Or Emet to host online program on golem literature

On Sunday, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m.-noon, Or Emet members Michal Moskow and Scott Chazdon will present an online program on the Jewish mythological golem story, its connection with Jewish mystical mathematics, the appearance of golems in literature, as well as more recent interpretations of the golem myth by female Jewish authors. 

Due to concerns about the Omicron variant, this program will be via Zoom only. Please register in advance here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Prague golem reproduction

Reproduction of Prague golem (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Golem stories originated in the rabbinic literature and became part of the Jewish folktale tradition. The most famous golem is that of Rabbi Judah Loew, the Maharal of 16th-century Prague, featuring the golem as a large, powerful, humanoid created from clay to save the Jewish people from outward danger.

Moskow is a professor at Metropolitan State University and is still rostered at the University of Gothenburg. Her major areas include social linguistics and human rights. 

Chazdon knew nothing about golems before the Or Emet Book Club started reading novels about them. He is a sociologist and program evaluator for University of Minnesota Extension, and former president of Or Emet.

The Sunday adult programs are free and open to the public, and meet concurrently with Or Emet’s Jewish Cultural Sunday School. 

Or Emet is a secular congregation celebrating and honoring Jewish culture, history and values from a humanistic, inclusive perspective. For information about Or Emet’s Jewish Cultural Sunday School, contact JCS director Arty Dorman at school-1@oremet.org

For information about Or Emet, email info@oremet.org or visit oremet.org.

Program to focus on interfaith coalition’s work to ensure religious diversity in Minnesota’s social studies standards

On Saturday, Jan. 8, Or Emet will host a Shabbat service followed by a presentation on the work by an interfaith coalition to ensure that diverse world religions be included in Minnesota’s school social studies standards.

The service, led by Eva Cohen, Or Emet’s ritual leader and a Humanistic rabbi-in-training, will begin at 10 a.m. at the Sabes Jewish Community Center, 4330 South Cedar Lake Rd., St. Louis Park. 

Ethan Roberts

Following the service, Ethan Roberts, director of government affairs for the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Minnesota and the Dakotas, will discuss the work by the JCRC and its interfaith partners to ensure that Minnesota’s full religious diversity, including Judaism, be included in the state’s social studies standards and benchmarks for middle school and high school students. 

According to the JCRC website, the council is “very concerned that without the inclusion of specific world religions in the standards, world religions will be inadequately taught in classrooms and members of faiths whose religions have historically been marginalized, erased or ignored by society will continue to be unseen and discounted.”

All attendees must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test. Plans are subject to change based on CDC and state guidelines. Those who cannot attend in person may join over Zoom. Please register in advance here.

Or Emet is a secular congregation celebrating and honoring Jewish culture, history, and values from a humanistic, inclusive perspective. For more information about Or Emet, email info@oremet.org or visit oremet.org

Or Emet to host program on Birobidzhan: The Siberian Jewish ‘homeland’

On Sunday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m.-noon, Or Emet will host a presentation by Or Emet member Don Larsson about Birobidzhan, a community in Siberia created by the Stalin-era Soviet government specifically for Jewish settlers.

War memorial in Birobidzhan

War memorial in Birobidzhan. “Birobidzhan” is in Russian on the left and Yiddish on the right. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The program will be at the Talmud Torah of St. Paul, 768 Hamline Ave. South in St. Paul. Those who cannot attend in person may join over Zoom. Please register in advance here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

During the program, Larsson will discuss why and how the Birobidzhan region was founded and settled in the 1930s, and what has happened to it since then.

Don Larsson

Don Larsson

A professor emeritus of English at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Larsson taught literature, film and humanities for 34 years. Since retiring, he’s returned to his love of acting and theater and has appeared in several metro-area productions.

The Sunday adult programs are free and open to the public and meet concurrently with the Jewish Cultural School. Everyone is required to wear a mask and show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the previous 72 hours. 

Or Emet is a secular congregation celebrating and honoring Jewish culture, history and values from a humanistic, inclusive perspective. For information about Or Emet’s Jewish Cultural School, contact JCS director Arty Dorman at school-1@oremet.org

For information about Or Emet, email info@oremet.org or visit oremet.org.

 

Or Emet to host Shabbat service, program on giants of Yiddish literature

Please note: Due to a predicted snowstorm Friday night into Saturday morning, Or Emet’s Shabbat service and program on Saturday, Dec. 11, will be held over Zoom only. Please register in advance. Program details are otherwise the same (see below).

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Or Emet continues its fall programming on Saturday, Dec. 11, with a Humanistic Sabbath service, followed by a program on I.L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem, two literary giants of Yiddish literature. The service, led by Eva Cohen, Or Emet’s ritual leader and a Humanistic rabbi-in-training, will begin at 10 a.m. at the Sabes Jewish Community Center, 4330 South Cedar Lake Rd., St. Louis Park.

Lea Kalisch

Lea Kalisch

The program will feature readings (in English) from classic stories by I.L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem by Lea Kalisch, a professional actress and singer, a veteran of New York’s Yiddish Theater and a recent performer at the Six Points Theater (formerly Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company). Or Emet members Barry Cohen and Molly Wilbur-Cohen also will provide commentary on the life and work of the two most influential authors of Yiddish literature. 

Kalisch, also known as the shtreimel (fur hat) girl, creates multicultural, multilingual art that blends Yiddishkayt with Latino flavor and New York swag. She believes that each of us can embrace multiple cultures and disparate passions. Kalisch, quoting her beloved Yiddish, says “Men ken nisht tantsn af zvey khasenes mit eyn tukhes!” which translates to “You can’t dance at two weddings with one butt,” but Kalisch can, or at least she tries.

All attendees must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test. Plans are subject to change based on CDC and state guidelines. Those who cannot attend in person may join over Zoom. Please register in advance.

Or Emet is a secular congregation celebrating and honoring Jewish culture, history, and values from a humanistic, inclusive perspective. For more information about Or Emet, email info@oremet.org or visit oremet.org

Or Emet to Host Program on Understanding Between Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims

On Sunday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m.-noon, Or Emet will host a presentation by Fred Schlomka, CEO of the Green Olive Collective, a social enterprise and collective of Israelis and Palestinians working together for a just peace. The organization advocates for progressive change through tours and special events, both on the ground and online.

The program will be at the Talmud Torah of St. Paul, 768 Hamline Ave. South in St. Paul. Those who cannot attend in person may join over Zoom. Register in advance here.

Schlomka, whose family originated in Palestine, has had a career in the business world and nonprofit organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. He established Green Olive Tours in 2007 and became CEO of the Green Olive Collective in 2013. 

After growing up in Scotland and living in the U.S. for many years, Schlomka’s passion for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine led him to move there in 2000 with his family. For his complete bio, please see his online profile.

The Sunday adult programs are free and open to the public and meet concurrently with the Jewish Cultural School. Everyone is required to wear a mask and show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the previous 72 hours. 

Or Emet is a secular congregation celebrating and honoring Jewish culture, history and values from a humanistic, inclusive perspective. For information about Or Emet’s Jewish Cultural School, contact JCS director Arty Dorman at school-1@oremet.org

For information about Or Emet, email info@oremet.org or visit oremet.org.