Sholem’s secular Bar/Bas Mitsve observances meet the needs of families who honor their heritage and define their Jewish identity as cultural, historical, or ethnic, rather than religious. Students in our Sunday School choose a topic for in-depth research or for significant thought. The choices reflect the individual’s areas of interest…those aspects of Jewish heritage and identity that are most meaningful at this point in the young person’s life. For more info about our program, click here.
Sholemites and guests are invited to our Purim carnival! We’ll be doing our usual pantomime reading of Sholem’s Super-Colossal Purim Mishmash shpil, adapted from megiles ester by Hershl Hartman, our Education Director. As is our tradition, our Sunday school classes will each be hosting a carnival booth.
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS:
Megile (megillah) readers! Hamantashen bringers!Cleaner-uppers!
If you can pitch in, please let us know. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
Hooray! Our annual summer meeting will be
at a charming home in Santa Monica
* * * * * It’s Summertime, and Sholem is easy. Potluck is calling, and the company is fine. Community is meeting, to plan the next season, So mark your iCal – the fourth Saturday of July.To be more specific, it’s the 24th, 10:30-ish. Prepare some food, bring your family along. Our kids can be swimming, while we are a-thinking. At Jan & Jerry’s, great to gather again after so long!
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We celebrate our ability this past year to rebound and connect with so many members and new members across So Cal and beyond. All school parents and community members are encouraged to come together to learn what’s planned and share ideas for Sholem’s 2021-2022 year. Bring something for the potluck brunch; bagels & coffee will be provided. Kids are welcome to hang out and take a dip in the pool – bring your own towels and plan to supervise them.
The most significant concepts, movements and events in modern Jewish history arose from the radical idea that Jews are not basically a faith community but, variously, a nation, a national minority or an ethnic group. Radical paths to the fulfillment of that idea still resonate to this day. We’ll trace those paths and, perhaps, stumble across ourselves.
The Jewish American experience: How world events led to the first Jewish settlement on these shores — and its radical heritage. The American revolution and history’s very first voluntary Jewish exile. A radical anti-slavery rabbi is driven out of Baltimore by Jewish big shots. Reasons for the huge immigration wave: social or economic or both? Yiddish-speaking immigrants bring radicalism along with their Jewishness.
This AP dispatch can provide background for the first part of our discussion on Jan. 31:
(Note to all participants: If you haven’t yet done so, you’re urged to learn about radical Jewish poets in the struggle for Black rights in the lecture by Prof. Amelia Glaser on “Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry From Scottsboro to Palestine.” https://youtu.be/CPo_oOY3J7A)
This virtual discussion series is led by Hershl Hartman, Sholem’s Education Director, and co-sponsored by the Workers Circle.
Sholem is offering these two Hanuka (aka Hanukkah) booklets for download. $5 each suggested donation. Click on the individual book covers below to download.
The Hidden History of Hanuka for Kids
(and Grownups too)
Written by Hershl Hartman, Sholem’s Education Director, with original illustrations by Amy Goldman Koss. This is a wonderful introduction to Hanukkah (or more simply, Hanuka) for secular families and individuals. In clear and concise descriptions, one learns about the often unknown ancient history, the story of the magic oil jar, other winter festivals of lights, plus about games, food and more. Especially geared for children but equally appealing to adults. Hidden History of Hanuka
The Hanuka Festival- A Guide for the Rest of Us
Jewish and intercultural families cannot be convinced that Hanukkah (khanike in Yiddish) is a reasonable substitute for the tinsel, glitter and sentimentality that surround Xmas, the American version of Christmas that has virtually engulfed the world.
Accordingly, it is not the purpose of this booklet to help project khanike as an “alternative Xmas” but, rather, to provide non-observant Jewish and intercultural families with a factual understanding of the festival’s origins and traditions so that it may be celebrated meaningfully and joyously in its own right.
Why “…for the rest of us”? Increasingly, Jewish Americans are identifying with their ethnic culture, rather than with the Judaic religion. At the same time, Hanuka is being projected more aggressively as a religious holiday, focused on the “Miracle of the Lights,” purporting to celebrate “history’s first victorious struggle for religious freedom,” to quote the inevitable editorial in your local newspaper. Actually, as we shall see, Hanuka is nothing of the sort. The issues of “religious freedom” vs. “national liberation” vs. “multicultural rights” were actually confronted back in the second century B.C.E., albeit with other terminology. This booklet seeks to separate fact from fancy so that those who identify with Jewish culture will not feel excluded from celebrating the festival.
Now, about the matter of spelling. The “right” way to spell it is: הכּונח . What is the “best” way to transliterate the Hebrew into English? The earliest “official” form was Chanukah or its confusing variants: Channukah and Chanukkah. Hearing non-speakers of Yiddish or Hebrew saying “tcha-noo-ka” convinced the arbiters of these things to try Hanuka and its variegated versions:
Hanukah, Hannukah, Hanukkah, etc. None of these approximate the Yiddish (Ashkenazic) pronunciation for which there is a transliteration standard: khanike. That’s the form that most satisfies the author, although he has bowed to common practice in this booklet. You are free to make your own choices. The right to be different is part of what khanike is all about…