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YOUTH & FAMILY 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 and their families acquire Jewish literacy, explore their Jewish identity, and create a personal pride that comes with a sense of belonging.

  • Our program combines children's education with whole family education. Designed for families with Pre-K-7th graders and their families, the Spinoza Program begins each Sunday (see schedule below) with whole family time for the first hour and continues with an hour of peer (grade-level) time with teacher-facilitators. (Please note that parent participation is highly encouraged, but optional.)

 

  • We begin as families gather at 10am in our "Family Room" (social hall) for a bagel breakfast, followed by a song session around our tables, and culminating with a special all-family topic presentation with Rabbi Falick or a guest educator. At about 11am children gather with their peers under the direction of teacher-facilitators who present follow-up activities and discussions on the topic of the day. On most Sundays, parents are invited to follow-up learning with Rabbi Falick.

  • 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!

 

2022-2023 Schedule

Sundays, 10am - Noon

Oct. 2:
Family program: Celebrate the High Holidays & Sign-Up for the Program!

 

Oct. 9:   
Sukkot: Celebrate Sukkot, the Fall Harvest Festival

 

Oct. 16:   
Simchat Torah: Unrolling and learning from the Torah

 

Oct. 23: 

Stories from the Torah and from the Midrash (interpretive tales)

Oct. 30:
Jewish Folklore: Exploring ancient and modern Jewish (and other) stories 

 

Nov. 6:
Humanism & Humanistic Judaism, Pt. 1: Basic values of Humanism that contribute to our Humanistic Jewish ideas and traditions. 

 

Nov. 13:

Humanism & Humanistic Judaism, Pt. 2: Basic values of Humanism that contribute to our Humanistic Jewish ideas and traditions. 

 

Nov. 20:
The Art of Jewish Spaces:  Art and architecture of the ancient Jewish temple and today’s Jewish synagogues

 

Dec. 4:
Jewish Graphic Arts: Learn how artists like Marc Chagall and Yaakov Agam tell the stories of Judaism

 

Dec. 11:
Jewish Ritual Arts:  Jewish objects like the mezuzah, menorah, Havdalah set, and more

 

FRIDAY - Dec. 16 - 6:30pm:

Our Spinoza celebration of Chanukah will take place in conjunction with the congregation-wide "Souper Supper" Chanukah program with enhanced activities for children.

Jan. 8:

Jewish Ritual Arts:  Jewish objects like the mezuzah, menorah, Havdalah set, and more


Jan. 22:
Jewish Peoplehood: Being part of a big and diverse Jewish family!

 

Jan. 29:

Jews in America: How and when did Jews come to America?

Feb 5.:
Celebrating Tu B’Shevat: Jewish environmentalism and “the birthday of the trees”

 

Feb. 12:
Jews from History: The Jews of the Golden Age of Spain

 

March 5:
Purim Celebration with "Mad Science"!

 

March 19:
Jews Around the World: Jewish life in Israel

 

April 2:
Celebrating Passover: Our annual model Humanistic Seder

 

April 16:
Jewish Life Cycle, Pt. 1: Naming ceremonies and learning our own Hebrew names, or receiving them for the first time

 

April 23:
Jewish Life Cycle, Pt. 2: What is a B’mitzvah?

 

April 30:
Jewish Life Cycle, Pt. 3: Jewish weddings, ancient and modern

 

May 7:
Shalom U’litra’ot (Shalom … we’ll see you soon!): We’ll wrap up with presentations and a goodbye party

GIVE YOUR CHILD AND YOURSELVES THE GIFT OF A HUMANISTIC
JEWISH EDUCATION!

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!

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