Shabbat Programs

Join us for our monthly Shabbat Celebration!

NEW JSC GUEST POLICY: Guests are welcome to attend our programs! Due to the increased costs of providing a catered Shabbat dinner, guests who have not attended in the past, are welcome to join us for two complimentary events. After that, the fee is $35 per event. Checks should be made payable to Jewish Secular Community. These fees may be credited towards an annual JSC membership. Interested in becoming a member? Learn more and sign up here.

All Shabbat programs will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church (21600 Shaker Blvd., Shaker Hts., Ohio 44122)

Our 2021-2022 Shabbat Dates & Speakers

Susan Murnane


Friday, September 24, 2021, 6:30 pm

Topic: “Trying Times – A Lawyer’s 50-Year Struggle Fighting for Rights in a World of Wrongs”

This event will be an Author Event & Book Signing with a complimentary Catered Dinner.

Speakers: Terry Gilbert has been in private law practice since 1973, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights litigation. Gilbert has handled a variety of government misconduct cases involving police abuse, wrongful conviction, violations of free speech, prisoners’ rights, and victims of all forms of discrimination.

Carlo Wolff writes about popular culture, music, books, hospitality and travel. A contributor to the jazz magazine, DownBeat, he is the author of Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories.


Friday, October 22, 2021, 6:30 pm

“The A – Z of Intermarriage”

Speaker: Rabbi Denise Handlarski is the founder and leader of Secular Synagogue, an online community. She is the author of The A-Z of Intermarriage. She is also a doula, teacher and mother.

Rabbi Denise will be joining us from Canada via Zoom!


Friday, November 12, 2021, 6:30 pm

“Fair Districts: The Work to End Gerrymandering in Ohio”

Speaker: Reverend Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Pastor, First Congregational Church UCC of Wellington, OH

Advocate, Fair Districts Ohio

It damages our democracy when public officials draw electoral maps for the benefit of only one party – a practice called gerrymandering. The Reverend Dr. Cheryl Lindsay will discuss this topical issue and the current efforts by Fair Districts Ohio to create more representative maps.

Susan Murnane
Friday, December 3, 2021, 6:30 pm
“Inside Putin’s Russia: Memory Politics, Stalinism, and an Unpredictable Past”

Speaker: Dr. Todd Nelson is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at Cleveland State University. He has spent more than three years living and studying in Russia. He has done extensive research in the areas of Russian Politics, Memory Politics, Human Rights, Genocide and Mass Killings. Check out his book, Bringing Stalin Back In: Memory Politics and the Creation of the Useable Past in Putin’s Russia, published in 2019.

Shabbat/Tu B’shvat

Friday, January 14, 2022, 6:30 pm

Planting Seeds of the Reuse Economy Through Relationships, Resourcefulness, and Creative Reuse

Speaker: Nicole McGee, Executive Director & Co-Founder of Upcycle Parts Shop

Nicole leads Upcycle Parts Shop where her background as a reuse artist, a fundraiser, a sociologist, and a community organizer all come together in a vibrant community storefront. Nicole has been doing community-based non-profit work for 18 years.


Friday, February 11, 2022, 6:30 pm
“Michael Gold: Radical Jewish Writer”
Speaker: Patrick Chura, Ph.D
Patrick Chura teaches courses in the nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and culture studies at the University of Akron. He is the author of three books and has published articles on a variety of literary-historical topics.
Susan Murnane


Friday, March 18, 2022, 6:30 pm
“Greater Cleveland Congregations and the Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform”
Community activist Donna Weinberger will discuss the role of Greater Cleveland Congregations in the many facets of the recent campaign for criminal justice reform…including the crisis at the County jail, the need for bail reform, and the campaign for diversion centers in Cleveland. 



Friday, April 8, 2022, 6:30 pm

“Jews, Art, and Anti-Semitism.”

Speaker: Bill Fuller is currently a Docent at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He retired three years ago from Judson Retirement Community, where he served as Director of Admissions for twenty years. Prior to that, he was an Episcopal priest for seventeen years.


Friday, May 6, 2022, 6:30 pm

“Freedom Seekers and Native Americans: A Hidden History”

Speaker: Roy Finkenbine, Ph.D. is a Professor of History and Director of the Black Abolitionist Archive at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he teaches courses in African American history, modern Africa, slave resistance, the Civil War era, and the Underground Railroad.


Our Past Calendar Year Programs

We have a rich history of diverse programs and speakers. To see our past speakers or programs, please click on the links below.

> Our 2019 Calendar Year Programs

> Our 2018 Calendar Year Programs

> Our 2017 Calendar Year Programs

> Our 2016 Calendar Year Programs

> Our 2015 Calendar Year Programs