WEEKLY NEWS / June 23, 2020
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*Tuesday-Thursday
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PHYSICALLY APART.
HUMANISTICALLY TOGETHER.
Published weekly. Deadline for submissions: Mondays at noon.
Scroll down for this week's commentary by Rabbi Falick
Today's Topic: ISRAEL'S PUSH TO ANNEX
WELCOMING SHABBAT ONLINE

@YouTube FRIDAYS AT 6PM!
This week Rabbi Falick will welcome Kenneth Bob, the president of Ameinu, a progressive Zionist organization. In a wide-ranging discussion, they will address the future of progressive Zionism, upcoming efforts in Israel to annex portions of the West Bank, and Mr. Bob's leadership addressing the racist remarks of the ZOA's Morton Klein. Join us!
WE  DO  READ YAHRZEITS AND EXTEND WELL-WISHES!
Send yours in advance to  rabbi@birminghamtemple.org.
FILM & TELEVISION DISCUSSION GROUP

THIS SUNDAY
JUNE 28, 11am
Facilitated by Dr. Fran Shor

Our Film: Academy Award Winner
JOJO RABBIT
Jojo is a lonely German boy who discovers that his single mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend -- Adolf Hitler -- Jojo must confront his blind nationalism as World War II continues to rage on.

OR Dial-in: 646.558.8656 or 312.626.6799
Dial-in Meeting ID: 214 102 965

Please use the password we circulated under separate cover. If you need it again, email rabbi@birminghamtemple.org .
HOLD THE DATE!
Sunday, July 26, 11am
TOPIC: HBO's adaptation of the Philip Roth novel "The Plot Against America"
MONDAY, JUNE 29, 7PM
What is annexation? How will it impact Palestinians in the West Bank? Why should we speak out against annexation and the continued occupation and dispossession of Palestinian land? How is this connected to the current political moment?

If you're curious about these questions, join IfNotNow Detroit, Birmingham Temple Congregation for Humanistic Judaim, and Meta Peace Team as we dive into what annexation means and how to take political action together to urge our leaders to strongly condemn it. This is an important moment to educate ourselves about this extremely urgent issue, which could be implemented as soon as July 1st. (For more on this issue, see Rabbi Falick's commentary below.)

BOOK CLUB
Sunday, July 19, 11am
LINK TO FOLLOW
Join BT Member Prof. Fran Shor for the next session of our new Book Club.

The next book is "The Plot Against America" by Philip Roth.

You can purchase it AT THIS LINK for Kindle or Amazon delivery ... or support independent bookstores by shopping at BOOKSHOP.ORG .

(A follow-up to this book discussion will take place on July 26 when the Film & Television Discussion Group will discuss the HBO adaptation of the novel.)
THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED

In the weeks to come, watch for another initiative to honor and remember the victims of racism.

You will have the opportunity to help BT #SayTheirNames with memorial signs on the hill in front of our building.

Details coming soon.
CALLING ALL GARDENERS!
Volunteers are needed to do a spring clean up of the temple grounds!

We meet Tuesdays at 10 am at the temple.

Please bring your own gloves, mask, and, if you have, any gardening tools. We have lots and lots of green space and we are committed to staying at least 6 feet away from each other!

No experience is needed. We have fun and become BFFs. 

Please contact Sarah Markowitz,  1luciann1@comcast.net or Cathy Radner  radner210@gmail.com with any questions. 
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 INTRODUCTION TO TALMUD
Discover one of the greatest works of Jewish literature!
ONLINE @ 11AM, WEDNESDAYS
Dial-in Meeting ID: 969 634 481

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 July 4)
Dial-in Meeting ID: 759 671 597

RABBI FALICK'S "BELIEFS OF THE JEWS" CLASS
"Mordecai Kaplan and the Birth of a New Judaism"
ONLINE @ NOON, MONDAYS
(No Class July 6)
Dial-in Meeting ID: 214 102 965

SOCRATES CAFE
Now on Zoom!
ONLINE @ 10:30AM, EVERY TUESDAY!
Dial-In Meeting ID: 182 488 428
ZOOM IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK!

NO DEVICES?
DIAL-IN WITH ANY PHONE & ONE OF THESE NUMBERS!

Zoom's mobile app works on most smartphones. However, you can also dial-in the old-fashioned way from ANY phone using one of these numbers and the Meeting ID provided for each group or class:

646.558.8656 / 312.626.6799 / 253.215.8782 
301.715.8592 / 346.248.7799 
ISRAEL'S PUSH TO ANNEX
In case you were looking for one more thing to worry about, it is my dubious distinction to remind us that in a few weeks’ time, Israel will be considering the annexation of portions of the West Bank.

What could possibly go wrong?

A few years ago the idea that Israel would annex – or as it is referred to euphemistically – “extend Israeli sovereignty” over portions of the West Bank was unimaginable. Yet, in the wake of the disturbing Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan, Israel may very well begin swallowing up portions of territory long ago designated for a Palestinian state.

