Cultural programs, Adult Activities and our Monthly Politics & Culture Forum
An active adult activities committee plans panel discussions, films, and guest speakers on a variety of subjects. They range from contemporary social/political/environmental issues to parenting tips. Politics & Culture Forums take place once a month. Recent events include a lecture and performance about Jews on Broadway; and a discussion of the history of Nazis in the United States from the 1930s until the present. Our adult education program includes stimulating lecture and discussion series, with topics that have included Jewish history from ancient times through the U.S. experience; holidays; Yiddish literature and culture; and roots and ideas of Secular Jewishness, (among others).
As part of our progressive tradition, Sholem encourages social action by its members and by its bar/bas mitzvah students. The actions have recently addressed immigration and police brutality issues. Our 2017-18 social justice theme is DACA/Dreamers.
Innovative observances of Jewish holidays are created by the Sholem Community to reflect our non-theistic approach and to meet spiritual needs. Community holiday observances mark the high points of the Jewish calendar: the New Year Festivals, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, Tu B’Shvat, and Shvues (Shavuot). The Sholem Community has a chorus and a klezmer music group which perform at holiday celebrations.
Marriage, baby-naming, bar/bas mitzvah preparation, funerals, and memorials may be officiated by Secular Jewish Leaders (vegvayzer in Yiddish, madrikhot[im] in Hebrew). The Sholem Community and its members utilize the services of education director Hershl Hartman, a certified vegvayzer, and other vegvayzer/Leaders whom he has trained.
A Sholem tradition has grown up around Mother’s Day. Each year, we celebrate the occasion with a talented performers and a tasty brunch.