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.

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