WISDOM Newsletter – December 2015

Written by WISDOM on . Posted in Newsletters

Calendar for WISDOM and Other Interfaith Events  
 
Sunday, December 6th
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Five Women Five Journeys
First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham
1669 W. Maple Road, Birmingham, MI
For more information contact MaryAnn Schlie at maryann_schlie@hotmail.com
 
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Five Women Five Journeys
Unity of Livonia
28660 Five Mile Road
Livonia, MI 48154
For more information contact MaryAnn Schlie at maryann_schlie@hotmail.com
 

COMING SOON TO METRO-DETROIT!!
 
The 2016 SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL WORLD SABBATH
SUNDAY, MARCH 6TH FROM 4:00 – 5:30 PM
WITH AN AFTER-GLOW FROM 5:30 PM TO 6:30 PM
FORT STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
631 W. Fort Street
Detroit, MI 48226
OUR YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS
WILL BE LEADING THE SERVICE WITH PEACE PRAYERS
FROM DIFFERENT FAITH TRADITIONS
AND THE CHILDREN OF PEACE OF MANY RELIGIONS
WILL BE WAVING PEACE BANNERS
AND SINGING “WE ARE CHILDREN OF PEACE” TOGETHER!!
OUR ETHNIC DANCE AND MUSIC WILL HIGHLIGHT
 THE DIVERSITY OF METRO DETROIT!!
We Welcome Clergy and Religious Leaders
To Lead Us in an Interfaith Prayer for World Peace!!
DON’T MISS THIS FABULOUS INTERFAITH EVENT!!
VISIT WWW.WORLDSABBATH.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION!
FOR ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS AND
TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT
HOW TO GET THE YOUTH FROM YOUR HOUSE OF WORSHIP INVOLVED
CONTACT GAIL KATZ or MEREDITH SKOWRONSKI – WORLD SABBATH CHAIRS
If you are Clergy or a Religious Leader planning to attend,
please contact Gail or Meredith

On October 22nd, leaders of the U.S. House and Senate presented a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of the Monuments Men, a group of men and women who protected and recovered historical sites and cultural artifacts during World War II.  House speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.
 
During World War II, President Roosevelt created an Allied division made up of educators, art historians, and architects, charged with preserving and protecting priceless artifacts around Europe which faced destruction under Hitler-led Nazi forces.  Without their efforts, thousands of works of art and monuments of history that created the rich cultural history in Europe would have been lost forever.
 
The Congressional God Medal is the highest civilian honor the United States Congress can bestow, and it was awarded to interfaith activist Motoko Huthwaite.  Here are Motoko’s words at the ceremony.
 
“It is a privilege and distinct pleasure to be standing before you this afternoon.  To think that in my venerable octogenerian years, I should be singled out and recognized for what I did when i was “just a kid” in the Arts and Monuments Division in Tokyo during the days of the Allied Occupation is utterly incredible, amazing, and dumbfounding. I was a mere clerk typist, sitting in a cozy office on the 6th floor of the Dai Ichi Building in Tokyo, after the war was over and peace once more ruled the land.  My job was to type up little cards describing the Japanese cultural treasures and their location to protect them from looters.  However, I was only a teenager doing what I was told to do!
 
Imagine my astonishment last month when I was invited to come to Washington D.C. from Michigan by the Monuments Men Foundation to represent Arts and Monuments at the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal.  The only reason I stand before you is because I am the only one left alive who served in Japan that the Monuments Men Foundation has found to date. So thank you Division Chief George Stout – you were a wonderful boss.  Thank you, Captain Popham for your warm friendship.  Thank you both for helping to find, protect and preserve the cultural treasures of the Japanese people.  May you both rest in peace for all eternity.

