WEEKLY NEWS - April 6, 2021
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:
THE MEANING OF "NEVER AGAIN!"
THIS FRIDAY AT 6PM
(or anytime after that)
THIS SUNDAY AT 2PM
Dancing with the Enemy:
The Gripping Story of the Jewish Dance Instructor Who Survived Auschwitz by Teaching Dance to the Nazis
by Paul Glaser
Prof. Fran Shor will lead us in a discussion of this fascinating true story by Paul Glaser, who was an adult when he learned the truth about his Jewish heritage. Raised in a devout Roman Catholic home in the Netherlands, he had never known his father was Jewish and that their family had suffered great losses during the World War II. When Paul inquired, his father refused to provide details about the war, the camps, and especially Rosie, Paul’s estranged aunt ... a dancer who survived Auschwitz.

AT THIS LINK:
IT'S SPRING CLEAN-UP TIME AND WE NEED...
...YOU!
SATURDAY, APRIL 10, 10:30AM
All hands needed and appreciated!

Please bring any tools, especially hedge trimmers, saws, rakes, yard bags, plus gloves. We have lots of fun!

Please contact Sarah Markowitz, 1lucian1@comcast.net or Cathy Radner, radner210@gmail.com, with any questions.
SPINOZA PROGRAM NEEDS TEACHERS!

We are looking forward to next year's youth education program and currently engaging teachers! We have a great teacher and student friendly curriculum!

If you -- or someone you know -- would like to share your love of Humanistic Judaism, please contact Rabbi Falick, rabbi@birminghamtemple.com!
CLAIM OUR NAME!
A Message from Your Membership Committee

We are currently accepting suggestions for a new congregational name.

To get you started, consider names that in some reflect our identity as a Humanistic Jewish community that values ethics and intellectual integrity; that is human-centered; and where we “say what we mean and mean what we say.”

We’ll be considering both English and Hebrew names! (And if you have an English idea that you want to translate, you may consult with Rabbi Miriam Jerris of the Society for Humanistic Judaism - rabbimiriamjerris@shj.org - or Rabbi Falick - rabbi@birminghamtemple.com.

WHILE VOTING IS LIMITED TO OUR MEMBERS, ANYONE MAY MAKE A SUBMISSION … SO PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

Please send your ideas to office@birminghamtemple.org.

We highly recommend that you include some of your reasons for selecting the name you’re submitting. When we circulate them on the ballot to members, we’ll include that information, too.

THANK YOU!
MAY MEETING TBA
All are welcome: Come to contribute ideas or just to hear from others!
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!

NO PASTA FOR NOW!

WE ESPECIALLY NEED:

  • PERSONAL CARE / HYGIENE
  • HAND SOAP
  • CLEANING PRODUCTS
  • CEREAL
  • SPICES
  • PAPER PRODUCTS
  • ***NEW! WE NEED CHILDREN'S CLOTHING (good quality / no rips or stains!)

ALSO: canned tuna & chicken * proteins / grains * canned fruits & vegetables * soups / sauces / condiments * breakfast items * snacks

You're likely to find the pantry full, but please be aware that Items ARE being taken and then replenished from supplies kept inside the Temple building.

Contact Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) for more details.
HELP FREEDOM HOUSE CHILDREN!
Children in Freedom House need the following: new pajamas, socks and underwear in the following sizes: girls: 4T, 5T, 7/8, 16, 18, boys: 3T, 7/8, 8

Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) if you are able to donate any of these.
SECULAR ACTIVISM
> Church-State Separation Advocacy Opportunity: 

House Member contacts needed to urge legislators to co-sponsor HR 1378, the Do No Harm Act. This would amend RFRA (Religious Restoration Act) to ensure it cannot supersede civil rights laws, employment law, protections against child abuse, or access to health care. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO WRITE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS. House members who have NOT signed on include Andy Levin, Elissa Slotkin, and Rashida Tlaib!

Contact Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) to learn more.

Here's a sample letter you can send by USPS or email:

Dear Rep. ____________,

I am contacting you to strongly urge your support of HR 1378, the Do No Harm Act.

As a member of the Birmingham Temple in Farmington Hills and a supporter of Jews for a Secular Democracy, I believe strongly that religious freedom should be a shield to protect freedom of and freedom from religion. It should not be used as a sword to cause harm to others.

The Do No Harm Act (HR 1378) is crucially needed legislation. Many of the worst SCOTUS decisions in recent years on separation of church & state are based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, RFRA, so modifying that law is a big priority.

The Do No Harm Act would amend RFRA to ensure that it cannot supersede civil rights laws, employment law, protections against child abuse or access to health care.I hope I can count on your support of this critical legislation." Please reply with your thoughts and intended action on this legislation.
VOTING RIGHTS

Capitol in Lansing: Rally for Voting Rights Sponsored by Corruption Cleanup

THIS Saturday, April 10, 1pm

An event to peacefully protest the 39 proposed laws in the Michigan Senate that would stifle voting rights and to urge Senators Stabenow and Peters to vigorously support the "For the People Act." 

There will be a special appearance by America's twelve-foot superhero for democracy, "Cleanup Carl!" On this day, people all across the country will be doing the same. Masks and social distancing REQUIRED!  

Register at this link:

Howard Lederman is one driver willing to take passengers. If you can offer or need a ride, contact Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) will attempt to arrange carpools. 
EQUALITY
"For the People Act" Voting
Contact your House representatives to urge support for HR 1, "For the People Act" to increase voting access.

Support Federal Equality Legislation
Encourage our U.S. senators to support HR 5, The Equality Act extending equal rights to all Americans regardless of sexual orientation and / or gender identity. Encourage Michigan state legislators to amend the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act to do the same!

