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Celebrate With Us......


High Holiday Celebration


Saturday, September 7, 2013


St. Francis in the Foothills

4625 E River Road


9:30--Sign in and Schmooze


Noon--Catered Lunch

Followed by Discussion


RSVP to Susan,


Or Marty,,



Members: $25.

Non-members: $40.

L'Shana Tova!! Please Join Us.... 






     WHO: Members and Prospective Members


WHAT: Salad Potluck


WHEN:   Saturday, August 24, 2013, 12:30-3


WHERE:     Cathy and Peter's


WHY: Schmoozing, Fun, Good Food,

Learn More About Us 


Please RSVP by August 22:

Marty,, or

Susan, 577-7718,

(Directions will follow your RSVP.)










As we approach our hot mid-summer, I realize that we have three important events coming up-each of which has a very significant impact on the future of SHJC. The first is our member potluck on August 24th. This is an opportunity to invite friends to experience the warmth of our organization. Please take the time to think about and to recruit a prospective member. The second is our High Holiday event on September 7th. This provides an opportunity to ask your friends to experience with us our unique secular celebration--and hopefully open the door to possible membership. Finally, our SHJC Board elections are just around the corner. We need to begin the nominating process in October. For those of you who are interested in possible board membership, I want to invite you to attend a Board meeting; doing so is a requisite for nomination. Our next two SHJC Board meetings are August 10th and September 22nd. If you are interested in either Board membership or becoming more active on one of our committees, please call me. The future of SHJC depends on increasing member involvement. Thank you again to our current Board and committee volunteers for all your hard work. Have a good rest of the summer-and remember, it is cool to participate on the board and our committees, and to attend our events!

Marshall Rubin

SHJC Board President


Board Meeting 

Saturday, August 10

Members Only 


Pot Luck  

Saturday, August 24

Members, Prospective Members


High Holiday Observance

Saturday, September  7

Open to the Public


Sukkot Pot Luck Party and Program

Saturday, Sept. 21

Members only


Board Meeting

Sunday, September 22

Members Only


Lecture Program

Sunday, October 20

David Silverman, President of The American Athiests Association

Open to the Public


Chanukah Party

Saturday, December 7

Details to follow

Members / Prospective Members





These past months have been filled with numerous programs for both members and the public-at-large. We don't have enough space to write about all SHJC activities, but we want to share some of the highlights.


Megdal and Varady on Water Resources


On Saturday, January 26th at the Bear Canyon Library, over sixty people celebrated Tu B'shevat and heard Dr. Robert Varady and Dr. Sharon Megdal talk about water resources in Israel and Tucson. The holiday message about trees and our obligation to our world was a good introduction to the subject of arid lands. Their presentation was entitled Shared Borders-Shared Waters.


meg var susan


Megdal and Varady spoke of their international participation through the Udall Center at the University of Arizona. They shared information about the Colorado River Basin and how challenges for the Tucson region were similar in many ways to those faced by Israelis and Palestinians.


Q & A, socializing and snacks followed their lecture. 



Annual Meeting
On February 10th, SHJC had its Annual Meeting, More than 25 SHJC members enjoyed a relaxing and fun afternoon. We thank Shirley and Sheldon Silverman for arranging the use their Clubhouse for our gathering. After tasty snacks, the first part of the meeting focused on "business matters": ratification of the Board members whose terms were extended, and committee reports. SHJC's new website was highlighted and Susan Rubin received strong accolades for her work in getting it developed.   annual meet 2013 group


After the general meeting, the group divided into several smaller groups and each brainstormed a different topic: Membership, Programming and Community Outreach. A plethora of ideas emerged and the discussion generated creativity and enthusiasm. 




Annual Seder


seder wineOn March 30th, a humanist Passover Seder was held at the Atria Compana   del Rio. This was our third Seder, attended by about fifty people, who enjoyed the friendly casual atmosphere and the reading of the original revised humanist Haggadah. Along with Rabbi Jack Silver who led the service, there was enthusiastic singing of familiar melodies, a beautifully rendered vocal of the four questions, and numerous readings by various participants. The traditional Passoverseder stu 2013 symbols and the relevant inclusion of present day concerns paralleled the original Passover story. The luncheon meal was delicious and provided an excellent finale to a most enjoyable humanist Passover Seder - this was definitely not the old, endless, heavy, somber Passovers of our collective past memories!  


Seráh Blain on "The State of Secular Values in Arizona"


Several weeks later, the Secular Humanist Jewish Circle and the public were privileged to hear Seráh Blain, the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for Arizona.  The attendees of 40 plus individuals were informed about the current legislative challenges and the importance of secular humanist groups to advocate for the human rights that need protection.


At present there are three bills working against secularism and the First Amendment of the Constitution - strict separation of church and state. The speaker emphasized the importance of blain pic crowd defeating Bill #1178 (Long Term Disability Discrimination) and encouraged members of the audience to contact their representatives to make their wishes known.  It was fascinating hearing about the political process, from an insider's perspective.  


Seráh provided much valuable information, along with the encouraging news that Tucson rates high on secularism connections, of which our SHJC is part. 


