WEEKLY NEWS - April 13, 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:
TUCKER CARLSON'S PROMOTION OF "WHITE REPLACEMENT THEORY"
THIS FRIDAY AT 6PM
(or anytime after that)
IT'S SPRING CLEAN-UP TIME AND WE NEED...
...YOU!
SATURDAY @ 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, 1luciannn1@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!
LAST WEEK FOR SUBMISSIONS!
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!
Next SJC meeting: Saturday, May 8, 11:15am
All are welcome: Come to contribute ideas or just to hear from others! Link TBA
YOUR SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE PRESENTS A ...

💐 SPRING CELEBRATION SIGN-MAKING EVENT 💐

Saturday, April 24, 1:30-3:30pm / No Cost
(rain date: Sunday, April 25)

SOCIALLY DISTANCED IN THE TEMPLE BACKYARD!
AT INDIVIDUAL SEPARATED TABLES / MASKS *REQUIRED*

Who is invited: BT members, and friends of all ages -- family friendly, children may join in the art.

What are we doing?: Making signs in support of issues important to you. No art experience or ability required. The Social Justice Committee will provide the art supplies. Participants may bring extra to use or share ideas and guidance. WE WILL ALSO BE MAKING LAWN SIGNS FOR THE TEMPLE WITH THE NAMES OF BLACK VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE. 

Goal: Self-expression about causes we care for!

Optional Yoga session: 1-1:30pm with Connie Grossman, BT member & amazing yoga teacher, who will lead a gentle practice of standing postures
No yoga experience necessary to participate -- a great chance to try out this relaxing exercise

We'll also provide: Water and snacks, friendly DISTANCED conversation; our nearby play structure for children; information about current social justice issues and events!

RSVP by Tuesday, April 20
By email to Audrey Pleasant (audreypleasant@gmail.com) or text 313.478.641. 

Contact Audrey with questions or suggestions!
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!

Freedom House residents need the following: 

Gender-neutral baby clothes for expected newborn ● Pants in large or extra large for pregnant mom ● Shoes for mom: women's size 9 ● Shoes for dad: men's size 10 ● Size 5/6 clothes for boy ● Socks for boy and mom ● Comb for Afro-textured hair ● (Please note: No wipes or diapers needed!)

Audrey (audreypleasant@gmail.com) if you are able to donate any of these or would like her to shop for you.
SECULAR ACTIVISM
TONIGHT @ 8PM

Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein
Founder and Executive Director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Join us for an interview to learn about the work protecting the constitutional right to religious freedom for all members of the United States Armed Forces. There will be time afterwards for participants to be seen and share reactions with one another about the issues raised.

Sponsored by SHJ's pluralistic social justice initiative, Jews for a Secular Democracy, you can find more information here about how our volunteers bring a uniquely Jewish perspective to defending the wall between religion and government.

Free and open to all but PLEASE REGISTER HERE FOR THE LINK.
IMMIGRATION / REFUGEES
HIAS Book Club
Friday, April 23, Noon

A HIAS-facilitated interactive discussion of the HIAS Book and Film Club, to discuss the book "Tell Me How It Ends" by Valeria Luiselli: This story is structured around forty questions the author asked undocumented Latin American children facing deportation, illustrates how our immigration system treats children arriving in the United States in search of a better life.

HUMAN RIGHTS
Tuesday, April 27, 2pm

A program about contemporary genocide and the ongoing persecution of the Rohingya and Uyghur peoples with Nury Turkel of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK.

Learn how we got to this point, and how we can raise awareness about current genocides and take action.This program is being convened by HIAS, Jewish World Watch and AJWS (representing the Jewish Rohingya Justice Network).

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
Join "The Women's Medical Fund" for a screening of "Abortion Hotline, This Is Lisa" to learn how the Hyde amendment has been punishing low income people for 47 years.

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.
TUCKER CARLSON'S PROMOTION OF "WHITE REPLACEMENT THEORY"
“Jews will not replace us!”

Back in August 2017 that was one of the rallying cries in Charlottesville, Virginia at the beginning of what became a hate-filled and, ultimately, deadly weekend under the banner of “Unite the Right.” Following that event (according to the Anti-Defamation League) white nationalist violence grew by over 180% in 2017. This trend has continued, much of it characterized by antisemitism.

Much of this rise of white supremacy is also tangled up with some version of the so-called “great replacement theory.” It forwards the claim that there is a tremendous conspiracy afoot -- abetted by Jews -- to reduce birthrates of white people while simultaneously replacing them with “non-Europeans.” In America this “theory” is a common component of white (or white Christian) nationalism.

When hard-core replacement rheorists focus their ire on Jews, the results can be deadly. The terrorist who killed eleven Jews at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018 specifically cited Jewish aid to refugees and immigrants.

For too long now these extremists have been dismissed as fringe actors, unrepresentative of anything in the right-wing mainstream. Yet just last week Fox News’ rating king Tucker Carlson placed “replacement theory” firmly in the center, employing rhetoric that maps very easily onto the manifestos of white supremacist terrorists. (The Daily Show did a nice job of illustrating this here.)

In a sharp-worded response to Carlson, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the ADL, issued a public letter to Fox News calling for Carlson’s dismissal:

… in a segment on his program dealing with voting rights and allegations of voter disenfranchisement, Tucker Carlson disgustingly gave an impassioned defense of the white supremacist “great replacement theory,” the hateful notion that the white race is in danger of being “replaced” by a rising tide of non-whites. … Carlson’s rhetoric was not just a dog whistle to racists – it was a bullhorn. 

… this is not legitimate political discourse. It is dangerous race-baiting, extreme rhetoric. And yet, unfortunately, it is the culmination of a pattern of increasingly divisive rhetoric used by Carlson over the past few years. His anti-immigrant rhetoric has embraced subtle appeals to racism and, at times more blatantly has put him on the same side as white supremacists. Furthermore, Carlson has suggested that the very idea of white supremacy in the U.S. is a hoax, earning him plaudits from former Klansman David Duke and white supremacist Richard Spencer, who have both praised Carlson’s show for echoing their own talking points.

Greenblatt’s letter goes on to cite numerous examples of Carlson’s repulsive race-baiting (“obedient third-world” voters) and antisemitic dog whistles and worse. A response from Lachlan Murdoch, Fox Corporation CEO, dismissed the ADL’s concerns just as he and others at the channel have done previously when called out for promoting racist or otherwise injurious conspiracy theories and lies. 

Though I’ve been an occasional critic of the ADL, it is still America’s largest Jewish civil rights and defense organization, one of the few that is influential enough to take on Fox News. For that reason I’m gratified that Jonathan Greenblatt issued this powerful public message. I encourage my colleagues in the rabbinate and in other positions of Jewish leadership to do the same.

Rabbi Hillel’s famous question asks, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I?” In other words, how do we balance our self-interests against the needs of others? There have been times in Jewish history when this was a real quandary. Today’s America is not one of those times. Today we must ask a different question: “What will it take for us to realize that being for others is the only real way to be for ourselves?”
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