Support Michigan Equality Legislation
Detroit-area Michigan State Senator Jeremy Moss has SB208 in the Michigan Legislature, SB 208. It would add sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. You can find more information at this link.

Contact Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) to learn more.
REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
Support the Equitable Access to Care and Health Act

Advocacy needed for EACH (Equitable Access to Care and Health) Act H.R. 1201, passed in the House, and now pending in the Senate: would protect rreproductive rights and override restrictions of Hyde and Helms amendments—advocacy also needed to have those amendments not included in budget bills—as amendments, they have to be renewed each year.

Please contact Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) for a document and a PowerPoint presentation with more information. 
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.
THE MEANINGS OF "NEVER AGAIN!"
This Thursday night and Friday Jews around the world will observe Yom Ha-Shoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. If you’re confused about the date, it may be because there is also an International Holocaust Remembrance Day, declared by the United Nations, observed each year on January 27. The international date commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz. Yom Ha-Shoah marks the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

These two different dates loosely map onto at least two different ways that Jews have internalized the lessons of the Holocaust, two different interpretations of the exhortation, “Never again!”

The first lesson says this: Jews have always been alone in the world, surrounded by people who wish us nothing but harm. The Jewish experience is one of isolation and terror and weakness. Therefore, when we say, “Never again!” we mean that we will never forget our defenselessness and we will do all that is necessary to cultivate Jewish self-protection. This, more or less, is a central message of Yom Ha-Shoah, created by the Knesset in the 1950s. In keeping with its focus on Jewish valor and self-defense in the Warsaw Ghetto and on so many other occasions during the Holocaust, its official name is “Yom Ha-Shoah v’ha-Gevurah / Day of Holocaust and Heroism.”

The horrors of the Holocaust absolutely speak to the importance of Jewish self-defense. Rabbi Wine pointed to this when he taught (as summarized by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism’s website): “After the Holocaust, it is clear that the meaning of Jewish history is that Jews must be responsible for their own fate.” This remains true. Yet the practical implications remain open to interpretation. In many Jewish communities there is a growing rift on the matter, particularly where Israel is concerned. It is very common for those defending certain Israeli policies to invoke the Holocaust. For these people, “Never again!” is a declaration of Jewish strength.

The second lesson of the Holocaust is more universal. When I spoke a couple of years ago at a protest in front of Michigan’s Holocaust Memorial Center, I put it this way:

“When we study the Holocaust, we do so not only to describe what happened, but to explain to the best of our ability why and how it could have been allowed to happen. It is for this reason that our community worked so very hard to teach the Holocaust to American children. It was not for the purpose of gaining for them a better understanding of the misery of the Jews. It was for the purpose of helping them to become better citizens of our nation and the world.

“We hoped to provide them with sufficient tools of discernment so that they themselves might learn to identify the dangers of setting forth on any dark path that bears the potential of resulting in the very worst. Those who oppose our cause and our gathering at this place have somehow been convinced that the message of 'Never again!' belongs to the Jewish people alone. It does not.”

I don't question the applicability of “Never again!” to Jewish survival so long as our means of self-protection are carefully examined as we pursue the ends. However, as a Humanist I also believe that we must not permit our work for Jewish survival to overtake our pursuit of social justice and equity. We are not the only people who have suffered in the world. Our own nation pursued policies not dissimilar to those of the Nazis. In fact, as I’ve pointed out before, the Nazis drafted their very first anti-Jewish legislation using legal American discrimination as their model.

Yom Ha-Shoah and the International Holocaust Remembrance Day are times to mourn our dead and experience the pain of irreparable losses to our people. They are also a time to listen to learn the lessons of those losses, to feel the mandate of our pain.

As Holocaust survivor and human rights advocate Gerda Weissmann Klein, of blessed memory, once said, “Pain should not be wasted.”
ZOOM REQUIRES A PASSWORD!
The password was sent under separate cover. Please contact rabbi@birminghamtemple.com 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
NO CLASS: APRIL 24
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
NO CLASS: APRIL 26
Dial-in Meeting ID: 214 102 965

JEWISH HISTORY CLASS WITH NATAN FUCHS
"From Baghdad to Sepharad and Ashkenaz: The Jewish Diaspora in the Early Middle Ages"
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
*REFU'AH SHLEIMAH (SPEEDY RECOVERY)
Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to:

Rob Lasker, Brina Broder, Ruth Moltz, Joe Gadon, Julie Eliason, Karen Tremper Harris, Myron Tink, Peter Schweitzer

Please inform us if you know that someone is ill or in need.
*ONGOING CLASSES & PROGRAMS
ADULT CLASSES
See above for regular adult classes online.

YOGA
Suspended for now.

ONLINE VIDEOS OF PROGRAMS & CLASSES
Visit LibrarySHJ.com and our YouTube page for videos of services, classes, lectures, and more!
*THIS WEEK'S CARTOON
By Marilyn Rowens, ז״ל
*INTERNATIONAL EVENT
TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 1:30PM
*DETROIT COMMUNITY SHARING
"Nu? Detroit" Online Local Jewish News and Opinion

"Nu?Detroit is a digital platform for diverse, dynamic writing about and relevant to Jewish Detroit.

Principally and practically, we are:

Independent. Nu?Detroit is unconstrained by institutional, partisan, denominational or corporate affiliation.

Inclusive. You will hear voices that reflect the powerful diversity of our community, spanning generations and racial, religious, political and gender identities.

Interactive. Anyone can submit writing to Nu?Detroit and every submission we post is an invitation to engage.

Iterative. Nu?Detroit will adapt and evolve with the DNA of our community."

You can visit "Nu? Detroit" at THIS LINK.