Jerry Goldman, Research professor Emeritus of Northwestern University School of Law will talk about The Changing Role of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dr. Ivan Ciric, Emeritus Professor of Neurosurgery at NY's Feinberg School of Medicine will present: Listen to the Patient: Of Life and Neurosurgery.
Lake Shore Unitarian proudly presents the highly skilled musical talent of members of our congregation, including classical piano, violin, flute and guitar performances. The children in our Religious Explorations class will also perform a special program. Don’t miss these touching virtuosos!
Rick Rosenfeld, Executive Director, Hands of Peace will speak on the topic, Hands of Peace – The Power of Dialogue and Breaking Down Barriers Among Teens. Hands of Peace is an interfaith organization that empowers young people to raise their voices as leaders of change. Through the power of dialogue, Palestinians, Israelis and Americans partner to pursue peace, equality, freedom, and justice. Each summer, Hands of Peace brings together 44 teenagers in Chicago and 44 teenagers in San Diego – mostly from Israel and Palestine – to begin building bridges and working toward peace. The summer program is only the beginning of the journey. All the students attend year-round seminars and activities in the Middle East to put their lessons into practice, and some of them return for a second year program. American alumni work on social justice projects in the United States, including efforts to combat anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Hands of Peace believes that a peaceful future depends on the leadership of the next generation.
Mr. Rosenfeld joined Hands of Peace in June 2016 after a career thatspanned both non-profit and profit sectors. He was a manager at The Rotary Foundation in Evanston in the late 1980s/early 1990s. After a stint in management consulting, he launched an educational travel company that focused on sending U.S. graduate students overseas to learn about cultures and business in more than 100 countries. He returned to the non-profit sector with a core belief that Hands of Peace will be part of the solution for a just and positive peace for all Israelis and Palestinians.
Katherine Ozment, author of the award-winning Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age, will speak on the topic, Secular Spirituality: The Path to Grace Without God. She will talk about her three-year-long journey to research and document the dramatic rise of the nonreligious across the United States. What accounts for the sudden increase in those who check “None of the Above” when asked their religious affiliation? And what are the so-called Nones doing to meet the human needs which religion has met for millennia? Ms. Ozment will share inspiring examples of the many creative ways which secular Americans are forming and finding new communities rituals and sources of meaning as they chart a path toward grace without God.
Ms. Ozment has worked in publishing for more than 25 years, including as a senior editor at National Geographic, for which she once rode a donkey through the desert of Jordan and Israel on assignment. Her essays andarticles have been widely published, including in such venues as National Geographic, The New York Times, Boston, Salon, and Fitness. Born in Arkansas, she graduated from Harvard College with a degree in English and American Literature and received her Masters in Writing from DePaul University.
The LSUS Annual Meeting for pledging members will follow a shortened coffee hour after the service.
Carl Jerome, Founding Teacher, North Shore Meditation and Dharma Center, Common Ground Speaker will speak on the topic, Mindfulness. The term mindfulness is used so broadly, popularly and globally that it has become little more than a synonym for wellness. In this talk, we'll explore in depth the classic meaning of mindfulness and learn how to apply it as a meta-cognitive voice to become peaceful, happy, and healthy. Mindfulness isn't just "being in the moment," or savoring a raisin more fully. Mindfulness is enlightenment, and it requires constant self-regulation. This self-regulation can only be accomplished with an internal voice that reflects on how one is processing the constant bombardment of sensory information.
Mr. Jerome has practiced meditation for much of his adult life, and Buddhism for the past 20 years. His practice began at the Hartford Street Zen Center in San Francisco under beat poet and Zen Master Zenshin Philip Whalen Roshi. Ten years ago he moved to St. Louis and became a student of Master Ji Ru, abbot of the Mid-America Buddhist Association, from whom he received lay teaching endorsement in 2006. In addition to teaching at the Dharma Center, Mr. Jerome currently teaches meditation at the Recreation Center of Highland Park and at the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook. He is a regular speaker at Common Ground. He also leads classes and retreats in a local county jail and at a maximum-security prison in Missouri.
