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August 26, 2010 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-08-26

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August 26 • 2010

Workmen's Circle answers call
for secular Jewish education.


n answer to requests from mem-
bers and friends, the Workmen's
Circle will begin its new Circle
Family Education Program (Family
Circle) on Sunday, Sept.12. The Family
Circle will run a monthly family edu-
cation program, including a Sunday
school program for children (ages
4-10) and an educational experience
for accompanying adults, which will
be held at the Jewish Community
Center in Oak Park, also home to
Workmen's Circle.
The program is
based on a secular
cultural Jewish
foundation. Daniella
HarPaz Mechnikov
will be directing the
program and teach-
ing the children's
"We are offer-
ing an opportunity
for down-to-earth family education
to foster proud Jewish children; an
education based on heritage and cul-
ture and that is open to your family's
beliefs, ethnicity and gender diversity,"
Mechnikov said.
"This is a very
exciting time for us
at the Workmen's
Circle said Arlene
Frank, president of
the Workmen's Circle
Michigan. "We are
offering more pro-
Arlene Frank
gramming for young
families who are
looking for support in leading secular
Jewish lives. This is at the core of the
Workmen's Circle mission. We have
years of experience educating secular
culturally and historically literate

Music For Kids

Jewish kids."
According to Mechnikov, there are
many people in the community who
identify as Jewish, but who are not
affiliated with a synagogue, either
because their multi-religious family
affiliations make it difficult for them
to find the right fit or because they are
philosophically opposed to organized
religious practice. She says Workmen's
Circle offers a connection point for
these Jews who wish to be involved in
Jewish culture, holiday celebrations
and education.
"For some, Yiddish culture and heri-
tage is the main entry point; for some
it is childhood memories and foods;
for some it is a love of Jewish history;
and for others, it is a culturally imbed-
ded desire to be actively involved in
social justice programming. Whatever
the connection, they are welcomed
by the Family Circle program at the
Workmen's Circle," she said.
Mechnikov has been a family edu-
cator in the Jewish community in
Detroit for the past eight years and
has taught Yiddish for the Workmen's
Circle in Michigan for four years as
well as having taught both adults and
children for the Workmen's Circle in
Boston for several years.
The Workmen's Circle is an organiza-
tion that fosters identity, community,
social justice and education and the
arts through Jewish and Yiddish cul-
ture, education, friendship and the
pursuit of social and economic justice.
To learn more about the Family
Circle program and about other
offerings from the Workmen's Circle,
including Yiddish classes, go to www.
circlemichigan.org , call (248) 432-
5677 or e-mail micirclel@gmail.

Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park will offer Suzuki Music
Wednesdays, 12:30-4 p.m., beginning Sept.15, for 11 weeks. The cost
is $185 plus $10 per week for Suzuki group lessons (ages 3-6). The
class will provide an introduction to classical composers and artists.
Instructors Susan Gartenberg and Trish Canner will engage the chil-
dren into the realm of classical music through dance, art and stories
about the composers as well as learning about the instrumentation and
orchestration of music. Jonathan Traines will teach a group Suzuki vio-
lin lesson at 3:30; an adult must accompany and learn alongside each
child at this lesson. Call Beth Shalom: (248) 547-7970.

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