Jan. 2020 study group


  The January study group will be about this year’s Society for Humanistic Judaism’s Secular Humanistic Jewish Role model of the year.  This year’s role model is the famous Israeli novelist Amos Oz.  A Tale of Love and Darkness  (It was made into a movie.)  is probably his most famous, although many of his works have served for a moral guidepost for people.
The study group will be at Ellie’s  on Sunday , January 12th at 3 pm.  Please feel free to contact me if you need directions or have any questions. (585-329-3305, baswan@aol.com)
Looking forward to seeing you.
 Shalom, Barry

Friday’s Hanukah Celebration

Shalom. Beth Haskalah’s Hanukah celebration will be on Friday, December 27th at 6 pm at Ellie’s, in the social kitchen area. Remember to bring your khanukiah (menorah). Also bring your own place settings for dinner.

We have latkes, applesauce, and sour cream taken care of. Please let me know if you are able to be with us (and how many) and what you are bringing to the vegan potluck dinner.
Please call me at 585-329-3305 or baswan@aol.com if you have any questions . (Directions or location or anything else.)

Looking forward to seeing you.

Shalom, Barry Swan madrikh

Beth Haskalah Rosh Hashanah Observance

The summer is winding down and the very late High Holidays are coming soon. We may start to assess ourselves on how we lived this past year.
This is the end of a year of challenges beyond our expectations. We have to continue to adjust to these changes.
I get many internet offerings concerning the many responses that come from the various segment of the Jewish world. Many of them have parts that are bolstering our view of our Jewish lives. Some are “right on the mark” and totally amplify the value of our humanistic Jewish point of view.
I will bring examples of these (printed) to our High Holiday services. You will be able to see the variety of possibilities open to us because parts of the Jewish world have been making more investments in actively making our world better. A example is the “Never Again Action” movement, even a “Never Again Rochester” group on Facebook. (This will also be discussed at our first study group on Oct. 13th.) Please feel free to bring your own unique links for the group, to either the study group or services.

Rosh Hashanah will be celebrated on Sunday, September 29th at 5 pm.  We will have our service and then have our usual vegan put luck.   Please contact me so I can direct you to the location and discuss what to bring for the vegan pot luck.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Rosh Hashanah. Please contact me if you have any concerns or questions.
Shalom, Barry Swan, Madrikh

baswan@aol.com   585-329-3305


Study Group , Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019


Our first study group of the year will be on Sunday, October 13 at 7pm .  (Call me- Barry Swan for directions.  585-329-3305   Our first study group of the year is usually an affirmation of our secular humanistic Jewish values.  This year we may do this by appraising the ways that we can activate these values in our lives.  This has been a particularly turbulent year and we must choose how we respond to its challenges.

Our first study group will be a discussion of the ways we can participate in both local and national (or worldwide) activities which promote our values.  We can discuss activities which emerge from our humanistic values as well as our Jewish values.

We can see that there are many opportunities.  We will discuss a great variety of opportunities with varying levels of explanations.  I know that many individuals in our group have both ideas and specific contacts which may be presented to the group.

While adding to the list of our own personal options, we will also see the possibilities of our participation in a group Beth Haskalah activity.  The Jewish community, which has had issues dividing it, seems to have come together over immigration.  The “Never Again” movement  has been spurred on by a serious Jewish youth response.  It has affected Jewish youth like no movement in recent memory.  Jewish congregations and other organizations have joined together to invoke the tragic memory of the helpless Jews who could not find a refuge.  This issue has resonated with Jewish youth.

An example is an article on the SHJ temple in Detroit.:
The Birmingham Temple, Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Detroit, MI featured in a Detroit Jewish News Article.

Please bring your ideas to this discussion.  I am looking forward to this discussion.
Shalom , Barry Swan          baswan@aol.com