Anna Trombone-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of History and Chair of Department of History, Lake Forest College will speak on the topic, The Problem of Wealth in Early Christianity. This talk will address Roman and early medieval Christian thinking on the relationship of wealth to the religious life and to salvation. We will begin with Jesus’s admonitions regarding wealth in the Gospels, in which he seems to assert that money is a hindrance to salvation. We will then turn to the Acts of the Apostles, which shows the earliest Christian communities demanding (under threat of harsh punishment) the renunciation of private property and the embrace of communal property. Finally, we will turn to the writings of the early Church Fathers and monastic authors, who crafted their arguments about the proper role of wealth in a Christian life while balancing their awareness of the strict teachings ofGospels and Acts with the new reality of Christianity as the dominant religion of the Roman Empire—and consequently, of many rich people. How, then, might it be possible to make wealth acceptable, or even salvific?
Dr. Trumbore-Jones earned her B.A. at the University of Chicago and received three post-graduate degrees in History at Columbia University: her M.A., then her M.Phil., and finally her Ph.D. We have watched her ascend through the ranks at Lake Forest College, starting as Assistant Professor of History in the fall of 2003 and attaining her position of Professor in the fall of 2016. Dr. Trumbore-Jones last spoke to us in 2011 on the topic Convivencia: Harmonious Interfaith Relations in Medieval Spain.
In lieu of a chalice lighting at this service, we will have a short ceremony recognizing new members who will sign the LSUS membership book.
David Shyovitz, Ph.D., Lecturer, Religious and Jewish Studies, Northwestern University will speak on the topic, The Mystical Roots of the Scientific Revolution. Today, it is commonly assumed that "science" and "religion" represent distinct and potentially irreconcilable worldviews--the former empirical and evidence-based, the latter rooted in intuition and faith. But for the astronomers, chemists, physicists, and physicians who revolutionized scientific inquiry beginning in the 16th century, the boundaries were considerably blurrier. Indeed, some historians have argued that early modern science represented a continuation of, rather than a break with, earlier mystical and even magical approaches to the natural world. In this discourse, we will trace some of the conditions that gave rise to modern science, and consider the ways in which our own contemporary society seeks to achieve balance between the rational and the transcendent.
Dr. Shyovitz holds a joint appointment at the Crown Center for Jewish and Israel Studies. His research and teaching focus on medieval cultural and intellectual history, with a particular emphasis on Jewish History and Jewish-Christian relations. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and has lectured widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Middle East. His first book, A Remembrance of His Wonders: Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Ashkenaz, will be published in May by the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Craig Krugman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Health Sciences DePaul University
Dr. Craig Klugman, Professor of Health Sciences at DePaul University, will speak on the topic, The Status of Health Insurance Coverage for Millions of Americans under the Trump Administration. With the support of Congress, the Trump Administration has said that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced, while promising health care for everyone. Several plans have been floated but no bills have been introduced. Hospitals, insurers, physicians, and the public remain uncertain and are unable to plan for the future. Insurance plans will not change until 2018, at which point a repeal of the ACA could leave 20 million people with no insurance options and another 12 million without Medicaid coverage. This talk will explore the plans and the possibilities for the future of health insurance and access to care.
Dr. Klugman studies ethics of health policy, public health ethics, and end of life issues. He is the editor of Ethical Issues in Rural Health and the forthcoming MacMillan Handbook of Philosophy on Medical Ethics. Having written over 260 publications, he is blog editor for bioethics.net where he writes on issues of health policy, medical technology, and professionalism. He produced the films Advance Directives and A Cure for Dying. Dr. Klugman earned his doctorate in Medical Humanities from the University of Texas Medical Branch, master’s degrees in Medical Anthropology and Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University, and his bachelor’s in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Mandy Burbank, LCSW, Therapist, Clinical Navigator, Violence Prevention Services, Amita Health
Ms. Mandy Burbank, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Violence Prevention Services at Amita Health, will speak on the topic, Problems and Opportunities in Raising and Molding Digital Citizens: A Social Worker’s Viewpoint. Today, citizenship has stretched beyond civic citizenship and global citizenship; we are also digital citizens of a digital world. Teaching digital citizenship is more than just limiting children's hours on an iPad; it's about how we treat each other online and how that behavior impacts our lives offline. This talk will explore the impact of technology on individuals, families, community, and culture based on how we model and teach digital citizenship.
