Humanistic Jews are cultural Jews who find that Judaism is most meaningful in the context of modern thinking. As a Temple family we celebrate Jewish identity and blend tradition with contemporary thinking. We enrich our lives with the High Holidays, Shabbat services, by enjoying Jewish music, history, and by cultivating our ties to the Jewish community and the State of Israel. We instill in our children a love of Jewish culture and a pride in their Jewish heritage. As Jews and as human beings, we believe that we have the power and responsibility to direct the course of our lives.
Do you have an educational program?
Yes, we have an excellent Temple School for students Pre-K thru grade twelve. At the Birmingham Temple we teach our children to be proud of their Jewish identity. Children learn about their Jewish heritage, Jewish history, the State of Israel, Hebrew language and all the Jewish holidays. We emphasize humanistic ethics at each level of our school. Students study the value of tzedaka (giving), cooperation, honesty, and integrity. The Temple school emphasizes building Jewish identity and ethical character in our students. We strive to engender integrity and intelligence in our students while celebrating Jewish culture. We share with children the Jewish values for high ethical standards; self-reliance; and the search for truth, courage, tolerance and human dignity.
What is your Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program?
Our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program is a creative and meaningful experience for teenagers and their families. It begins in grade five with study of Hebrew language and Jewish history. In grade seven, students are paired with a mentor who is a member of the Temple. For one year the student works with the mentor to research the life of a Jewish hero that he/she has selected. On the day of the mitzvah ceremony, the student presents the life and values of this hero to the congregation. The student then relates the hero back to his/her own life and values. The presentation is coupled with the reading of a piece of Jewish literature, in Hebrew, which may be from either ancient or modern times. We have found that our Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies are among the highlights of our Temple experience. They make a profound contribution to students' self-esteem, ethical consciousness, and pride in their Jewish heritage.
Does the Birmingham Temple have a place for singles, young adults, single parents, those in middle-age and older women and men?
Absolutely. The Birmingham Temple is home to Humanistic Jews of all ages, stages of life and varied interests. Seven days a week our Temple has programs that provide intellectual, social and cultural stimulation. We offer formal courses on Jewish history, Humanistic philosophy, and Hebrew. Our Family Club meets weekly. Current events are discussed at our Birmingham Temple Forum. Our social events include a concert series; a dinner club, a book discussion group; Shabbat dinners; and clubs for women, men, young adults, seniors, singles and budding writers. We enjoy our Temple Retreat, special retreats for Families with children, and a retreat for women only. The performances by our Drama Group are special treats.
How do you celebrate the Jewish holidays?
As Humanistic Jews, we celebrate all of the Jewish holidays. Each Friday we hold Shabbat services. In the spring we have a wonderful Temple Passover Seder and in the fall we hold services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Hanukka, Purim, and Sukkot, connect us to our Jewish heritage and fill our year with celebration and inspiration. As Humanistic Jews, the holidays connect us with Judaism while emphasizing the power and responsibility that people have to determine the course of their own lives.
What can you tell me about the history of your organization?
Rabbi Sherwin Wine (1928-2007) founded our Temple in 1963, along with eight families. These families wanted to belong to a Jewish community with a humanistic philosophy. In 1971, our Temple family grew large enough to move to our current building in Farmington Hills. Our Temple membership now includes more than 400 families and a beautiful Temple school.
Our Temple has prospered and is the largest congregation in the Society for Humanistic Judaism which has 32 affiliates in the United States and Canada. We are now an international movement with Humanistic Jewish groups in 13 countries, including Israel.
How can I learn more about The Birmingham Temple?
Please come visit. We welcome the opportunity to meet and talk with you. You
are welcome to
attend our Shabbat services which are held each Friday evening at 7:30 PM.
You are also welcome to visit our Sunday School. Our morning begins
with family music at 9:30 AM. There are book clubs, friendship circles and social action groups. There is always something exciting happening
at The Birmingham Temple.
28611 W. Twelve Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48334