We have established a task force and are responsive to the science and respectful of the health of our members. We continue to explore meaningful ways to engage with our community and fulfill our mission.
Folkshul is a welcoming and joyful Secular Humanistic Jewish community that transmits the values of social justice and human responsibility.
We welcome all who want to be part of our Jewish community including, but not limited to, folks who are: culturally Jewish, agnostic, atheist, spiritual, self-identified Jewish, Jew~ish, Jew-curious, in an interfaith family, LGBTQ, leaving Judaism, returning to Judaism, freethinkers, humanists, grandparents, singles, couples, parents-trying-to-give-their-kids-good-values-and-a-cultural-identity-in-a-non-religious-setting.
Our theme for this year is Shmita with Kavanah - Intentional Rest/Renewal/Recovery
Shmita is the 7th year that farmers lay their land fallow (like a sabbatical) in order for the earth to renew itself.
Folkshul has chosen to embrace a Shmita mindset for our theme this year - to create a curricular and communal framework based in the ancient Jewish tradition of thinking and behaviors that honored our humanity and relationships to each other and the environment. We will honor the shmita year with many activities that embrace the core values of Shmita: freedom, rest, and renewal of the earth.
Two years ago our theme was Kavanah - thoughtful intention. This is aiming and setting your intention to understand the complexity and depth of challenges and therefore approaching the world with intellect, kindness and compassion.
In the Jewish cycle of time Shmita is the “year of release,” which is more widely known as the sabbatical year. The next Shmita falls in the Jewish year 5782, which begins on Sept. 7, 2021.
By embracing Shmita with Kavanah Folkshul joins Jewish communities all over the globe!
Last week we celebrated Sukkot in our Folkshul designed Sukkah!
We learned about the Shmita and decorated the Sukkah. We folk-danced, made paper chains and hung them, created crafts, and had a sing along with Art, always the highlight of our Sunday mornings!
The Lulav and the Etrog
Sukkot, which ends Monday, September 27), has two beautiful ritual elements. One of these is the ritual of shaking the Lulav—a palm frond with willows and myrtles attached—and an Etrog a fragrant citron (looks a bit like a lemon). And, iconically, there is the Sukkah itself with its reminders of the ancient fall harvest, a time when people would keep watch over their crops from temporary dwellings in the middle of fields. These rituals speak to the holiday’s themes of gratitude for the change of seasons and the circle of life and connecting to nature.
At Home in a Hut: We can all help!
The story of the children of Israel used sukkot (plural of sukkah) as their temporary homes while traveling through the desert. Instead of constructing your own temporary space — or in addition to it — you can help someone else acquire a permanent home. Habitat for Humanity, runs building projects in many urban areas. There are also many Jewish organizations that address homelessness and poverty, such as the numerous groups that are part of the https://www.jewishsocialjustice.org/mission
Other service programs in your community may help individuals transition from homeless shelters into homes by collecting housewares and other necessary items. The acknowledgement that there are those in our communities who have no shelter at all can bring a meaningful awareness to your celebration.
Our inclusive, Secular Humanistic Jewish community invites you to participate in our programming for adults, whether you have a child in our Sunday School or not. Adult Community activities include: restaurant club, local outings, study groups, mahjong, film screenings, speakers series, Zumba, and more!
We take pride in welcoming all who wish to grow, celebrate, and find comfort in Jewish life cycle ceremonies. We'll work with you to identify and personalize Jewish texts and rituals. Together, we'll create an individualized ceremony that is a reflection of you and your family's values and traditions.
We facilitate Baby Welcoming/Naming Ceremonies, Weddings/Commitment Ceremonies, Funerals and Memorial Services. Our B'nai Mitzvah program is the only of its kind in the region. Teens select a topic related to Judaism and spend a year with a 1 on 1 mentor crafting a presentation for their friends, family, and community.
At Folkshul, we interpret Jewish holiday celebrations through a Secular Humanistic lens. Our intergenerational holiday celebrations combine Jewish traditions with current events and secular music. Instead of worshipping, we reflect on the lessons of the holidays and how they inform our commitment to Tikkun Olam—repairing the world.
As a community, we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukah, Tu BiShvat, Purim, and Passover. We also perform acts of service to mark Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.