Wow, what a week it has been! An earthquake in Haiti, the disaster in Afghanistan, the anniversary of the death of Leo Frank, preparing for the High Holidays, and so many more noteworthy events all in the same week. I struggled on which of these topics to write about and I settled on Leo Frank, the only Jew to have ever been lynched in the United States. More information on how you can help in Haiti is listed below in the newsletter.
Leo Frank was lynched in 1915 after being pulled out of the city jail by an angry mob for the supposed murder of Mary Phagan, a young girl who worked at the National Pencil Factory he managed in Atlanta, Georgia. Although there was overwhelming evidence that Jim Conley, a factory worker, committed the murder, antisemitic overtures in both the testimony and public statements from the jurors were used to seal Frank’s fate. It was from this tragedy that the B’nai B’rith charted what is now the Anti-Defamation League.
More than 100 years later, communities across the country are still dealing with antisemitism and it is on the rise. You’ve read about it in my messages many times before. Just this week another murder – a young Jewish student in Denver was shot and killed outside of his Yeshiva. It seems every time I open my news feed there is yet another instance.
How coincidental it is that we are commemorating the death of the anniversary of Leo Frank and this weekend we have the opportunity to honor the memories of those who perished in the Holocaust by attending the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center’s L’Chaim. The event will also pay tribute to Phyllis G. Weinstein, Founder of BHEC and longtime leader in our community. You may watch live by clicking here.
Thankfully there are organizations throughout the country, in addition to the ADL, including The American Jewish Committee (AJC), StandWithUs, the new media company, JewBelong, our Jewish Community Relations Council and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center who are taking steps to help eradicate this hatred and bigotry. We continue to partner with these organizations to bring programming and educational opportunities to our community.
As we approach the New Year let us pray for a better year ahead and be mindful as to how we can help educate and eradicate antisemitism. And finally, during the Yizkor service, let us say Kaddish for Leo Frank, the six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, and for the countless other Jews that have been murdered simply because they were Jewish.
Wishing everyone a restful Shabbat and a week of peace.
In The News
Help Earthquake Survivors In Haiti
We are heartbroken by the news of Haiti's devastating earthquake, which has killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands of homes. Jewish Federations are collectively supporting relief efforts through the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is providing critically-needed medical supplies to local hospitals treating the wounded. Through our partnership with JDC, Federations provide a Jewish response to international humanitarian emergencies wherever they happen.
L’Chaim, Birmingham Holocaust Education Center’s annual fundraising event is honoring Phyllis G. Weinstein, BHEC founder. Presented by the BHEC in collaboration with Red Mountain Theatre, the L’Chaim event will be a combination of entertainment, education, and remembrance.
The Louisiana Jewish Coalition & August Speaker Series on Israel
What's Happening Now
Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 10 AM
Inter-Everything Family Friendly Hike!
Sunday, August 22, 2021 from 9 - 11 AM
This program is part of Beth El’s new programming series especially for our inter-everything families. Why inter-everything? Because in conversations with our community it’s become clear that interfaith doesn’t cover it. Our community is interfaith, intercultural, inter-denominational and everything beyond and in between. Rather than get caught up on labels we’re looking for chances to connect, and if you and/or your family identify as inter-anything we want to connect with you! Get in touch with Margaret at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to share your programming ideas!
Kochavim Registration is Open!
September 18-19, 2021
We are so excited to gather our 2020-2021 Kindergarteners and 1st Graders for an in-person, one night sleepover program called Kochavim at camp in Utica, MS September 18-19, 2021!
The Kochavim program gives our youngest Jacobs Campers a taste of the Jacobs Camp magic and gives them the opportunity to try out our best activities, make new friends, and gain confidence for a full session at camp in Summer 2022!
A Jacobs Camp alumna and current camp mom wrote this blog post and it perfectly encapsulates why Kochavim works!
Tell your friends with Kindergarten and 1st Graders about this awesome opportunity so they can register too!
