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 PAST PROGRAMS

Recent Developments in Israeli Politics

Sunday, May 30, 2021 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm. *Virtual Event*

Join us Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 10:30 am as we welcome Rabbi Jeremy Kridel for an update on the political situation in Israel. Rabbi Kridel has presented other well-informed talks to the BJCC in recent years and this one should help us make sense of the recent election.

Rabbi Kridel is the rabbi for Machar, our sister community in Washington, DC.

Liberation: Some Jewish Roots of Ethical Culture

Friday, May 14, 2021 from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm. *Virtual Event* 

Join us Friday, May 14, 2021 at 7:30 pm for a special presentation by Hugh Taft-Morales on the Jewish roots of Ethical Culture. Felix Adler, the founder of Ethical Culture, drew inspiration from many sources. They included Emerson, Immanuel Kant, and the historical Jesus. The deepest and most consistent source, however, was Judaism. Raised in a culture committed to Reform Judaism, Adler carried into Ethical Culture an appreciation of some lofty goals of family tradition, such as a collective duty to heal a broken world and liberate humanity from oppression. In celebration of liberation, Hugh Taft-Morales explores some of the Jewish and Reform roots of Ethical Culture.

Hugh Taft-Morales serves as Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the Baltimore Ethical Society and is a member of the Ethical Action Committee of the American Ethical Union (AEU).  Hugh taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, D. C., after which he transitioned into Ethical Culture Leadership.  In April of 2009 he graduated from the Humanist Institute and was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader by the AEU in 2010.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Taft-Morales graduated with a B.A. cum laude in American History from Yale University, 1979, and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England, 1986.  He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife, Maureen, a Specialist in Latin America for the Congressional Research Service.  They have three wonderful adult children – Sean, Maya, and Justin. Hugh's hobbies include yoga, singing, and playing guitar.

Who We Are: Identity and Diversity in Our Jewish Community”

Friday, April 23, 2021 from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm. *Virtual Event* 

Join us Friday, April 23rd at 7:30 pm as we preview a video of Ginna Green, in conversation with Dr. Harriette Wimms regarding the experiences of Jews of color in the Jewish community. This program was originally produced and recorded by the Jewish Museum of Maryland, Chizuk Amuno Synagogue and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in October 2020. 

Ginna Green is a political strategist, writer and consultant, and, until June 2020, the Chief Strategy Officer at Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. There she led the work of the communications, advocacy, electoral, rapid response, and racial equity teams from 2018-2020, a period of unprecedented white nationalism, antisemitism and authoritarianism in American life. Ginna is a frequent speaker and writer on democracy, leadership, race, racism in the Jewish community, and Jewish community diversity, and has been published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Salon, and more. A 2020-2021 Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, Ginna also sits on the boards of Women’s March, Political Research Associates, the Jews of Color Initiative, and Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. An alum of the Jeremiah Fellowship and the Selah Leadership Program, and a 2019 Schusterman Fellow, Ginna is a native southerner and the mother of four amazing kids.

 

Dr. Harriette E. Wimms is a Maryland licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in providing compassion-infused assessments and therapies to children and families across the age span. Dedicated to providing affirming and culturally-responsive care, Dr. Wimms holds a PhD in Human Services Psychology and a MS in Developmental Psychology. She is a certified Human Services Psychologist with specializations in child clinical, pediatric, and community/social psychology.

 

"Jews and Racism in United States History"

Friday, February 19, 2021 from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm. *Virtual Event* 

Join us Friday, March 19 at 7:30 PM as we watch and discuss a YouTube video presentation by Professor Dollinger titled, “Jews and Racism in United States History.” Although some Jews have fought against racism since colonial times, Dollinger focuses on another more disturbing story – how other Jews have supported, condoned, and benefited from anti-Black racism.

 

Marc Dollinger is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. His books include Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s, American Jewish History: A Primary Source Reader and Quest for Inclusion: Jews and Liberalism in Modern America.

 

"Torah with Maurice Sendak?"

Friday, February 12, 2021 from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm. *Virtual Event* 

Join us Friday, March 12, 2021 at 7:30 pm for an event put together by one of our very own members Judith Jacobson. For many years, Judy has been giving "d’var torahs" – interpretations of Torah portions – at the two congregations she's been in, and she's almost talked about all 50+ weekly portions! Unlike the typical (boring) sermons of rabbis you may remember, Judy will present three samples which will connect (loosely) the Torah to Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, children's author Maurice Sendak, and Mary Poppins. Hope to see you there! 

Reparations: From the Holocaust to Black Lives Matter

Friday, February 5, 2021 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm. *Virtual Event* 

Join us Friday, February 5, 2021 at 7:30 PM when two of BJCC's very own Fred Pincus and Arlene Ogurick will discuss reparations from the Holocaust to Black Lives Matter. Fred will open with a review of post-Holocaust reparations, discuss U.S. reparations for Native Americans and Japanese-Americans, and then address the controversy over reparations for slavery. Arlene will respond with her own thoughts about reparations, including from a Jewish text perspective.