Lively questions and discussion followed the excellent in-depth lecture by Ms. Blain.





Sherman Wine DVD on

Secular Humanist Judaism


SHJC has received numerous requests from people who want to learn more about Secular Humanist Judaism. In response was a program on Sunday, June 2nd. The program, held at a local library, provided a basic overview and introduction to Secular Humanist Judaism.  Humanistic Judaism began as an organization in 1963 in Detroit, when Rabbi Sherwin Wine started the Birmingham Temple. The first part of our program was a DVD interview with Rabbi Wine, made before his untimely death.  Rabbi Wine answers many questions about his vision, ideas and beliefs for Secular Humanist Judaism.  A lively and informative group discussion followed the DVD.




Sherman Wine Book Discussion on

Secular Humanist Judaism


On March 12th Kent Barrabee and Susan Rubin led a discussion of one of the chapters from the book, Judaism Beyond God by Sherwin Wine. In this seminal work, Rabbi Wine explains his view of Jewish history and the tenets of secular humanistic Judaism. The chapter selected for discussion at this first meeting focused on his views of various Jewish Holidays. There is interest in a follow-up session, but at this time, no date has been set.





Secular Humanist Jewish Circle Members Take a Hike


In April, Michelle Garon, Kent Barrabee and Susan Rubin went hiking in Catalina State Park. This was the second scheduled hike; the first one set for the previous month, was snowed out.

A beautiful hike, with many wildflowers along the way. Although there was a wrong turn, or two, the group thoroughly enjoyed themselves and hope to schedule other hikes in cooler weather - possibly on Mt Lemmon.





SHJC- Our Members Humanist Activities


Part of our mission is to perform humanistic deeds in the community.  As a group, SHJC simply does not have the people power to take on a big project.  However, as individuals we participate in many organizations that serve needs within our community, the region, the state, the country and many corners of the world.  


We are proud of these accomplishments and would like to let others know about them.  Please send us info about what you do to help make our community a better place. From time-to-time, we will share that information in our newsletter.  If you want to be anonymous, that's fine; otherwise, we will mention your name and include a photo if you submit one.  


At all of our activities, SHJC encourages members to contribute to the Community Food Bank.


Please send your information to Judy Teitler:




New Members in 2013 





Susan Koppelman

Sheila and Larry Lepley

Maria McCabe

Ingaborg McDonald

Marlene Crocker and Marcee Rosin


To those of you who have been ill or have had accidents, we warmly wish a speedy recovery and a health New Year.

Speedy recovery  


Stan Teitler, a founding member of SHJC and husband of Board member Judy, passed away in March after a lengthy illness. Our condolences to Judy and the family.




SHJC Website


Our website is up and running. It's exciting to see this wish become reality. Susan Rubin took the lead and has been instrumental in developing the site and working with our webmaster. Visit our website:




Join SHJC now ($25 per person, a reduced rate for the remainder of the year, plus the national affiliation family cost of $60) and attend the high holiday observance  at the reduced member rate.


We thank all of you who have already sent in their check.  Cathy Becskehazy chairs the Membership Committee. She'd enjoy hearing from you with ideas and suggestions.


We anticipate an exiting year for our members and look forward to your involvement.




Become a part of a caring, compassionate community reflecting the values of secular humanist Judaism


Help build a new organization that meets your needs and interests.


Minimal financial costs.  Members pay reduced fees for those events that have an admission cost.


Opportunity to join a committee


Affiliation with the national organization opens up a wealth of resources to individual members and the chapter as a whole.






For 2014, dues are likely to be similar to 2013, $110 for one member for the calendar year and $160 for a family. More information will be available in the Fall. This includes the member payment for affiliation with The Society for Humanistic Judaism, the national organization.   


For more information about membership, please contact Cathy Becskehazy, 293-3919 or  Renewal for everyone will be January 1.






Name or Names _____________________________________________________________

Address           ______________________________________Zip______________________

Phone  ___________________________Email ______________________________________


Types of Programs which interest you _____________________________________________


Talents or skills you would be willing to use on behalf of SHJC (e.g. lead a discussion, art or graphic design, music/singing, desktop publishing, etc.)_______________________________________


Comments or suggestions_______________________________________________________


Make your check payable to Secular Humanist Jewish Circle and mail to :  


c/o 930 S Goldenweed Way

Tucson, AZ 85748


Amount Enclosed $______________________Date_______________



Board of Directors

Marshall Rubin  



Judy Teitler

Vice President

529 0595  

Hal Safron  


722 5652  

Jacqui Saltz


723 5652  

Susan Rubin


577 7718

Becky & Martin Schulman


296 3762   

Cathy Pintek Becskehazy


293 3919

Kent Barrabee


609 6103  








Celebration/ Holiday/

Educational Events

   Becky and Susan



Organizational Structure

   Marshall, Hal







This Newsletter was prepared by the

Publicity Committee: Judy Teitler and Kent Barrabee. Additional content was provided by Carolyn Simon, Susan Rubin, Faigee Niebow and Becky Schulman.