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 and others.
In recent months, the activities of the Coalition’s “Community Social Action Committee” have broadened in response to a local call for action. In May, the Coalition and its CSAC was invited to join the newly-formed “Washington Council on Congregations” in the town of Washington. Together, seven religious organizations gathered, seeking to serve their neighbors through a variety of collaborative efforts and to address the shared issues and growing needs of our challenging times. In little time, WCOC was up and running with a series of successful food drives and a blood collection, raising much-needed funds and resources and engaging many members of the community with their timely initiative.
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.