WEEKLY NEWS / Sept. 8, 2020
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*Tuesday-Thursday
10am-3pm

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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: FROM JIM CROW TO NUREMBERG
WELCOME SHABBAT, FRIDAY AT 6PM!
JOIN US AT THIS LINK


THIS WEEK'S PROGRAM:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
DON'T MISS THESE HOLIDAY OFFERINGS!

Friday, Sept. 18, 6pm
🍎 Rosh Ha-Shanah on YouTube
NO PASSWORD. Go to:


... and click on the program icon! We'll post it on Sept. 18, 6pm, and it will remain there on-demand.
Featuring readings by BT members, Shofar sounding, professionally mixed music / open to all / Rabbi's Commentary: "Our Core Humanistic Values, Pt. 1: How Humanism Makes Judaism Stronger"

Saturday, Sept. 19, 11am
🍯 Special Learning: "Origins of the High Holidays"
A learning session live on Zoom with Rabbi Falick / members only / password required

Sunday, Sept. 20, 11am
🐝 Spinoza Club Presents: A Family Holiday
Learning and fun live on Zoom & open to all / password required

Sunday, Sept. 27, 6pm
✡️ Yom Kippur / Kol Nidre on YouTube
NO PASSWORD. Go to:


... and click on the program icon! We'll post it on Sept. 27, 6pm, and it will remain there on-demand.
Featuring readings by BT members, Kol Nidre, professionally mixed music / open to all / Rabbi's Commentary: "Our Core Humanistic Values, Pt. 2: The Significance of Light, Hope, and Strength"

Monday, Sept. 28, 11am
📜 Special Learning: "Lessons from the Book of Jonah"
Learning session live on Zoom with Rabbi Falick / members only / password required

Monday, Sept. 28, 3pm
🕯 Memorial Service
Live on Zoom with dedication of Memorial Garden names / members only / password required

A special email reminder will be sent to all members with the password (same as it has been).
HAVE YOU RETURNED YOUR MEMBERSHIP PACKET?
Membership Renewal is No Longer Automatic! Please Renew Today!

With our new membership pledge program in effect annual membership renewal is no longer automatic.

Instead, our new model invites you to actively renew your membership each year as you determine your own pledge.

If you've been waiting, please take this opportunity to keep your membership active by returning your pledge & membership form today!

THANK YOU!
YOUR MEMBERS-ONLY HOLIDAY GIFT BOX AWAITS YOU!
As a special holiday thank you we are preparing a gift box with honey cake and other holiday treats and resources for ALL renewing members!

Come to the temple parking lot to get yours on:

Wednesday, Sept. 16
10am - 3pm!

You can also get your annual flu shot that day at the CVS On-Site Clinic we're conducting (see details below).
As we welcome the Jewish New Year, BT will be holding a CVS Pharmacy Flu Clinic.
Wednesday, Sept. 16
10am - 3pm
(by appointment only)

Receiving a flu innoculation is especially important during the pandemic. Experts recommend that older people or those with underlying conditions do so in September or early October. The clinic will follow all CDC guidelines!

TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, PLEASE EMAIL ANN MARIE FISHER, fisher@birminghamtemple.com!
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE INITIATIVES:
SUPPORT BI-PARTISAN VOTING LEGISLATION
Call or email your state representative and state senator and ask them to support the following legislation!

SB 757 would enable timely election results in November by allowing local clerks to begin processing absentee ballots (AV) before Election Day.

HB 5987 would ensure all voices are heard by allowing mail ballots to count if postmarked by Election Day (even if they are not received until after the election).
HB 5991 would protect valid votes by mail from rejection by requiring local clerks to contact voters if the signature on the AV ballot does not match the one on their registration.

Bipartisan coalitions of election administrators across the state support these measures! With your help these bills will help local election officials conduct a safe, secure, and accessible election in November.
GET OUT THE VOTE POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
Here's a satisfying and easy community service you can do to make a difference while staying safely at home.

In cooperation with the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and other allies we're participating in a campaign to encourage voting.

This project is organized to make participation as easy as possible. You'll receive a packet of 40 postage-paid cards followed up by an email with addressees and sample language for the cards and a sample message will be sent by email. If you can't commit to 40 cards, you can share with others.
If you have questions or would like to join this effort, contact Audrey Pleasant at audreypleasant@gmail.com.
NOAH PROJECT CLOTHING COLLECTION DRIVE
We are collecting warm socks (not cotton) and all types of travel-sized toiletries which NOAH (our Winter Mitzvah beneficiary) desperately needs. They are also looking for: washcloths, underwear, bandages, Depends (prefer small, medium or large), and cough drops. A collection box is available at the east temple entrance (to the Pivnick Center and SHJ offices).