Ms. Burbank graduated from Bradley University summa cum laude with a B.A. in Public Relations/Communications. She became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and earned her Master of Social Work from the College of DuPage. In July 2013 she joined Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health (now Amita Health) where she provides individual and family therapy and also coordinates violence prevention services for bullying, cyberbullying, and domestic violence.
Alexis Lauricella, Ph.D., Lecturer and Research Associate, Department of Communications, Northwestern University
Dr. Alexis Lauricella, Lecturer and Research Associate in Communications at Northwestern University, will speak on The Impact of Media Technology on Children and Adolescents. As a daughter of a teacher, Dr. Lauricella has always been passionate about how children learn from the various experiences in their lives: school, parents, community, and media. Now a mother of three girls, she feels she is living her research on the effects of media on young children. She will address some typical concerns, but also the amazing ways in which media, and especially new media, can actually support parents, families, and children. She will talk about different ways to use today's media, and highlight evidence that certain media can positively affect learning, prosocial behavior, moral development, and acceptance of differences. She will also explore the impact of parents' own media choices.
Dr. Lauricella earned her B.A. in Business Marketing and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, her Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from that same university. She has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, reports and book chapters, has received multiple research grants, and has earned many awards and honors. She is a current member of the National Communication Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Society of Research.
Dr. Raymond Pollak, MD, General Surgeon, Hippocrates Consulting, Skokie, IL
Dr. Raymond Pollak, M.D., General Surgeon at Hippocrates Consulting in Skokie, will speak on the topic, Cross Cultural Ethical and Religious Concerns with the Concepts of Brain Death and Organ Donation. This presentation will discuss the modern understanding of brain death and its connections to the biblical definition of life and death. The cross cultural concepts of life and death will also be explored. This discussion will segue into the clinical arena of organ donation and transplantation, the “shortage of organs in the face of plenty,” and the influences of societal mores, culture and ethnicity.
Dr. Pollak has had a distinguished academic and clinical career. A native of the Republic of South Africa, he graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, then completed his residency training at the University of Illinois in Chicago. After 28 years at U of I's abdominal transplant program, he was recruited to lead a new clinical trials program at Edward Hospital in Naperville. In 2008, he established Hippocrates Consulting, a practice that focuses on patient advocacy, second opinions and medico-legal work. Dr. Pollak has published over 150 scholarly works in the field of transplantation and has been the recipient of substantial funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Mark Iris, Lecturer at Northwestern University, Executive Director (retired) City of Chicago Police
Dr. Mark Iris, Lecturer at Northwestern University in the Mathematical Methods Program in Social Sciences, will speak on the topic, Policing in the 21st Century: Use of Force and Police Misconduct. Police use of force is a major public controversy today, yet myths are widespread while facts remain elusive. Dr. Iris will discuss many issues, such as how and why force is used, and how the public misperceives the truth about police behavior.
Dr. Iris served as Executive Director of the Chicago Police Board for 21 years. That office is responsible for holding disciplinary hearings in cases of Chicago police officers who are accused of misconduct. In his role at Northwestern, he supervises research projects involving major city police departments and also instructs senior police managers at NU's Center for Public Safety.
Ahmad Sadri, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College.
Dr. Ahmad Sadri, Professor of Sociology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College, will speak on the topic, The Historic Iran Nuclear Arms Deal: Pros and Cons. The historic nuclear deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) between Iran and the five nations of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), was without doubt the crowning foreign policy achievement ofPresident Obama's term in office. This session will explore its provenance and its fate under the new Trump administration. What are legitimate concerns and possible hopes for the future of this controversial treaty over the next four years?