Humanistic Vegan Seder- Saturday

Our seder for Pesach (Passover) this year will be Saturday, April 20th 6 pm at the Brighton Town Park Lodge, 777 Westfall Road (just east of the Islamic Center/ mosque on Westfall Road).*
Our seder will be a joint seder with the Rochester Area Vegan Society.   All foods will be vegan.  Please share with Ellie Cherin what you will be bringing when you RSVP.
For non-members of Beth Haskalah or the Rochester Area Vegan Society:
      —Please bring a vegan dish to pass that satisfies the special Passover seder rules, so: no meat, poultry, fish,  eggs, dairy products, gelatin or honey, and
  no wheat products (no wheat pasta, bread, crackers, or cookies), except for matzoh and matzoh meal (but no egg matzoh!)
         -Please pay a $5 guest fee (if not a member of Beth Haskalah or Vegan Society)
      —Please RSVP to Ellie Cherin at  esalmirs357@gmail.com or 585-271-2116
FOR EVERYONE:  Please confirm you are coming, how many people you will be bringing (so you can have  a certain number of seats for your family at one table), and what you will bring to the seder to share.
You may want to bring your place settings. (dish, silverware, glass/cup).
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Other questions may be directed to me, Barry Swan (329-3305) Thank you.
*The Brighton Town Park Lodge (Carmen Clark Lodge) is located on the south side of Westfall Road between East Henrietta Road (15A) to the west and S. Clinton Rd. to the east. Look for “Brighton Town Park” sign. The driveway leading to the Lodge is called “Haudenosaunee Trail.” The lodge is a log-cabin type building set in a park with playground equipment and an outdoor pavilion. No alcohol is allowed in the Brighton Town Park Lodge.
Shalom, Barry
Barry SWAN

Jan. 19-BH Study Group on George Soros

Shalom. The Beth Haskalah study group for January will be on Sunday, January 13th at 7 pm at Ellie’s. Please call me at 585-329-3305 for directions.

We will be looking at the complicated issue of George Soros. He was a penniless Holocaust survivor who became the amazing investor who “broke the Bank of England”, although he would rather have been a philosopher. He was also investing heavily in post-Soviet Europe, attempting to spread democracy there. His actions included founding a university in Hungary to support the free exchange of ideas. This was so controversial that the university has been expelled from Hungary.

To further complicate the perception of George Soros, the conservative right has decided to use him like previous generations used the Rothschild family. 21st century anti-semitism has been linked to another Jew, George Soros, as well as the concept of globalism.

See you on the 13th next year.

Shalom, Barry

Fall 2018 Beth Haskalah Study Group

Beth Haskalah’s study group meets the second Sunday evening of the month.  Since the second Sunday in September is Rosh Hashanah, our first meeting will be Sunday, October 14th.  All the details will be forthcoming.
One change in our study group will be for November when we will combine out study group with a Shabbat dinner.  Our discussion will be about the recent events in Israel from the  “Israel as a Jewish nation” announcement, Gaza and the world’s response, Netanyahu’s legal problems, the effect of the Syrian war, African refugees, the Orthodox communities’ effect of both legal and everyday issues, and others.   More information will be available soon.
Please call  if you have any question (585-329-3305 or baswan@aol.com).
Shalom, Barry Swan, madrikh

Beth Haskalah Calendar 2018-2019 (5779)


BETH HASKALAH Calendar 2019 – 2020 (5780)


Rosh Hashanah  Sun., Sept. 29, 5 pm Goldsteins’

Yom Kippur        Wed. , Oct 9, 6 pm “Break the Fast”. Cherin’s

Sukkot     Sunday, Oct.. 13,

Hanukah                Friday, Dec. 27, 6 pm Cherin’s

Tu B’Shevat Seder    Monday, Feb. 10      in Sunday School

Purim                  Wednesday, March 11 in Sunday School

Passover               Thursday, Apr. 9, 6 pm Brighton Town Park

Study Groups     2nd Sundays   Ellie’s

Time: 7 pm, except for Dec, Jan, & Feb- 3 pm

9/8,  10/13, 11/10, 12/8, 1/12, 2/9, 3/8, 4/12, 5/10, 6/14
Shabbat  Celebrations:   Fall: Friday, Spring:


BH Board Meetings:

Sunday School Meeting TBA


Humanistic High Holiday Services

Humanistic High Holiday Services

Even though the surplus of heat and humidity do not even hint that autumn is coming, the calendar tells us the Jewish New Year is on its way.

As Humanist Jews, we can use this time to review the last year. We can review the good things we have done and plan how we will make this next year even better. We can also assess what we did this year which we should not have done and what we should have done which we did not.

The Jewish High Holidays for 5779 are:

Rosh Hashanah on Sunday, September 9th at 5 pm.
Yom Kippur “Break the Fast” on Wednesday, September 19th.

For Rosh Hashanah, we will have our
service starting at 5 pm, to be followed
by our potluck. To err is
We will celebrate Yom Kippur with a short human, “Breaking the Fast” service at 6 pm To forgive, before breaking our fast. human. Call me (585-329-3305)
if you have any questions.

Please contact me (Barry Swan 585-329-3305, baswan@aol.com) to get more information including driving directions. Please also let me know how many people will attend and what you will bring to the potluck. [If you need help deciding what to bring to the vegan potluck, Ellie may be able to help you. (585-271-2116)]

Looking forward to seeing you.

Shalom, Barry Swan, madrikh, Beth Haskalah