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CURRENT PROGRAMS

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Judy Jacobson will coordinate an informal panel discussion about “Jews and Buddhism”. Several BJCC members will talk about their involvement in the American Buddhist path: what was the attraction, why Buddhist thought and practice has helped in everyday life, the relationship of Buddhism to the Judaism of their upbringing. Participants include: Judy Jacobson, Natalie Sokoloff, Arlene Ogurick, and Art Starr. Former BJCC member Estelle Apelberg will participate in writing. We'll also have quotes from Sylvia Boorstein's book "That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist."

 

Attendees should bring a dessert dish to share.

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the location and any additional questions.

Friday, January 5, 7:30PM – American Jews and Buddhism

BJCC Events 2024

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the BJCC is partnering with the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Justice Committee and with other congregations and organizations in the Baltimore area for the 7th annual movie screening, panel, and discussion.

This year’s event, held at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (7401 Park Heights Av., Baltimore 21218) will feature the film “Birthing Justice,” an award-winning documentary that features the lived experiences of Black women and their advocates. This film explains and explores the racial disparities that exist in the United States in maternal health care: Black women in the United States are 4 times more likely to die during childbirth than white women. The documentary examines the inequitable structures and systems that have resulted in this racial disparity, as well as the movement to fix this broken system. 

The panel will feature speakers from MOMCares, a postpartum doula program, designed to support Black mothers in the NICU who self-identify as under-supported and facing financial stressors.

Babysitting is available and light refreshments will be served.

 

Please use this link to pre-register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdv4R2k-0av8mUfQmPTDJdBncCwhAoFxnnN1mwMx6dFBTUpfw/viewform. Direct all questions to Jacob Mishook, jacobmishook@gmail.com

Sunday, January 14, 1 - 4 PM - Martin Luther King Weekend Celebration

The BJCC will participate in a virtual tour of the Jewish Museum of Baltimore exhibit “My Odessa: Paintings by Yefim Ladyzhensky.” Yefim Ladyzhensky’s Odessa was a dynamic city rich with humor, arts, and Jewish life. It was a city of stark juxtapositions: wealth and poverty, comedic irony and tragedy, high art and folk culture.

This exhibit presents 36 tempera paintings alongside excerpts from Ladyzhensky’s unpublished memoirs. These paintings are recognizably drawn from life in early 20th-century Odessa, yet are highly specific and personal. Some paintings depict Ladyzhenksy’s memories and impressions from life in the city, while others are completely imagined. Many of the figures are recalled from Ladyzhensky’s youth: tradesmen and shop clerks, family and neighbors, all composed within flattened perspectives and densely textured surfaces.

Maximum capacity of 25 people.

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the zoom link and any additional questions.

Sunday, January 21, 10:30 AM - “My Odessa: Paintings by Yefim Ladyzhensky.”

The Baltimore Jewish Cultural Chavurah will present a talk on how the American mass media's coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian war has influenced American attitudes toward Jews, Arabs and Muslims. The speaker will be Dr. Fred L Pincus, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He has taught and written about race and ethnic relations in the United States for more than 50 years and is a founding member of the BJCC.

 

Bring a dessert dish to share with others.

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the location and any additional questions.

Steve Kuehne, the manager of Serenity Ridge cemetery in Baltimore, will give a Zoom presentation about green burial. Steve will describe the green burial process and how Serenity Ridge works with area families to help people through their grief by fulfilling the final wishes of their loved ones. Serenity Ridge has recently established a Jewish section. Many of the green burial criteria are already met in many Jewish burial traditions and fall in line with the personal beliefs of the deceased or their family.

 

Steve is currently training for his Master Green Cemeterian Certification. He holds a few state licenses including Cemetery Counselor, Manager, and Crematory Operator. He entered mortuary school for a time but decided not to become a dedicated Mortician. The past few years he has managed cemeteries with the Archdiocese of Washington, until joining the team at Serenity Ridge.” This article discusses green burial in Maryland and can be read before the talk: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/03/28/green-burial-funeral-maryland-dc/

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the zoom link and with any additional questions.

Friday, February 2, 7:30PM – Mass Media Coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian War & Its Influence on Americans

Sunday, February 11, 10:30AM – “Green Burial”

Tuesday, January 30, 7 pm - Pursuing Justice for the Next Generation, a Panel Discussion on Juvenile Justice in Maryland

As part of Jews United for Justice's Youth Justice Shabbat and Solidarity Week, Beth Am will host a panel discussion on key issues around juvenile justice in Maryland, including media narratives and the realities of public safety and youth crime in Maryland, the current state of Maryland's juvenile justice system, and efforts to prevent children from being automatically charged as adults in Maryland, among other legislative efforts.