Full circle is having an end of summer sale this Sunday! Head over to the LJCC anytime from 10 AM - 3PM to check it out and shop!
Inter-Everything Family Friendly Hike
at Red Mountain Park
Sunday, August 22 @ 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Join us for our third inter-everything group event; a family-friendly hike at Red Mountain Park! This is a chance to gather in community with other families and individuals who identify as interfaith/intercultural/interdenominational—inter-anything—while enjoying an outdoor activity at one of our city’s best greenspaces. We’ll meet at the entrance to the park at 9AM and end with a chance to picnic together. Along the way, we’ll even learn a little bit about the Park’s history as a former site of iron and ore mining! Bring a bagged lunch, if you’d like, and we’ll provide some additional snacks and goodies. RSVP to Margaret at email@example.com
L’Chaim, Birmingham Holocaust Education Center’s annual fundraising event is honoring Phyllis G. Weinstein, BHEC founder. Presented by the BHEC in collaboration with Red Mountain Theatre, the L’Chaim event will be a combination of entertainment, education, and remembrance. Red Mountain Performing Ensemble students will perform musical selections. The event will be hosted by Birmingham native Alison Lebovitz, a motivational speaker, podcaster, author & TV host of “The A List with Alison Lebovitz” for WTCI-PBS, Chattanooga. L’Chaim will also feature a conversational one-on-one interview with Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN’s “The Situation Room” whose parents were Holocaust Survivors. You can purchase tickets here!
UPDATE:L’Chaim will no longer be an in-person event. L'Chaim will now be live-streamed from the Red Mountain Theatre due to this unpredictable time with COVID cases on the rise again. The event will go on!!! Sunday, August 22, 3pm. Link will follow soon.
Lunchtime Torah Study
Wednesday, August 25 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
This Torah study meets via Zoom and will cover that week’s Torah portion. All levels welcome.
Summer Beit Midrash: This is Real and
You Are Completely Unprepared
Thursday, August 25 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Our Thursday Beit Midrash is planning to continue meeting through the summer, on Mondays and Thursdays from 12-1PM. In preparation for the High Holidays they will be reading This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared by Alan Lew.
Join using the link below and the password “Learning”
This program will focus on the basic tenants of Nazi antisemitic and racial ideology and explain how this warped view of the world impacted the victims of the Holocaust era: Roma (Gypsies), disabled persons, persons of African descent, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and political opponents of the Nazi regime.
Guest Speaker: Dr. William F. Meinecke, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
ShulHouse Rock Kick Off: First Family Shabbat
Friday, August 28 @ 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Join us for our first Family Shabbat of the year and ShulHouse Rock Kick off! ShulHouse Rock is this year’s umbrella for youth education, which is focused on engaged learning, collaborative programming, and meaningful holiday and Shabbat Conservative Experiences. Family Shabbat programs are geared for children of all ages, from birth-12th grade, and will include service participation opportunities for the older children, a whole family Shir Ha’dash (“New Song”) service, Tot Shabbat, and breakout activities with Hebrew learning and educational content. Don’t forget to stay after services for a special Kiddush Luncheon with kid-friendly foods.
Meet the Rabbi + Cooking Demo
with Temple Beth-El Sisterhood
Sunday, August 29 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Join Temple Beth El’s Sisterhood on Sunday August 29th for food, fun and a chance to get to know our new interim Rabbi; Rabbi Hillel Norry. Along with a chance for Q&A and conversation, Rabbi Norry will lead us in a short cooking demonstration, highlighting his vegan cooking skills!
Thanks to a grant from the Greatest Needs Fund of the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s COVID Relief Campaign, Collat Jewish Family Services is offering financial assistance to Jewish community members who are facing financial insecurity because of job loss, caring for family or other issues. Confidential assistance is available to members of the Birmingham Jewish community who need help with rent or mortgage payments, utilities, prescription costs or other needs. To learn more, please email CJFS Clinical Director Marcy Morgenbesser LICSW, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205.879.3438.