Dr. Sadri received his B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Tehran and his Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research. He is the author and editor of numerous books including Max Weber’s Sociology of Intellectuals and Reason Freedom and Democracy in Islam, as well as more than one hundred articles. He wrote a column for Daily Star of Lebanon, and has appeared on the BBC, Al Jazeera, and National Public Radio. In recent years Sadri wrote a weekly column for Etemad-e Melli, and Irandokht, reformist newspapers in Iran that have since been closed down. His most recent translation of the Epic of the Persian Kings has sold 15,000 copies and has been turned into a shadow play.
Shane Larson, Ph.D., Professor CIERA, NU, Department of Astronomy, Adler Planetarium
Dr. Shane Larson, Research Associate Professor, at Northwestern University’s Department of Astronomy, will speak on the topic, Black Holes and Stellar Graveyards: Seeing the Cosmos in Gravitational Waves. Virtually everything we know about the universe has been discovered from the study of photons --- light in all its myriad forms from radio waves, to visible light, to x-rays and beyond. In the early morning hours of September 14, 2015, a long-awaited gravitational wave signal came booming out of the sky, the signature of two black holes merging to form a new, larger black hole. The event happened 1.3 billion light years away, and the information has been travelling toward Earth since before multi-cellular life existed on our planet. In this presentation, we'll talk about this momentous discovery --- how we found out about it, what wesaw, what it taught us about the universe, and what the future holds in store for us.
In addition to his position at Northwestern, Dr. Larson is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium. He works in the field of gravitational wave astrophysics, specializing in studies of compact stars, binaries, and the galaxy. He grew up in eastern Oregon, receiving his B.S. in Physics from Oregon State University in 1991. He then earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics (1999) from Montana State University. He is an award winning teacher, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Dr. Larson currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife, daughter and cats. He contributes regularly to a public science blog at writescience.wordpress.com, and tweets with the handle @sciencejedi.
Ned Schwartz, Cook County Parole Officer and LSUS Member
Ned Schwartz, Cook County Parole Officer and LSUS member, will speak on the topic, Criminal Justice: Punitive or Preventative? Our society devotes tremendous resources to criminal justice. One would expect major benefits. Are the expenditures producing good results? There are unrealistic expectations, and confusion, about what our society actually wants. It is difficult to produce efficient and effective systems when the goal of preventing crime gets mixed up with retribution and punishment. Behavioral science demonstrates that positive reinforcement is vastly superior to penalties. Unsurprisingly, the threat of arrest and prison seems ineffective in deterring crime and recidivism.
Ned Schwartz received a B.A. in Psychology, with minors in Art and Political Science, in 1983 from the University of Michigan. He then accepted a 3-year internship at the University of Chicago’s Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, a residential school for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders. Subsequently, he followed his passion for art, and opened Beret International, a gallery which showcased contemporary art from 1990-2000. In 1993, 10 years after sitting for the civil service exams, Ned was unexpectedly offered a position in a new Work Release Center, where he has now served for 23 years, currently as a Parole Officer. Ned lives in Wilmette with his wife Michelle and their children.
Jon Grand, Manager, The Book Stall, Winnetka
The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, commonly referred to as the Jefferson Bible, was a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the later years of his life by cutting and pasting with a razor and glue numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson's condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels that contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages that portray Jesus as divine. The Jefferson Bible has been called "scripture by subtraction." But, as Jon Gand shall show us, it was much more than that.
Jon Grand’s career has included fascinating jobs in environmental planning, including Director positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Nordic/Baltic Region, in Copenhagen and in Chicago. In 2006 he retired and began to work part time at The Book Stall. A part-time job has turned into a more than full-time job which he loves. Mr. Grand is a member of the Humanities Councils in Kentucky and Wisconsin and last spoke to us in 2014 on the book, Zealot.
Julie Strauss, PH.D., Lecturer on American Politics
Immigration reform has been a key political issue for the past several elections, yet little has actually changed. In 2014, the Senate passed a comprehensive reform bill, but it failed to pass the House of Representatives. We now have an incoming President who ran against liberalized immigration and who supports deporting undocumented immigrants - positions which galvanized many of his supporters, according to exit polls. This development has dramatically shifted the contours of the debate. Dr. Strauss will explore the political and policy repercussions of this multi-faceted issue.