At this point, it is unclear what, if any, action the Israeli government will take. Talks with the White House may very well shut everything down as the administration’s proposal was, at least according to its stated framework, intended to create a Palestinian state. Of course, given the bizarre patchwork of non-contiguous areas designated for Palestinian self-governance, the plan leaves huge questions about what kind of state could possibly emerge.

In any case, the Israeli government has no interest in actualizing political sovereignty for Palestine. Its only real wish is to secure full dominion over Israeli settlements throughout the territory without regard to whether their inclusion makes any geographic or demographic sense.

As we watch developments unfold, there are two large issues to consider.

Firstly, for those who wish to see a secure state of Israel, attention should be paid to the many Israeli security experts who have bitterly denounced unilateral annexation, be it of the Jordan River valley or of Israeli settlements anywhere in the West Bank. Some fear renewed Palestinian uprisings. All agree that regardless of whether another intifada breaks out, the reaction of the international community should be enough to cause distress. A United Arab Emirates ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, made this clear, warning Israeli leadership in a piece published last week in Hebrew, “Annexation will certainly and immediately upend Israeli aspirations for improved security, economic and cultural ties with the Arab world and with UAE.” The king of Jordan has warned likewise.

Another security issue will be the consequent degradation of Israeli relations with the Palestine Authority. There exists a widespread misconception that security barriers keep Israel’s citizens safe from over-the-Green-Line attacks when it is really the ongoing cooperation of Israeli and Palestinian security forces that has prevented the once ubiquitous attacks on civilians. Annexation will halt these cooperative security arrangements.

The second major issue should concern anyone who is concerned for the well-being of everyone living in the region. Israel’s control of Palestinian territories has just passed the 53-year mark. That’s almost my entire lifetime. Over those decades, as Israelis and Palestinians have come to live in completely intertwined areas, a de facto apartheid has settled into place. I spent much of my life and career denying this, but as I’ve often noted Humanism has a way of removing one’s blinders.

My blinders provided me with comfortable ignorance of the millions of people in towns and cities abutting Israeli settlements who live under a completely different set of rules, lacking any representation in the government that controls their destinies. Rabbi Wine called this apartheid long ago when I was still defending it as a temporary exigency. Over a half-century of this is no longer temporary. I am now unable to describe it otherwise. And if there remains any doubt for some, I fail to see how annexation will not make it obvious.

The bottom line is that there will be no good outcome of this push to annex. Israeli security will be seriously compromised. Palestinian human rights will be further degraded. An already untenable situation will be severely aggravated.

This weekend I will be participating in a meeting with Rep. Andy Levin to voice these concerns. Next Monday evening, I will make some remarks at an “Annexation Education & Action Workshop” organized by If Not Now (please see the announcement above). I hope to see some of you there.
* REFU'AH SHLEIMAH (SPEEDY RECOVERY)
Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to:

Ceci Stone, Joan Mann, Patty Becker, Julie Eliason, Titus Mendell, Karen Tremper Harris, Robert Liebhaber, Arlene Goldberg, Myron TInk

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!
 
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
  • Next meeting: TBA.
  • Please help Team Qaddo assist the Qaddo Family. You can donate HERE
  • Toiletries collection continues, but Winter Wear collection is over for the season. You can keep knitting and collecting, but save items for the fall, when collection resumes. (Will resume when we re-open.)
  • Sign up for Social Justice Committee email list for information about what's happening at BT and social justice programs all over. Send your request to audreypleasant@gmail.com.

YOGA
Connie's class is suspended until further notice.

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
WISH CECI STONE A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Longtime member Ceci Stone just underwent a serious procedure in California where she is staying with her daughter. On June 29 she will celebrate a birthday and we would love members and friends to send her cards.

You can address yours to Ceci, c/o Julie Orman, 2322 Dolphin Drive, Richmond,CA, 94804.

Happy Birthday Ceci!
PLEASE HELP THE GRODSKY FAMILY
So many members of our community have asked if there is some way to help Jerry's family.

Supporting each other is one of the most important things a congregation does for members in need.

Please consider taking advantage of this GoFundMe campaign to show your love and support for the Grodskys.

* DETROIT COMMUNITY SHARING
HELP FEED OUR COMMUNITY!
Among the hardest hit during Covid-19 have been the organizations we rely upon to feed the most needy in our community. Please consider extending your generosity to one of the following ....
Gleaners operates five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties and provides food to more than 500 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and other agencies throughout southeast Michigan. Each year, Gleaners distributes more than 45 million pounds of food to neighbors in need! This results in an average of 100,000 meals distributed each day to families in need across our region. Gleaners also provides nourishing food and nutrition education to more than 200,000 children a year. Every dollar donated provides three meals and 92 cents of every donated dollar goes to food and food programs. CLICK HERE TO HELP.
Yad Ezra provides supplemental kosher food, necessities and enhancements of holidays and lifecycle events to those in need in the Jewish community. We are committed to operating a high quality food pantry through hard work and support of staff, volunteers and donors. CLICK HERE TO HELP.
J & E Community Relief runs an important food pantry that provides individuals and families with basic necessities such as food, hygiene products, professional attire and back to school supplies.  CLICK HERE TO HELP.