Temple Israel Is Invited to Celebrate All Saints Day at
 St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
By Gail Katz
Temple Israel Congregant
 Father Andrew Seba dialogues with Rabbi Josh Bennett
Jewish congregants from Temple Israel met with Chaldean congregants at St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church in West Bloomfield to learn about the Chaldean people, their faith, and the special holiday of All Saints Day on Sunday, November 1st.  The evening began with a delicious array of Chaldean foods, and Jews and Chaldeans sat together at round tables in the church social hall while they ate and talked and got to know one another.
At the end of the dinner, Father Andrew Seba talked to the group of about 90 people and gave us some information about the Chaldean community.  There are about 120,000 Chaldeans in Metro Detroit, many of the new immigrants being housed in Warren, Sterling Heights, and Troy.  Metro Detroit has the largest population of Chaldeans outside of Iraq. There are 12 Chaldean churches in our community, and St. Thomas, one of the 12, has about 3500 families!  The prayers are usually in Aramaic, but are also translated into Arabic and English.  The 7:30 PM mass that Temple Israel congregants were invited to was mostly an English service.  We were surprised at how many young people attended this mass. Father Andrew explained that the average age at evening mass was 28 years old!
St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church consists of three buildings.  There is the main church and sanctuary were Temple Israel guests had their dinner and attended mass.  There is an office building and rectory next door.  At the far end of the property is what they call the Grotto – a small chapel opened 24/7 which contains an inner room where the Eucharist is kept along with an open tabernacle for people to pray there at any time.
On each table in the dining room were cards containing photos of the saints in honor of All Saints Day.  Father Andrew explained the importance of Saint Thomas.  He traveled to India, and on the way stopped in Iraq and brought Christianity there. Because of this the Indian Catholics are the closest in their faith practices to the Chaldeans. Temple Israel congregants learned a lot from Father Andrew during the All Saints Day mass celebrated in the sanctuary.  We learned about the Eucharist – which represents the blood and body of Jesus. There were many words in the Aramaic liturgy that were so similar to the Hebrew, such as Kiddush and Baruch!
Following the service we all returned to the social hall for dessert and Q and A with both Father Andrew Seba and Rabbi Josh Bennett.  One Temple Israel congregant stood up and shared with everyone how precious his relationship was with his Chaldean colleague, and made the point that despite our differences we can all get along, and each individual can make a difference!  And everyone in this beautiful interfaith coming together seconded those sentiments!
 
At the end of the evening Gail Katz, one of the coordinators of this interfaith event between our two houses of worship, presented Father Andrew with a tzedakah box on behalf of all the Temple Israel visitors.  Again it was remarkable that the Hebrew word “Tzedakah” – meaning justice and righteousness – was also a word in the Chaldean language!
We all look forward to hosting St. Thomas parishioners at Temple Israel in the near future to learn more about our Jewish service and practice.  What a beautiful and meaningful evening this was!

Donations to the National Council of Jewish Women’s ReSale Shop help women, children and families of all faith traditions!!

The Religious Diversity Journeys to Temple Israel, Temple Beth El, and Adat Shalom Synagogue were wonderful successes. They would not happen without the contributions of so many volunteers, or without the clergy in these congregations. Volunteer and professional, they represent their faiths to the students, parents, and teachers who have come to learn and connect, and to give them what is often a first taste of that faith tradition. This is a crucial step on the journey toward understanding and respect. And we want to thank the Jewish clergy for making it such a powerful one, for their kindness, openness, humor, good will, and welcoming spirit, and for sharing their thoughts on the journeys:
It is a pleasure to be a part of the Religious Diversity Journey program.  The students were respectful and thirsty for knowledge.  For me, this is one of the best moments of my academic year.  To share my Jewish experience with such a wonderful group of young people is inspiring.  I know that the knowledge gained will lead to tolerance, friendship, and peace.”
Rabbi Joshua L. Bennett, Temple Israel
We loved hosting the Religious Diversity Journey at Temple Beth El! What a pleasure to see our halls filled with 200 7th graders, parents, and teachers. They were respectful, eager learners, and brought a sense of enthusiasm to the program. It was such a joy to stand on our bima, surrounded by people of all different backgrounds, and hear the oohs and ahs as we unrolled a Torah scroll together. I hope we can follow this up with another program in the future, and I look forward to being part of our shared desire to create a stronger society through better understanding of one another’s traditions.
Thank you!
Rabbi Mark Miller, Temple Beth El
It is a thrilling experience to have these students come and learn about Judaism. This program is a great way to break down barriers, explain core attributes, demystify stereotypes, and ultimately build bridges among all the participants.
Cantor Daniel Gross, Adat Shalom Synagogue

WISDOM Mission Statement

To Provide concrete modeling of women from different faith traditions working together in harmony for the common good.
To Empower women to take a more active role in furthering social justice and world peace.
To Dispel myths, stereotypes, prejudices and fear about faith traditions different from our own.
To Nurture the growth of empathy and spiritual energy that result from our projects and interfaith dialogue.

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WISDOM’s challenge is to bring together people from different faith traditions, ethnicities, races, and cultures in an atmosphere of safety and respect to engage in educational and community service projects. Let’s change our world through the positive power of building relationships!