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Sunday, May 20, 2018 • 6 Sivan 5778

12:00 PM - 2:00 PMCHC -
Shavu'ot This Year is Something Special
It's called "harmonic convergence," when all the planets line up in a certain way, a moment of synchronicity when all the pieces fall into place.  There's a bit of that going on for us, the Kol HaLev community, at this time.  Just as we are moving into a new location and a new relationship with a different faith community, we have the overlap of our Biblical pilgrimage festival Shavu'ot and the Christian Holy Day of Pentecost.  An opportunity to share traditions and begin to forge a relationship that will model and lead.  
It gets even better.  Rabbinic tradition directs our attention on this holiday to the Book of Ruth, a contemplation and reflection on the theme of "stranger" and "other," of inclusion and exclusion, of acceptance and mutual respect.  Along with the notion of Revelation (Shavu'ot) and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the early disciples of Jesus (Pentecost), this encounter around Ruth makes a powerful and potent brew for us and our "siblings sharing sacred space," the community of the Church of the Holy Comforter.  What connects these three strands? And there's more.  A fourth strand.  Not to forget Hagar and Ishmael.
More details are to come, but our programming for Sunday, May 20 includes a DAIRY LUNCH, guided table talk, a key-note guest speaker, Alison Kysia and of course some learning and discussion.  12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
12:-00-12:45 -- Fellowship Hall for lunch and (facilitated, or guided, or suggested) table talk and program.
12:45-1:00 -- Geoff's intro and framing of the topic...Shavu'ot/Revelation and Book of Ruth -- "stranger," "other" and "otherness," inclusion/exclusion (Ruth/Hagar)...
1:00-1:30 -- guest speaker Alison Kysia on "Islamophobia." 
1:30-2:00 -- Q&A, discussion, debriefing, sharing, connecting-the-dots
2:00-2:15 -- wrap up
Our guest speaker is educator and ceramic artist Alison Kysia.  Ms. Kysia, working for Teaching for Change, develops curriculum using inclusive pedagogy, and also creates artwork that confronts Islamophobia.  Because "religious literacy," i.e., knowing the basic tenets of another faith community, is inadequate to the task of countering tendencies of racism and hate, Ms. Kysia's methodology is to blur the "us/them" comparisons and focus on the shared history as Americans.  We can make the connections with anti-Black and anti-immigrant racism, and anti-Semitism.
Our hope is that this engagement with a current issue, "the strangers" of our present moment -- Muslims -- will inform and be informed by our reading of the Book of Ruth.  And will inform the relationship between Kol HaLev and Holy Comforter.  We can build on this moment of intersectionality, of mutual interest and desire for a more connected humanity.  As our current co-president Dan Richman put it, may this be part of our effort to "knit together the civic society we want to see."  



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Sat, January 19 2019 13 Shevat 5779