"The mission of the NOAH Project is to empower low income and homeless Detroiters to achieve stability by serving as the first step on the journey to self sufficiency."
NEXT BOOK CLUB
DATE: TBA
Facilitated by Rabbi Falick
LINK TBA
OUR NEXT SELECTION:
"The Weight of Ink" by Rachel Kadish

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”

You can purchase it AT THIS LINK for Kindle or Amazon delivery ... or support independent bookstores by shopping at BOOKSHOP.ORG.
CALLING ALL GARDENERS!
Volunteers are needed to beautify our temple grounds!

SUNDAYS at 10AM!
Please join us! There is something for everyone to do. We remain socially distanced but still able to enjoy each other’s company, all while improving our Temple home.

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!

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 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

RABBI FALICK'S "BELIEFS OF THE JEWS" CLASS
ON HIATUS UNTIL OCTOBER 5
"Mordecai Kaplan and the Birth of a New Judaism"
ONLINE @ NOON, MONDAYS
Dial-in Meeting ID: 214 102 965

** RETURNING IN OCTOBER**
Jewish History Classes
with Natan Fuchs
WATCH FOR DETAILS COMING SOON!

SOCRATES CAFE
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 
FROM JIM CROW TO NUREMBERG
It’s amazing what you can miss when you’re not looking for it.

That's the thought that went through my head a few months ago when I learned something new about the persecution of Jews in early Nazi Germany. Despite the fact that I’ve taken numerous courses and read countless books about the Shoah, I only recently discovered that the Nuremberg Laws were based – to no small extent – on legal rationales provided by American Jim Crow laws.

The Nuremberg Laws, officially called the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, were adopted in 1935 after the consolidation of Nazi rule. They provided the legal basis for the racialization of Jews and their complete exclusion from German society. All of this is well documented. What is less well remembered is the role that American legal examples played in designing them.

Bill Moyers interviewed James Q. Whitman, author of “Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law,” who noted that Hitler’s ministry of justice actually began their deliberations by examining American law:

The minister of justice presented a memorandum on American race law that included a great deal of detailed discussion of the laws of American states. American law continued to be a principle topic throughout that meeting and beyond. It’s also a startling fact that the most radical lawyers in that meeting — the most vicious among the lawyers present — were the most enthusiastic for the American example.

(Whitman also noted that Nazis were additionally inspired by America’s immigration laws. In “Mein Kampf" Hitler praised the U.S. Immigration Act of 1924 – the very one that closed the doors to Jews.)

In that interview, Moyers and Whitman discuss how legal briefs brought before the U.S. Supreme Court by southern states were indistinguishable “from the sorts of things the Nazis said, often using terms like mongrelization and bastardization of the population…. It was exactly the same vocabulary.” The laws they were defending were not ruled unconstitutional until the Loving case in 1967.

Whitman is quick to point out that the Nazi policies were not prompted by American laws. American racist laws were not the reason that Nazis persecuted Jews. Yet they provided enormous cover, justification, and a template for their policies all courtesy of the world’s oldest democracy.

My point here is not to compare Nazi Germany to the United States. In point of fact, as much as they admired Jim Crow-type laws, Nazis were baffled by the 14th Amendment and other anti-racist laws and efforts in the U.S. It was almost as if they were looking at two different countries.

Perhaps that’s because they were. Many of us have noticed that it still feels like that today.

No matter how distant we may think we are from Jim Crow and worse, it is part of recent American history. Many members of our congregation were adults when the Civil Rights Act was passed and Loving v. Virginia made history. On the American timeline, these advancements took place just yesterday so it's unsurprising that we’re still in this fight. Until the American virus of racism is fully extinguished we will continue to look like two nations, one committed to our noblest ideals, the other longing for a return to a darker past. No single election will fully change this. We’ve already seen the pendulum swing too many times in our lives.

Nevertheless, there is hope. For four months now there has not been a day without a demonstration (93% of which are completely peaceful according to recent research). Our young people are the engines of these protests and it is they who are showing us the way. Over time they will (hopefully!) succeed in transforming this nation into a much more perfect union with liberty and justice for every single person who lives here.
*REFU'AH SHLEIMAH (SPEEDY RECOVERY)
Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to:

Bernice "Bunny" Lasker, Ceci Stone, Julie Eliason, Karen Tremper Harris, 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
Resumed as outdoor distanced Yoga as long as the weather holds. See above!

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
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.
*METRO DETROIT COMMUNITY SHARING
You're invited to Freedom House of Detroit's
Share this invitation and get registered.

Our goal is to raise $70,000 to provide asylum seekers with basic needs and shelter, medical and legal support, and educational and employment opportunities.