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August 29, 2013 - Image 112

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-08-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

spirituality

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Birmingham Temple's new Rabbi
leads congregation into 50th year.

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HAPPY HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

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abbi Jeffrey L. Falick accept-
ed the post of rabbi at the
Birmingham Temple for
Humanistic Judaism effective July
1. Falick comes to the Birmingham
Temple as the congregation prepares
to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
"In every movement in organized
Jewish life he said, "there are some
institutions that represent the high-
est expression of its ideals. For
Humanistic Jews, that place is the
Birmingham Temple:'
Ordained as a Reform rabbi at the
Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati,
Falick turned to Humanistic Judaism
about 10 years ago and became active
with the movement. He currently
serves as president of the Association
of Humanistic Rabbis and is a mem-
ber of the executive committee of the
Society for Humanistic Judaism. The
SHJ is the North American arm for
the Humanistic Jewish movement,
including more than 30 congrega-
tions, communities and chavurot in
North America. SHJ is based on the
Birmingham Temple's campus in
Farmington Hills.
For 13 years, Falick was the assistant
executive director and Jewish educa-
tor of the Alper JCC in Miami. While
living and working in Florida, he was
a member and rabbinic adviser to
Congregation Beth Adam, the Boca
Raton Congregation for Humanistic
Judaism. He also taught for many years
at the Florence Melton School of Adult
Jewish Learning in Miami.
Last spring, Falick led a group of
Humanistic Jews on a tour of Israel.
This was only the latest of his more
than 30 trips to Israel.
"Zionism and Israel activism have
played an important and consistent
role in my own Jewish life said
the rabbi, who studied there. His
daughters also participated in post-
high school gap-year programs in
Jerusalem.
Falick said his recent work experi-
ence in the pluralistic environment of
Miami's Alper JCC confirmed his pas-
sion for Humanistic Judaism.
"The Humanistic Jewish approach
is the broadest, most encompassing
embrace of our Jewish identities:' he
said. "It brings to us a heightened
awareness of the richness and vari-
ety of Jewish histories and practices
across time and place. It helps us to
locate our own place in the Jewish

Rabbi Jeffrey Falick

experience.
"This approach yields wonderful
bursts of creativity in our celebrations
and ceremonies. We have learned
how to freely and sometimes radically
adapt and reposition Jewish customs
because we understand that their
value does not lie in their mere pres-
ervation. It lies in the benefits they
provide to our lives and the strength-
ening of our ties to each other. Rabbi
Sherwin Wine and the Birmingham
Temple created this. Any rabbi who
serves the congregation must under-
stand this:'
Birmingham Temple President
Lawrence Ellenbogen is excited about
celebrating the temple's 50-year anni-
versary and on into the future with
Falick.
All of us at the Birmingham Temple
are congratulating ourselves for
obtaining the services of Rabbi Falick.
He is the perfect rabbi for the temple:'
The Birmingham Temple offers
a nontheistic alternative within
Judaism. Embracing a human-cen-
tered philosophy of life that combines
the celebration of Jewish culture and
identity with an adherence to human-
istic values and ideas, the temple cre-
ates an inclusive, nurturing environ-
ment for all.



For more information about the

Birmingham Temple visit www.

birminghamtemple.org.

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