 

The discussion will include:

Vinny Schiraldi, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services

Jenny Egan, former Baltimore City Youth Public Defender
Gordon Park, returning citizen and Parole Advocate, Incarcerated Children's Advocacy Network

Willie Hamilton, member, Incarcerated Children's Advocacy Network

Nate Balis, Director of the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group, Annie E. Casey Foundation (moderator)

 

Beth Am's Rabbi Daniel Burg and Rabbi Tyler Dratch will offer opening and closing remarks.

 

Co-Sponsors:

Jews United for Justice

Beth Am Synagogue

Repair the World

Baltimore Jewish Cultural Chavurah

Har Sinai Oheb Shalom Congregation

Chevrei Tzedek

Kol HaLev

Beth Am Synagogue

2501 Eutaw Place (use Chauncey Avenue entrance)

Register here: https://forms.gle/eF2H5kzLZcyqyBLK7

 

Email Evan Serpick, serpick@gmail.com, with any questions.

Sunday, March 17, 10:30AM
The Israel-Hamas War After Five Months: Causes, Dynamics and Possible Solutions

Sunday March 24, 5:00PM
Purim Celebration and Potluck Dinner

Professor Robert Freedman will speak on "The Israel-Hamas War After Five Months: Causes, Dynamics and Possible Solutions". This talk, co-sponsored with the Baltimore Ethical Society, will help us to understand the complex reality of the conflict in Israel/Palestine today.

Robert Freedman is a political scientist who taught at Baltimore Hebrew University and currently teaches at the Johns Hopkins University. Freedman received his BA in Diplomatic History from the University of Pennsylvania and his MA and PhD degrees in International Relations from Columbia University.

 

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the zoom link and with any additional questions.

The BJCC will celebrate Purim with a potluck dinner. Please bring an entrée or side dish to share. We will provide Hamentashen, lasagna, and drinks. Costumes are encouraged.

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the location and with any additional questions.

Friday, April 12, 7:00 PM 
Conversos of the Southwest

David Saltzberg will present a talk entitled "Conversos of the Southwest". He will discuss how Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 eventually came to New Mexico and were rediscovered in the 20th century. He will explore their current traditions and connections to Judaism.

 

The novel Gateway to the Moon by Mary Morris is a wonderful introduction to this topic and is available from the public library.

David is a retired GI physician who also has a Masters Degree in Jewish History with a specialization in Jewish American History.

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the location and with any additional questions.

Sunday, April 28, 5:00 PM
BJCC Passover Seder

The BJCC will be holding a secular humanistic seder on Sunday, April 28, 5:00 PM at Prologue. Admission is free (donations accepted). Everyone attending is asked to bring a Passover side dish or Passover dessert to share.

 

We will provide beverages and the entrée of Peruvian chicken.

 

If your dish needs heating, please bring a warming device.

Please RSVP by April 21 to baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com to obtain the location and with any additional questions.

Sunday, May 19, 10:30 AM
Jewish Art: A Window into Jewish Life Across Time and Place

Rabbi Jodi Kornfeld will speak (via Zoom video) on Jewish Art. Jewish art can be a window into the cultures of Jews over time, space and geography. As such it can be not only decorative or utilitarian, but subversive or polemical. It can provide insight into the interaction between varying Jewish communities and the wider cultures in which they existed.

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the zoom link and with any additional questions.

Friday, June 7, 7:30 PM
“Secular Humanistic Judaism in Canada”

The Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ) is one of two national organizations of secular humanist groups based mostly in the United States. Rabbi Eva Goldfinger has been the Life Cycle and Adult Educator of Oraynu, the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Toronto, Canada. She will speak to us about how humanistic Judaism is practiced in her Canadian city.

 

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the zoom link and with any additional questions.

Sunday, June 23, 11:00 AM

Jews for a Secular Democracy:

A Jewish Perspective on Church-State Separation

Paul Golin will speak on “Jews for a Secular Democracy: A Jewish Perspective on Church-State Separation.”

Jews are among the many religious minorities whose American experiences have benefited immeasurably from the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The notion of freedom of and freedom from religion was among our Founders’ great innovations, yet it has been battled over politically ever since. In recent years, reactionary religious fundamentalists have achieved unprecedented access to governmental and judicial power, seeking to turn the clock back to a time of supremacy of one religion over all others.

 

Paul Golin is executive director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. The Jews for a Secular Democracy initiative (www.JFASD.org) galvanizes the Jewish community to defend church-state separation on issues such as abortion rights, LGBTQ+ equality, and secular education in schools.

 

Please contact us at baltimoresecularjews@gmail.com for the zoom link and with any additional questions.

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