gratitude and enjoy delicious food)

YOU CAN STILL HELP!

Donate Desserts: individual servings in plastic bags or wrap--no nuts, easy to chew: brownies, cookies, pudding cups. Please let Audrey know asap before February 1st, kind and amount to be brought to the Temple, February 21. Community service credit will be given to students who contribute by baking; family friendly project

Transport Food: from Temple to Central United Methodist Church in Detroit, the morning of Monday, Feb. 22.

Other offers welcome! Contact Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) with your suggestions.

To provide for other lunch items, we will be giving Kroger gift cards we have & possibly additional funds as available.  
BT'S "FREE LITTLE FOOD PANTRY"
BT has installed a "Free Little Food Pantry" for those in need. We will need donations of non-perishables to keep it filled.

WE NEED FOOD DONATIONS! canned tuna / chicken / proteins * pasta / grains * canned fruits & vegetables * soups / sauces / condiments * cereal / breakfast items * paper products * personal care / hygiene items * snacks

Contact Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) for more details.
SOCIAL JUSTICE CMTE. PARTNERS
Did you know that the SJC partners with all of these organizations?

  • HIAS (HEBREW IMMIGRANT AID SOCIETY)
  • JEWS FOR A SECULAR DEMOCRACY
  • NARAL / PRO-CHOICE AMERICA
  • FREEDOM HOUSE OF DETROIT

Contact Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) to learn how you can help with these causes!
SUPPORT COSECHA'S CAMPAIGN: "LICENSES FOR ALL"
Our friends at Cosecha are continuing with their campaign for "Driving Without Fear." For years, undocumented immigrants have been unable to obtain or renew driver’s licenses in most states across the country.

From their site: "Every day millions of immigrant parents and workers get up in the morning to go to work or to leave our children in school. Many of us have to do it by foot, using public transportation, or we ask for a ride because we don’t want to run any risks. Many other take the risk and drive because we have no other choice - holding our breath the whole way."

SJC encourages your support for this campaign in Michigan. It is in the interests of everyone's safety and dignity to pass legislation for this. You can learn more at https://www.facebook.com/cosechamichigan/ and by contacting SJC Co-Chair Rene Lichtman, renelichtman@gmail.com.
TOILETRIES / WINTER WEAR COLLECTION
We are continuing to collect toiletries and winter wear: warm socks, hats, scarves, mittens, and other items. (There is a collection box at the east side door of the Temple. Especially for large donations, you may want to let office know they will be arriving so someone will bring them inside.)
NEXT SJC MEETING:
Saturday, February 6, 11:15, LINK TBA
JOIN THE SOCIAL JUSTICE MAILING LIST!
Sign up for the Social Justice Committee email list for information about what's happening at BT and beyond. Meeting agenda and copy of the monthly report to the board is emailed to all list members. Send your request to audreypleasant@gmail.com.
ZOOM REQUIRES A PASSWORD!
The password was sent under separate cover. Please contact rabbi@birminghamtemple.org if you need it.
ONGOING CLASSES / PROGRAMS

RABBI FALICK'S SATURDAY CLASS ("REBBE'S TISCH")
Join him for a historical look at Jewish texts throughout the ages.
ONLINE @ 10AM, SATURDAYS
Dial-in Meeting ID: 759 671 597

"NEWS FOR JEWS & HUMANISTS TOO"
A weekly discussion of Jewish (and Humanistic-related) current events with Rabbi Falick
ONLINE @ NOON, MONDAYS
Dial-in Meeting ID: 214 102 965

JEWISH HISTORY CLASS WITH NATAN FUCHS
"From Roman rule to the Great Exile: How Judaism Became Centered in the Diaspora"
ONLINE @ 10:30am, SUNDAYS
Dial-in Meeting ID: 840 703 07256

SOCRATES CAFE
On Zoom!
ONLINE @ 10:30AM, EVERY TUESDAY!
Dial-In Meeting ID: 182 488 428
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
Last week’s insurrection on Capitol Hill cannot be allowed to fade into the news cycle. It was not a one-off event, but the culmination of months – indeed years – of malicious leadership. On Friday night I spoke about the white supremacy and lies that got us here. I also called upon those who took an active part or were otherwise complicit in encouraging this atrocious assault to take responsibility and demonstrate accountability.

Almost a week later we are seeing very little of that.

Denying the legitimacy of the election without a shred of evidence is what we call a Big Lie. And the members of the administration, senators, representatives, media, and so many others who have been repeating it over and over and over again are just as responsible for what happened as those who beat down and battered our Capitol.