Julie Strauss is a popular lecturer in American Politics, covering diverse course and lecture offerings including Money in Congress, Presidential Misconduct, The Media in Politics, The Women on the Supreme Court, Separation of Church and State and The Balance of Power between the Legislative and Executive Branches. In addition to lecturing at local colleges and community centers, Julie has presented at several Road Scholar seminars. She received her Ph.D. in American Politics from Northwestern University.
Dawned Ali, IT Manager Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Dawood Ali was born in Iowa to a Catholic American mother and a Muslim Indian father. He grew up as a practicing Muslim in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois with an engineering degree. While his professional life has focused on engineering and information technology, in his personal life he has been engaged in Islamic learning and teaching since his teenage years. He was actively involved in the operation of the Institute of Islamic Information and Education since its inception in 1986, eventually becoming its Managing Director. Mr. Ali has been the Director of the Muslim Youth Camp for the Muslim Community Center of Chicago for 15 years, teaching boys ages 12-18 about life as a Muslim in America. He is currently a speaker for the Muslim community to a variety of non-Muslim audiences, educating the public about Islam and Muslims.
Come hear Mr. Ali’s story: his childhood in Chicago, his unique high school experience, a “traditional” marriage, being Muslim in the workplace, all while living through the blizzard of 1979, 80’s music, the 90’s tech boom and bust, the 9-11 tragedy, and the current political climate.
Dr. Chris Tirres, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, DePaul University
The seventh principle of Unitarian Universalism affirms “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” What does this mean for us in 2017? Dr. Chris Tirres will inspire us with his discussion of the prophetic work of Brazilian theologian Ivone Gebara, who has written extensively on the topic of "relatedness" and the way that it challenges us to think beyond human and male-centered ways of knowing.
In addition to his role at DePaul, Dr. Tirres is a Visiting Professor at the Catholic Theological Union. He is the author of The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith: A Dialogue Between Liberationist and Pragmatic Thought (Oxford University Press, 2014) as well as a number of scholarly essays and chapters. Most recently, he was awarded a DePaul fellowship for a community-based research project entitled "Stories of Solidarity: Interfaith Engagement with Detained Immigrants." For this project, he is working with the Chicago-based organization Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI).
Ms. Jenniffer Weigel, Local Broadcast Journalist and Writer
Dr. Scott Paeth, Associate Professor, Religious Studies, Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies at DePaul University, will speak on the topic, Religion and Life in India: Paeth’s First-Hand Observations. In this session, Dr. Paeth will share with us his experiences of religious diversity in India during his recent visit. He will discuss the role of religion in Indian society, the tensions between Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, and some of the unique ways that religion and secularism interact within Indian society.
Dr. Paeth holds a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary in theology and ethics. His research interests focus on the areas of applied ethics, public theology, and the work and legacies of Reinhold and H. Richard Niebuhr. He teaches a number of classes including “Contemporary Moral Issues,” “Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States,” and “Medicine, Ethics and Society.” Dr. Paeth’s publications include "The Niebuhr Brothers for Armchair Theologians" (WJK 2014) and "Shaping Public Theology" (Eerdmans 2014). As director of the Center for Interreligious Engagement atDePaul’s Department of Religious Studies, he focuses on one central question: What are the requirements for building
Mr. David Asma, Chief Investigator at the Lake County (IL) Public Defender’s office and brother of LSUS speaker Steve Asma, will address the topic, Working Deep in the Trench: Defense Investigation and Murder Exoneration. Mr. Asma will speak about the often hidden work of criminal defense investigations. Media accounts of criminal cases often focus on the glamorous players inside the courtroom drama -- prosecutors, judges, police detectives, and attorneys. But what of those players who work backstage in an effort to “inject” reasonable doubt? Having worked on behalf of murderers and other marginalized people, , Mr. Asma will discuss notable cases where the defendant was ultimately exonerated. The insider's view point on defense investigations and the use of reasonable doubt will be discussed, as well as the emotional impact of “working in the trenches” of indigent criminal defense.