 

Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Film Screening- "Baltimore's Strange Fruit"

Sunday, January 17, 2021, 10:00 pm-12:30 pm. *Virtual Event* 

Join us tomorrow, Sunday, January 17th at 10:00 AM, as we cosponsor a Martin Luther King Day program initiated by the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Social Action Committee, Repair the World and other local organizations. The program will feature the film "Baltimore's Strange Fruit", a documentary about food apartheid and food insecurity and some of the solutions being implemented in Baltimore. A panel discussion, including filmmaker Eric Jackson, will follow the film.

Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice

Friday, January 8, 2021, 7:30pm-9:30pm. *Virtual Event* 

Please join us Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 7:30pm as we welcome Hannah Klein from Bend the Arc, BJCC's 2020 tzedakah recipient. Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice is a progressive Jewish political organization that blends advocacy, community organizing, and leadership training. The organization advocates for a more equal and just society, focusing strictly on domestic issues and does not deal with issues related to Israel. 

Hannah is a National Organizer at Bend the Arc: Jewish Action where she coaches Moral Minyans around the country in learning organizing skills, taking meaningful action in local and national campaigns, and building power with Progressive Jews and allies. She currently supports the Moral Minyans in Prince George's County, MD; San Luis Obispo, CA; Seattle, WA; and Albuquerque, NM. Before coming to Bend the Arc in 2019, Hannah organized college students in Southern Florida to increase the youth vote turnout in the 2018 midterm elections. She also spent several years in Boston organizing Jewish communities in Massachusetts to take action on local policy campaigns such as the Fight for $15 and Paid Family and Medical Leave. Hannah currently lives in Somerville, MA with her partner, two roommates and two cats.

Hanukkah '20

Saturday, December 12, 2020 07:30pm-9:30pm. *Virtual Event* 

Join us on Saturday, December 12, 2020 for a virtual Hanukkah celebration with Rabbi Jeremy Kridel of Machar, The Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism. We know it's become customary to light a Hanukkah menorah. But how did we get to the menorah we now have? Is there some other way to mark Hanukkah? We'll light our menorahs and talk about where the tradition really comes from -- not the true history behind Hanukkah, but the history of Hanukkah.

 

JEWISH SELF-DEFENSE in EASTERN EUROPEAN POGROMS in 1903 – 1905

Friday, November 20, 2020, 7:30pm-9:30pm. *Virtual Event* 

Rabbi Judith Seid will speak on the history of Jewish self-defense during the pogroms in the early 20th century. Many Jews know of the horrific Kishinev pogrom of 1903. It was the beginning of a three-year reign of terror among the Jews of Eastern Europe. Fewer people know of the Jewish self-defense movements of the time, their success against the pogroms and the internecine fighting among the various factions. Learn this fascinating piece of Jewish history and how the idea of Jewish self-defense took inspiration from the past and gave inspiration to the future.

 

Secular Humanistic Rabbi Judith Seid is the founder of the BJCC. She is a third-generation Jewish secularist and the parent of three fourth-generation Jewish secularists. She likes to sing and may burst into song at any random moment. She also laughs more than is strictly necessary. BJCC is delighted to have Rabbi Seid as an event speaker.

HARRY EZRATTY PRESENTATION ON ISAAC LEESER

Sunday, November 08, 2020, 10:30am-12:30pm. *Virtual Event* 

Join us on Zoom this coming Sunday, November 8th for a talk on Isaac Leeser by Harry Ezratty. Isaac Leeser was a 19th century American, Ashkenazi Jewish religious leader, teacher, scholar and publisher. He sparred as Orthodoxy's representative with Isaac Mayer Wise Reform's advocates. He ran a newspaper, founded seminaries including setting up congregations in new settlements, and translated the bible and the Siddur into English. Our host, Harry Ezratty is a graduate of New York University and Brooklyn Law School. His specialty is Admiralty or Maritime Law. He has written three books on American Jewish history, three novels about lawyers who practice the law of the sea. And has over 40 years lecturing at colleges, universities, Jewish organizations and as scholar in residence about Jewish history, the Inquisition and the rise of Jewish mercantile presence in the 16th century.

"JEWS IN SPACE" TOUR w/ THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF MARYLAND

Sunday, October 25, 2020, 10:00am-12:00pm

*Virtual Event* Join us on Zoom for a virtual tour of the “Jews in Space” exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland on Sunday, October 25 at 10:00 AM. As the reality of life on Earth continues to get more complicated, the Jewish Museum of Maryland welcomes BJCC members and friends to virtually explore the wonders of space. From ancient astronomers to today’s space scientists and astronauts, Jewish people have been interested in “looking up.” Outer space has also inspired Jewish artists, writers, comedians, and thinkers, both religious and secular, to boldly imagine realms beyond our Earth.

