Teen Tzedakah Group shows off backpacks ready for Mercy Center school kids.
Rosh Hashanah eve service ends with a blessing and an Oneg.
The shofar is heard at CHJ Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Family Services.
Members all play a role in making the congregation work. Read about how CHJ is organized.
Members meet for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Sherwood Island State Park.
Celebrating nature at the Tu B’Shvat seder is a joyous event filled with music and good food.
Hannukah is the eight-day Jewish winter celebration. For Humanistic Jews, Hannukah is a tribute to human power and courage. Judah Maccabee was a man who was willing to fight for what he believed, although like his enemy Antiochus Epiphanes, he was a religious zealot who denied freedom of worship to those who opposed him. Despite… Read More
Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of Trees, falls on the fifteenth day of the month of Shvat. It originated in a pagan festival honoring Asherah, goddess of farmers and fertility. Her chief festival took place at the end of the rainy season, when the sap begins to rise in the fruit trees of Israel. –… Read More
Families are the future of CHJ. Our inclusive, warm, welcoming Congregation includes families of all stripes coming together to celebrate Judaism and being Jewish. From Baby Naming to Sunday School to Bar & Bat Mitzvah to the Teen Tzedakah Group to Adult Ed, you’ll find a community for families and kids of all ages. Humanistic… Read More
I have always been impressed by CHJ’s cooperative model. Not just in theory but even more so in its practice.
Since CHJ’s inception, members have worked together to create and customize meaningful programming ranging from holiday celebrations to educating children and adults in Jewish culture and traditions within the context of Humanistic Judaism, meaningful Bar and Bat Mitzvah experiences and other life cycle celebrations, Adult Ed sessions that educate, entertain and stimulate curiosity, encouraged and supported social action engagement, and so much more.
Our volunteer structure coupled with CHJ being a “community without walls” gives us greater flexibility as to where we can locate our various events as well as maintaining a very cost-effective means to belong to a Jewish community.
Indeed, CHJ’s structure and culture has successfully encouraged member involvement as the primary means of ensuring that programming and other initiatives maintain value and relevance to its members over the course of its 51 years of existence. For individual members, volunteerism, whether it is a small role such as supporting the activity of a single event or serving as an event or committee chair, Board member or officer, provides an important social connection to our CHJ community as well as giving each member a special sense of ownership.
Recognizing that many members do not have as much disposable time as in the past, and as previously announced, we are currently testing a part-time program coordinator position to support volunteers’ efforts to ensure a successful and satisfying experience for all. Emily Shufrin brings a strong and relevant professional background to this part-time position. She also brings along her full-time CHJ member experience. Members find opportunities for volunteering largely through contacting the programming committee co-chairs of Barbara Jay and Evan Levinson or, Emily.
What have we been doing since the High Holidays?
Following our successful and meaningful High Holiday services and programs where we welcomed over 100 guests who chose to celebrate the holidays with us, we enjoyed a full array of programs in the weeks that followed. We developed and hosted programming that is purposely suited for a variety of tastes, interests, and ages. These include an intergenerational Sukkot celebration attended by some 50 children and adults, a ”New Members/Simchat Torah Welcome Celebration” with some 40 to 50 attendees, a Sunday School/Mitzvah class program, an Adult Ed session featuring the film, ‘A Yiddish World Remembered,” a Shabbat service with an interactive presentation by the author of Your End of Life Matters: How to Talk with Family and Friends, a Bar Mitzvah, and countless hours of social action activities contributed by CHJ members. And, of course, the gatherings of both the women’s and men’s rap groups and the monthly book club. And that is just from the High Holidays through the end of October!
November kicks off with a very special event organized by the Adult Ed committee. “The Kosher Food Event,” the committee’s first evening and food event, promises to be another fun, well-attended, and memorable CHJ event. A look at the calendar of upcoming events will give you a snapshot of what is planned thus far, with other events in the works.
Offering what is important to you.
As the pace of living seems to have accelerated over the years and time seems to be at a premium, people have, of necessity, become more discerning about what to join and in what to invest one’s time.
Relevance and perceived value are key determinants in making those decisions. CHJ’s size, cooperative model, and member engagement enables our community to be nimble and flexible in adapting, as needed. Whether it is in modifying our High Holiday services, adding or deleting certain programming events or testing out new ones, CHJ is always growing, always evolving.
Thanks to the cooperative model and to the active participation of member volunteers, CHJ has been and continues to be a relevant and value-rich community because it reflects its members’ collective aspirations and needs.