On Sunday, Jan. 8, Or Emet member Rachel Wexelbaum will present “In the Spirit of Harvey Milk: 2022-2023 Humanistic Jewish Role Model of the Year” from 10 a.m.-noon at the Talmud Torah of St. Paul, 768 Hamline Ave. South in St. Paul. A social time will follow the program. Those who cannot attend in person may join over Zoom. Please register in advance here.
The Society for Humanistic Judaism has selected the late Harvey Milk as the 2022-2023 Humanistic Jewish Role Model of the Year. The choice of Milk has generated controversy among the Humanistic Jewish community, as Milk neither identified as a Humanistic Jew nor affiliated himself with any religious organization. Wexelbaum will demonstrate how Milk embodied Humanistic Jewish values while uplifting some contemporary LGBTQ+ Jewish activists who are equally worthy of the award.
Wexelbaum is an independent writer and researcher who focuses on LGBTQ+ and Jewish identities, histories and community building via cultural preservation, activism and Wikimedia projects. With more than 20 years’ experience as an educator, librarian and human rights advocate, she currently works as the education director at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
The Sunday adult programs are free and open to the public and meet concurrently with the Jewish Cultural Sunday School. All in-person attendees must wear a mask indoors and are expected to be up to date on vaccinations or have a same-day negative COVID test.
Or Emet is a secular congregation celebrating and honoring Jewish culture, history and values from a humanistic, inclusive perspective.