Double Anniversaries: A Celebratory Weekend with Paul Golin October 11-14

During this special October weekend, Or Emet will be remembering our roots and celebrating our successes. We have been affiliated with the Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ) for thirty years, Humanistic Judaism is celebrating fifty years, and we are delighted that Paul Golin, Executive Director of SHJ will be the featured speaker at several presentations and events. For nearly two decades, Paul Golin has helped Jewish organizations and movements better understand the key trends affecting North American Jewry, including intermarriage, engagement, disaffiliation, and inclusion.

While Paul is here, members will celebrate Or Emet’s 30th anniversary with special recognitions for Dr. Harold Londer, Or Emet’s first Madrikh and co-founder, as well as Lionel Davis, pianist through 2011 and continuing as recorder soloist. Additional toasts will be offered to Or Emet volunteers in SHJ level positions and to our ritual leadership team.

Paul Golin will deliver three presentations that are free and open to all:

Thursday, October 11
How Do We Envision and Build a Thriving Humanistic/Secular Future
  7:00 pm First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis

Polls show an increasing percentage of Americans leaving traditional religion. So why does it feel like our nation is becoming a religious theocracy? The fundamentalists have a clear vision for a “Christian America.” What is our vision for a positive secular society? Join a panel of leaders for an interactive conversation exploring visions of a future in which many more Americans will identify as humanistic/secular/ freethinker/ atheist/agnostic/none. 

Panelists Moderator: Paul Golin; Rev. David Breeden, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis ; Audrey Kingstrom, President, Humanists of Minnesota; Eva Cohen, Ritual Leader and Rabbinic Candidate, Or Emet: MN Congregation for Humanistic Judaism

Friday, October 12

Religion Out of Government! Jews for a Secular Democracy   7:30 pm Sabes Jewish Community Center, St. Louis Park

The surest safeguard of all U.S. citizens’ rights is a government neutral to religion including those with no religion. Jews have a unique role in this effort. Jews for a Secular Democracy is a new, pluralistic initiative for Jews, friends and family, who are deeply concerned about the growing influence of religious fundamentalism on government policy-making. 

Moderator: Paul Golin, program lead on Jews for a Secular Democracy; Panelist: David Schultz, constitutional lawyer and Professor, Department of Political Science, Hamline University 

They will discuss the unique role we have in defending the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.

Sunday, October 14

The Light Within Us: What Humanistic Jews Want Their Children to Know About Being Jewish

10:00 am to 12:30 pm at St. Paul Talmud Torah — (program is concurrent with Jewish Cultural School)

How is Secular and Humanistic Jewish education different from traditional Jewish education? Paul Golin will lead a discussion about secular Jewish vs. traditional Jewish education, drawing on participant experiences with their own religious educations (or lack thereof) as well as the experiences of their children. We’ll talk about the goals of education as a means to build our children’s ethical foundations, critical-thinking skills, and as a way to understand where they fit into the broad sweep of Jewish history.

On Saturday evening, October 13, Or Emet members will celebrate many organizational milestones (location TBA), with Paul as a special guest. Following a Havdalah service, we will have a potluck dinner to commemorate Or Emet’s 30th  anniversary, talk about plans for the April 2019 festivities in Michigan to honor SHJ’s 50th anniversary as well as toasts to Harold Londer, Lionel Davis, and Or Emet’s ritual leaders along with SHJ leadership for their many contributions to the Or Emet community.

Or Emet 2018 High Holiday Services and events

The High Holidays open the Jewish year with the most important message of Jewish history: human dignity is not the gift of destiny; it is a human achievement, requiring courage and self-reliance. Only human will and intelligence can tame the environment, making it less terrifying and conducive to happiness. While some things are beyond our control, others may be conquerable.

Erev Rosh Hashanah – Sunday, September 9 at 7 pm

Tashlich Rosh Hashanah – Monday, September 10 at 10:30 am (at a member home). Potluck lunch after the service. This is a member event; reservations are required by September 9. Visitors may attend with prior arrangement – contact

Kol Nidre – Tuesday, September 18 at 7 pm

Yom Kippur – Wednesday, September 19 at 4 pm

Break-the-fast at conclusion of the Yom Kippur service. A light dairy break-fast will be provided by Or Emet. Reservations are required by September 15. The break-fast is for members and visitors with prior arrangement. Suggested donations to defray cost of food: $5 adults, $3, free for children 3-13 years old – exact change or check, please.

