YOUTH EDUCATION — THE SPINOZA* PROGRAM
A positive, enriching, Jewish cultural education with an emphasis on Humanistic values
Through Jewish music, customs, holidays, stories, Hebrew, and history our goal is help our children acquire Jewish literacy, explore their Jewish identity, and create a personal pride that comes with a sense of belonging.
Children may enroll in the program as early as pre-school and continue through seventh grade. As they approach the age of thirteen they may prepare for a B'Mitzvah with regular tutoring by Rabbi Falick (in person and online ... for detailed information about the B'Mitzvah program click here).
8th - 12th grade students can participate in our social justice-oriented teen program.
Our program respects students with mixed identities and heritages.
The Spinoza Program is a benefit of membership. We do not charge tuition beyond small materials fees.
Our program is organized around weekly themed topics so if a participant misses a Sunday there's no need to "catch up!"
Some of our activities will include a family learning component with the children or with parents and Rabbi Falick.
Here are this year's Sunday topics!
Sundays, 10am - Noon
Family program: Celebrate the High Holidays & Sign-Up for the Program!
Sukkot: Celebrate Sukkot, the Fall Harvest Festival
Simchat Torah: Unrolling and learning from the Torah
What is Midrash? Creating “Midrash” stories that teach values
Jewish Folklore: Exploring ancient and modern Jewish tales
Humanism & Humanistic Judaism: Basic values of Humanism that contribute to our Humanistic Jewish ideas and traditions
Humanistic Jews in Science: Meet two of the most famous Humanistic Jews of all time … Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan
The Art of Jewish Spaces: Art and architecture of the ancient Jewish temple and today’s Jewish synagogues
Jewish Graphic Arts: Learn how artists like Marc Chagall and Yaakov Agam tell the stories of Judaism
Jewish Ritual Arts: Jewish objects like the mezuzah, menorah, Havdalah set, and more
Coming to America: How and when did the Jewish community grow in America?
Living in America: What different kinds of Jews are there in America? What do they believe?
Jewish Peoplehood: Being part of a big and diverse Jewish family!
Celebrating Tu B’Shevat: Jewish environmentalism and “the birthday of the trees”
Jews Around the World, Pt. 1: The Jews of the Golden Age of Spain
Jews Around the World, Pt. 2: The Jews of Africa … from Morocco to Ethiopia
Jews Around the World, Pt. 3: Jewish life in Israel
Celebrating Passover: Our annual model Humanistic Seder
Jewish Life Cycle, Pt. 1: Naming ceremonies and learning our own Hebrew names, or receiving them for the first time
Jews Around the World, Pt. 2: What is a B’mitzvah?
Jews Around the World, Pt. 3: Jewish weddings, ancient and modern
Shalom U’litra’ot (Shalom … we’ll see you soon!): We’ll wrap up with presentations and a goodbye party
GIVE YOUR CHILD A HUMANISTIC
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 248.477.1410 OR
*Baruch “Benedict” Spinoza (1632-1677) is considered by many to be the first modern Jew. During his short life, his fame as a philosopher would grow to worldwide proportions. However, Spinoza’s beginnings were in the modest Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam, made up of the descendants of Jewish refugees exiled from their homes.
Though raised to be a traditional Jewish scholar, as a young man Spinoza began to ask “dangerous” questions about Jewish teachings. He proposed that humans had written the Bible and that Jewish law and religion were created by people. Soon his community began to view his ideas as dangerous and they denounced him as a heretic. As a result, he was excommunicated, forced to leave behind everyone he knew and loved. Today the entire world remembers him as one of the most important rationalists and free-thinkers in human history. And that’s why we named our program after him!