Mr. Asma holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology/Criminology from Northern Illinois University. He has been employed as a criminal defense investigator for the Lake County Public Defender’s Office since 1988 and is currently Supervisor of the Investigations Division. He is an adjunct instructor at the College of Lake County where he teaches both Sociology and Digital Media.
Dr. Doug Stuart, Intercultural Consultant and Executive Coach at Awakening Possibilities, will speak on the topic, The Intersection of Intercultural Competence and Ethics. Unraveling the complex challenges of human “ethics” is the intention of the Buddha’s “right action.” Determining and performing the right action in complex situations is however our lifelong challenge. We like to think of ethical behavior as global, of ethics as human ethics. The expression of ethical behavior, however, differs from culture to culture, and adapting to this reality is the goal of intercultural competence. Within all human cultures there are successive stages of development, from childhood to adulthood and beyond, with different ethical perspectives at each stage. These five well-researched developmental stages coincide conveniently with the equally well-validated five stages of intercultural development. The greater our human development, the more easily we understand and adapt our behavior to other cultural norms. As we move through these stages, the expression of our ethics becomes more “right” within our own culture and across cultural boundaries. We will explore these stages as different versions of the universal “Golden Rule,” to create a map, a guide for our own cultural and spiritual growth as human beings.
Dr. Stuart has spent a lifetime pursuing what it means to be a conscious human being. A prompt for this curiosity was suddenly finding himself in the midst of otherness as a Military Intelligence Special Agent in Germany. Since then, he has spent much of his working life with foreign nationals; as an English language teacher and program manager in North Africa, the Middle East, and Vietnam, as Assistant Professor in IIT’s Humanities Dept. (where he received his PhD), overseeing ESL programs, and, most recently, teaching advanced ESL to foreign professionals seeking opportunity in the U.S. For 15 years in the midst of all that, Dr. Stuart served as Director of Intercultural Training for a private relocation company serving corporate international transferees and work teams collaborating with foreign colleagues.
Dr. David Zarefsky, Emeritus Professor, Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, will speak on the topic, Campaign Rhetoric 2016. Professor Zarefsky returns for another pre-election discussion. Among the questions he will take up are: Why is this year’s election campaign so strange? Has there ever been anything like it? What can we learn from it? What have been the key moments? What is the role of third parties? What consequences can we predict if either of the major candidates wins? He will also consider the broader implications for value-based arguments inpolitics, the place of government in America, and America's role in the world.
David Zarefsky is Owen L. Coon Professor Emeritus of Argumentation and Debate and Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Northwestern University,. His research and teaching interests center on public argument in U.S. politics, both historical and contemporary. His specialty is the rhetoric of Abraham Lincoln. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of ten books and over 120 book chapters and journal articles. He is a former president of both the National Communication Association and the Rhetoric Society of America and has won research and service awards from both organizations.
This week's service will be held in the Meskill Room, Mallinckrodt Community Center, 1041 A Ridge Road, Wilmette. From Ridge Avenue, turn into Mallinckrodt's south driveway and park in the south lot. Enter the building via the south side ground level door.
Ms. Jenniffer Weigel, Local Broadcast Journalist and Writer, will speak on the topic, Conversations with Weigel: A Two-Part Series Exploring Spiritual Enlightenment. Ms. Weigel will be discussing how to incorporate spirituality into our already very busy lives. Part 1 will focus on her interviews with bestselling authors and many healers and spiritual leaders. She will list some of the most useful advice and wisdom and share how this information has changed her perspective on putting her trust in what she calls “the universe” or “the Source.” Part 2 will discuss ways to build our intuition and ability to hear that inner voice.