All events (except Tashlich) are at Sabes JCC 4330 Cedar Lake Rd South, St. Louis Park 55416

Reservations are required for Tashlich and Break-Fast. For late reservations and/or for further information email

Annual meeting and potluck picnic June 3, 2018

The day begins at 10:00 am with a group song before children are dismissed to attend Jewish Cultural school classes.

Or Emet’s annual business meeting and elections will be from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.

At 12:30, immediately after the meeting concludes, the picnic kicks off until approximately 2:30 pm.

Families are invited to enjoy the picnic and Talmud Torah’s playground/playfields. Tables will be available or you could bring blankets to spread out on the grass. In the event of rain we’ll picnic in the Talmud Torah gym.

This is an entirely volunteer event so we depend on people pitching in to help! When reserving for the picnic, you can sign up to help with a variety of tasks including setting up/taking down picnic tables (onto Talmud Torah’s grounds/returning to the building).

Members and interested visitors are welcome to attend the annual meeting. Online picnic reservations can be made at There is no deadline for reservations.

The day’s events will be at Talmud Torah of St. Paul
768 Hamline Ave South, St. Paul 55116 — click for a map

A Musical Shabbat featuring a performance by Les Block and Heidi Ziman – April 20, 2018

A Musical Tribute to George Gershwin: Featuring Songs of Gershwin and His Friends by Les Block, Pianist and Producer with Heidi Ziman, Singer

Les Block has produced musical shows honoring Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and  Irving Berlin. Les has interviewed music legends for a radio program  tribute to Johnny Mercer.  He currently sings and plays piano at cabaret evenings and performs with singing  partner Heidi Ziman for residents of retirement and nursing homes. 

Singer  Heidi Ziman is a performer’s performer, bringing stunning energy and mischievous humor to her work.  She is also a cabaret artist who loves to perform in intimate settings where she can have strong rapport with her audience.

Les and Heidi have performed many times for Or Emet with shows featuring Jewish contributions to the great American songbook. In this program, they will show how George Gershwin made major contributions through his own compositions and also through his generous support of other great songwriters.

A short Humanistic Jewish Sabbath service will precede the program, which is free and open to the public. An Oneg Shabbat reception will follow. Donations are especially welcome.

April 20, 2018 – 7:30 pm at Sabes Jewish Community Center, St. Louis Park


Or Emet Passover Seder – March 31, 2018

Or Emet Seder Celebrates Passover in the Humanistic Tradition 

On March 31 at 5-8 pm, Or Emet’s potluck Passover Seder will be held at The First Unitarian Society, 900 Mt. Curve Avenue, Mpls, MN 55403

Or Emet’s Seder celebrates Passover with a Humanistic Jewish service led by Eva Cohen, Rabbinic Candidate and Ritual Leader. We read from a Humanist Haggadah, which includes both the legendary tale of the exodus from Egypt and modern Jewish exodus stories. Children from the Jewish Cultural School, adults and families all share in the festivities.

Or Emet members and visitors are invited to join us for a meal of traditional Passover foods, roast turkey, and vegetarian alternatives. Everyone contributes to the potluck. Since Passover originated as an agricultural festival of unleavened bread and later a celebration of freedom and renewal, we request only unleavened food contributions.

Registration is March 14 until March 28 (or until maximum number is reached). Reservations are required, capacity is limited, and members receive priority. If interested in attending, send email with contact information to

This event is planned, organized, and staffed by volunteers so we depend on people pitching in to help. Please sign-up to help with tasks such as welcoming, arranging table place settings, helping with food and the buffet, cleanup.

Recommended Fees

Members – $10 per family $5 for individual attendees; Visitors – $15 for adults/teens; $10 for children 5-13 yrs; free for children under 5 years; $50 family maximum. Additional donations are welcome!

For questions, contact

We look forward to celebrating Passover with you!