I’ll leave it to historians and Trump’s niece the psychologist to dissect his administration and the part that his mental illness played in all of this. Yet even we average folks could see that his Big Lie was inevitable. As so many have observed, he just could not help himself.

But others could. 

With even former Attorney General Bill Barr denying that President-Elect Biden stole the election, a peaceful transition of power was possible. Yet even with the truth at hand, so many continued to hitch their horses to our delusional authoritarian president, spreading the Big Lie as part of their own cynical and power-hungry ploy to score a few more points with Trump’s MAGA cult.

Despite their role in all of this and after five years in the service of dividing the country, what do we now hear from these failed leaders? Disingenuous calls for “unity.”

“We must come together and put this anger and division behind us,” says Sen. Ted Cruz. “I’m hoping we can come back together,” says Rep. Jim Jordan. They are but two among many who fanned the flames of the Big Lie even after the attack, voting to nullify the votes of millions of Americans while the Capitol was still in shambles. Their calls for unity are as self-serving as their participation in the Big Lie.

Watching the assault on democracy last Wednesday it was still difficult to grasp just how horrible it was. Now we know that five lives were lost. That Capitol Police officers were viciously beaten with flag poles. That our elected representatives and others were hiding in terror. No one who spread the Big Lie that led to all of this has the right to call for “unity” without first taking responsibility and standing accountable.

We are often told that “religion” should concentrate on spiritual matters. But no version of Judaism has ever ignored this-worldly concerns. Thus as Humanists we must stand up for moral and ethical rectitude. And as Jews we must learn what we can from teachings of the past.

Jewish tradition has always emphasized behaving with honor. The Bible (in a passage that we still sing at BT) admonishes people to keep their tongues from speaking evil. The Rabbis taught about the merit of “tochecha” — the practice of reproaching and rebuking those who fail to measure up to that standard — calling them to accountability for the sake of their victims. 

There are many victims of the Big Lie and the insurrection it whipped up. First and foremost are those who lost their lives. Both the heroes and Trump’s stooges would be alive today were it not for the Big Lie. On the broader stage of history, the victims include every person whose vote was negated and our democratic republic itself. 

Even if those who spread the Big Lie were sincere about us coming together, it would take a great deal more than calls for unity to repair the damage they caused. But they are not sincere. The entreaties of the guilty are not pleas for healing. They are calls for us to forget; to remain neutral in the face of their dishonorable — even criminal — behavior. As Elie Wiesel once said: “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”

If ever there was a time in American history to heed our Rabbis’ counsel to reproach and rebuke it is now. Those who spread the Big Lie that brought us to this moment must take responsibility and be held accountable. Unless and until they are, there is no moving on, much less unity.

(On this aspect of the attack and more, we have two special opportunities this weekend. On Friday night, BT member Prof. Fran Shor will speak about how authoritarianism and white supremacy played into what happened. On Sunday afternoon at 2pm, he will facilitate a broad discussion about the assault on the Capitol. Details are above.)
*REFU'AH SHLEIMAH (SPEEDY RECOVERY)
Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to:

Debra Luria, Julie Eliason, Karen Tremper Harris, Myron Tink, Peter Schweitzer, Deb Drennan

Please inform us if you know that someone is ill or in need.
*ONGOING CLASSES & PROGRAMS
ADULT CLASSES
See above for what we're doing online!

YOGA
Suspended for now.

ONLINE VIDEOS OF PROGRAMS & CLASSES
Visit LibrarySHJ.com for videos of classes, lectures, and more!
*THIS WEEK'S CARTOON
By Marilyn Rowens
*BT COMMUNITY SHARING
IN HONOR OF DR. MLK, JR. DAY / NATL. DAY OF SERVICE

ZOOM YOGA - COMPLIMENTARY CLASS
Monday, Jan. 18, 4pm

Presented by BT member & yoga expert Karen Lutz

Open to all: gentle exercise and meditation for peace and unity, may be done either from a chair or on a yoga mat, however works for you.

PIANO LESSONS WITH EZRA DONNER

BT Music Director Ezra Donner is offering piano lessons!

Ezra writes: "Students between the ages of 8-12 usually do very well with piano in my experience, and older and younger students and adults are welcome as well."
Lessons begin at $19 per half-hour and are currently offered in-person at Ezra's home studio in Ypsilanti as well as remotely on Zoom.

You can contact Ezra at pianist4486@yahoo.com.
*DETROIT COMMUNITY SHARING