Ms. Weigel started in radio and eventually moved to television where she was a reporter and news anchor, winning an Emmy for her on-camera reporting for CBS. After her father (broadcaster and journalist Tim Weigel) died of a brain tumor in 2001, she decided life was too short to shiver on an overpass reporting, “It’s cold outside. Back to you.” She started her own production company and hosted the Emmy-nominated food and wine show “Taste” for NBC in Chicago. She’s written three books: Stay Tuned, I’m Spiritual, Dammit!, and This Isn’t the Life I Ordered. Her fourth book is being released next March. She now hosts “Conversations with Weigel: A Series Exploring Spiritual Enlightenment” at the Wilmette Theatre once a month, interviewing authors and gurus from across the country. Her podcast “I’m Spiritual, Dammit!” is one of the most popular podcasts for WGN-plus. She also hosts “Friday Funnies” at the Wilmette Theatre, which features local comedians on the first Friday of every month.
Rabbi Barry Cohen, Humanist Rabbi, will speak on the topic, The Power of One of Nietzsche’s Teachings for Humanistic Living in the 21st Century. What if we learned today that we were to repeat each and every moment of our lives – from our birth until our death – again and again into perpetuity? Would this news crush us or make us rejoice? With his “Theory of Eternal Recurrence,” Friedrich Nietzsche asks us this question. What kind of choices would we make if we did, in fact, face each day as though we would have to live it over innumerable times? What kind of person would we choose to be? How would we relate differently to family, friends, co-workers, and strangers? What aspects of our potential would we develop? What aspects would we reject?
Barry Cohen was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1992. He then entered Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati where he received his rabbinic ordination. Rabbi Cohen turned to Jewish journalism, where he became Editor of the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. He returned to the congregational world, moving to Oklahoma City and then to Long Grove, Illinois where he became Associate Rabbi of Temple Chai. He married Jennifer Cohen and they had two children. Tragically, Jennifer passed away in 2015. Rabbi Cohen’s rabbinical identity continues to evolve, and he recently joined the Association of Humanistic Rabbis and the Society for Humanistic Judaism. He also founded “Right Hand Rabbi,” an effort to reach out to the unaffiliated through education, life cycle events and community building. He loves story-telling, interfaith work and social action.
Ms. Ashley Marine, Director of Girl Engagement, GirlForward, will speak on the topic, GirlForward: Empowering Refugee Girls. GirlForward's model follows something called "girl-centered design." In this talk, she will explain what it means to run "girl-centered programming" and why it is so important for empowering girls. Each year, GirlForward serves nearly 200 girls from around the world. In the middle of the swelling refugee crisis, adolescent girls often face the biggest challenges and are given the fewest opportunities to succeed. This presentation will explore the ways in which girls are threatened in a refugee crisis, the challenges they face upon resettlement, and how GirlForward steps in to support them.
Ashley Marine's work and studies have primarily been focused on empowering women and girls and advocating for their rights. At GirlForward, she has created a signature mentoring program which matches adolescent refugee girls with dedicated women mentors who support the girls academically, socially and emotionally. She received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University, where she concentrated on social work and peace studies, before receiving her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago in Social Service Administration. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Ghana, where she provided street education to girls engaged in migrant labor work. Her work and studies have primarily been focused on inequalities based on gender and sexuality, empowering women and girls, and advocating for their rights. In her free time, she enjoys singing show tunes, dancing, and exploring all that Chicago has to offer.
Dr. Tracy Pintchman, Director of the International Studies Program and Professor of Religion in South Asia at Loyola University Chicago, will speak on the topic, Women’s Rituals in the Hindu Tradition. News headlines are full of bad news about the lives of women in India, which is majority Hindu. Recent media stories have focused on, for example, bride burnings, rape, and child marriage. But what goes on beyond the headlines? In what ways might Hinduism provide empowering or inspiring roles and rituals for women? In this talk, Dr. Pintchman will discuss the kinds of ritual opportunities available to Hindu women in both ascetic and domestic spheres.
