The Speaker Series has been an integral program of the GWCJL since its inception, sponsoring speakers that explore issues and events that have impacted us, our country and world over time, are present today or that may emerge in the future.
Our membership is of diverse opinion and background. An effort is made to include a wide range of subjects and perspective on topics that include spiritual, educational, cultural, news of interest and other areas of focus and importance. With this program, we seek to add awareness, enrich understanding, offer insights and provide updates.
The Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life has a long tradition of participating in local interfaith programs and, in many cases, initiating those programs. We value them for many reasons. They offer us opportunities to increase each others’ knowledge of and respect for the beliefs and traditions of all faiths practiced in our community, and to identify shared community needs.
Over the years, we have collaborated with clergy and lay members of several local churches. These programs have included interfaith Thanksgiving services; panel discussions among Jewish, Christian and Islam clergy; a conference at Wisdom Health entitled “Food, Glorious Food: Eating with Intention and Compassion,” participation in interfaith Passover Seders, and a Coalition visit to Buddha Ariyameharam Temple in Morris.
Most recently, in May 2020 the Coalition was invited to join a newly formed “Washington Council on Congregations” in town. Together our religious organizations will seek to serve our neighbors through a variety of collaborative efforts, and to address the shared issues and needs of these challenging times. A series of planned food drives is off to a good start, a blood drive and other initiatives are not far behind. We look forward to working together in the months ahead for the collective benefit of our community.
Our committee selects media content that addresses Jewish, Israeli or racial bigotry. A presentation before and discussion following the film and some food are all part of this lively event. Traditionally the film group has met in local public venues, we are now also considering smaller at-home gatherings for the program.
Several years ago, in keeping with our mission of connectivity, we formed a committee called “Coalition Cares.” It further embraced the needs of our members for when they possibly became ill, were living alone, where their family either lived at a distance from their own community or there was simply no family to call upon.
The Coalition Cares Committee has always attempted to reach out and be of service to members’ varied needs. It has been a very meaningful outreach program.
Cultural and religious outings locally and in the Berkshires, for example Tanglewood and the Sharon Playhouse, are always a special time.