 

AMOS OZ READING

Sunday, July 12, 2020, 10:30am-12:30pm

*Virtual Event* Join us this Sunday, July 12th for an Amos Oz reading. Amos Oz (1939-2018) was an Israeli novelist, short-story writer and essayist, as well as a professor and a prominent peace advocate. A committed secularist and atheist, he was active in the Israeli Secular Humanistic Judaism movement and the Israeli peace movement. We will discuss one of his short stories “Dreams Israel Should Let Go of Soon” on Sunday, July 12 at 10:30am.

 

PURIM

Friday, March 6, 2020, 7:00-9:00pm

Join us this Friday, March 6th as we commemorate the story of Purim. Start time is 7:00pm and includes features such as a potluck dessert with hamantaschen, candles, challah, and wine/grape juice. Costumes are encouraged but not mandatory. Please consider this is a non-alcoholic event.

 

A BINTEL BRIEF, OR BUNDLE OF LETTERS

Friday, February 21, 2020, 7:00-9:00pm

Come join us, as our very own Bob Jacobson hosts a discussion on A Bintel Brief, a Yiddish advice column, starting in the early 20th century New York City, that anonymously printed readers' questions and posted replies. In Yiddish, bintel means "bundle" and brief means a "letter" or "letters."


The focus of the Jewish Daily Forward's Bintel Brief column was "every aspect of the immigrant experience." It invited readers to tell their own stories in the pages of the paper. Here's a link to an article that does a great job of giving you a feel for what it was like around that time: https://forward.com/the-bintel-brief/about/

As always, you're welcome to bring food. We tend to eat at our events. And it's usually immediately following a short Shabbat and immediately preceding whatever we have planned for that event. Hope to see you there.

 

A SECULAR APPROACH TO JEWISH HOLIDAYS WITH RABBI JEREMY KRIDEL

Friday, February 7, 7:00-9:00pm

Welcome Jeremy Kridel, Rabbi at Machar, the Washington Congregation for Humanistic Judaism as he shares his views on a secular approach to the harder-to-deal-with Jewish holidays like Shavuot and Tisha B’Av (and not including the High Holidays, Passover, and Hanukkah). Co-editor of the Society for Humanistic Judaism’s quarterly magazine, Humanistic Judaism, and member on the governing board of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, Rabbi Kridel is committed to Secular Humanistic Judaism and to helping people of every age find a place to express both their Judaism and their humanism. https://machar.org/

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CELEBRATION 

Sunday, January 19, 1:00-4:30pm

Learn about the importance of paid family leave and take action to bring it to Maryland at JUFJ and Baltimore Hebrew Congregation's (7401 Park Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21208) annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day film screening. There are many, many families in our country who receive ZERO WEEKS of paid family leave, despite living in the richest country in the world. "Zero Weeks" shows the struggles to change that, featuring JUFJ members campaigning for paid family leave in DC. This event is co-sponsored by Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Beth Am Synagogue, Chizuk Amuno Congregation, Chevrei Tzedek Congregation, Baltimore Jewish Cultural Chavurah, Congregation Beit Tikvah, and Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom. You must sign up at https://jufj.org/event/zero-weeks-baltimore/.

 

CHRISTMAS DAY POT LUCK AND MOVIE

Wednesday, December 25, 5:00-8:00pm

Join us on Christmas Day for our annual Pot Luck Dinner and Movie! Dinner will begin at 5:00pm and the movie will begin around 6:00pm. Given the decades-old tradition of having Chinese food on Christmas, everyone is encouraged to bring a Chinese dish to share.  This is not essential and all appetizers, entrees, side dishes, desserts and drinks are welcome.

At around 6:00pm, the meeting space will be transformed into a movie theater for the showing of Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles. This recent documentary has received great reviews (including 98–100% on the review site Rotten Tomatoes) and includes interviews with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joel Gray, Austin Pendleton (who played Motel the tailor), writer Joseph Stein, composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick. 97 minutes.

 

CELEBRATE HUMANLIGHT ON DECEMBER 23RD!

Monday, December 23, 6:30-9:30pm

First Unitarian Church of Baltimore (Corner of Charles and Franklin, enter hall on Charles St.)

Please join us to celebrate HumanLight with the Baltimore Coalition of Reason, the 10 Year Anniversary, featuring music, food and the lighting of three candles celebrating Reason, Compassion and Hope.

Sign up for the potluck dinner here (https://tinyurl.com/humanlight-baltimore-2019). For more information visit the Baltimore Coalition of Reason: http://www.BaltimoreCoR.org/.

 

CHANUKAH POT LUCK LATKE BASH, DECEMBER 22

Sunday, December 22, 5:00-7:00pm

Potato latkes. Zucchini latkes. All you can eat. That’s the way the BJCC will be celebrating Chanukah. Be there by 4:00pm if you would like to help cook. We will provide the latkes, sour cream and applesauce.  Along with your appetites, please bring other food to share, including non-meat side dishes, desserts, and drinks.  DO NOT BRING SOUR CREAM OR APPLESAUCE. These will be provided.  Also, remember to bring your menorahs and candles for our group candle-lighting.