Dr. Pintchman received her B.A. from Cornell University in Film Studies (Magna Cum Laude), her M.A. from Boston University in Religious Studies, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Religious Studies with an emphasis on South Asian religions. She teaches a variety of courses at Loyola which include Introduction to Hinduism, Hindu Goddess Traditions, Women and Religion, and Global Feminism. Dr. Pintchman has a working knowledge of Sanskrit, Hindi, and Greek. She has published numerous monographs, book chapters, articles, conference papers, lectures, essays and book reviews. She recently accepted a contract from Oxford University Press for her next book, Goddess beyond Boundaries. She lives in Wilmette.
Mr. Max Lerman, Music Therapist, North Shore University Health and Hospice Care
Mr. Max Lerman, Music Therapist at North Shore University Health and Hospice Care, will speak on the topic, Music Therapy: Multifaceted Approaches to Hospice and Palliative Care. Music connects us to our inner being, mind, body, and soul in ways that medicine can never do. It opens up bridges to our past, present, and future, and helps facilitate self-expression, love, and promote rehabilitative avenues for physical injuries. In addition, music therapy during the end of life process can provide comfort, security, and solace to families and their loved ones during times of immense vulnerability. Music can help address anxiety, pain, emotional distress, and other dilemmas that occur in hospice and palliative care in ways that other modalities or pharmacological approaches are unable to do. The music that each person enjoys is reflective of his or her own unique personality. As a result, music therapists are able to cater specific music therapy interventions that foster a safe and secure environment to help them cope with their illness. Examples of such music therapy interventions include movement and music, legacy projects, songwriting, and lyric analysis. In this presentation, our speaker hopes to provide us with a glimpse into the world of music therapy and share how transformative this profession can be for patients and their loved ones.
Max Lerman graduated from the University of Iowa in May of 2009 with a degree in Music Therapy and Jazz Studies. He completed his six-month internship/clinical training approved by the AMTA (American Music Therapy Association) in music therapy at the Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Skokie, and then received his board certification in Music Therapy (MT-BC) in April of 2010. He entered the music therapy profession because he felt the need to combine his musical aptitude with the desire to help those who are ill.
Guest Speaker: Mr. John Leeker, Archivist, Meadville Lombard Theological School.
Unitarian Universalist history is often imagined as a series of famous names on a timeline: William Ellery Channing begets Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson begets Henry David Thoreau, and so on and so on. Or, it is told as a series of successes as part of an ever more just world: abolitionism, women’s rights, civil rights and now gay rights. Neither of these frameworks, however, fully expresses the history of Unitarian Universalism. John Leeker will explore Unitarian Universalist history through a perspective informed by the philosophy of Walter Benjamin and various theologies of liberation to help create new histories. These histories, to use a phrase from Benjamin, thrust themselves into our present as a “moment of danger” that opens us to new possibilities of being.
John Leeker, in addition to his position as Archivist at Meadville Lombard, is Secretary-Treasurer of UU Collegium, and Treasurer of the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association. At the University of Chicago, he studied American religious history, writing a thesis on how Catholic women organized themselves within male dominated religious structures. He received his Master’s degree there. As a UU archivist, he works at the intersection of historical memory and social justice. He believes that the past can help us find a prophetic voice for the future.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Fatima Rahman, Assistant Professor of Politics of the Middle East and Islam, Lake Forest College.
Dr. Fatima Z. Rahman, Assistant Professor of Politics of the Middle East and Chair, Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College, will speak on the topic, Countering ISIS and Extremism from Within Islam. The string of heinous terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe since late 2015 has brought the public's attention to the most significant security threat to the world: ISIS. Professor Rahman will discuss the origins and the ideology of ISIS, and the threat that it poses to both non-Muslims and Muslims. She will discuss ISIS recruitment in the West and the role of Muslims in defeating the threat.
Professor Rahman’s research and teaching specializations are Middle East Politics, Islam and Politics, and Democratization. A native of southern California, she received her BA in Political Science - International Relations from the University of California San Diego, her MA in Political Science from the University of California Riverside, and her PhD in Political Science from the University of California Irvine. Professor Rahman has published articles on her specializations in academic journals and presented at both academic conferences and speaking engagements. At UCI she earned the Associate Dean’s Fellowship Honor and the School of Social Science Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant.