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This is my last CSJO E-newsletter. At the end of August (on August 31, 2016, to be exact), I retired from my long-held position as Executive Director of CSJO. It is my very great pleasure to introduce you to the NEW Executive Director: Terry Waslow (our current Chair).
Here's some important information about Terry:
Terry has an MBA with an undergraduate degree in human services counseling, and a very long history of community organizing. Terry has worked over 26 years in the non-profit world and has held a variety of managerial positions. She has been an active member in the Jewish community dating back to her initial involvement as a parent of two students of the Jewish Children's Folkshul in Philadelphia. Terry held a variety of positions at Folkshul and CSJO.
Terry received a fellowship from the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education to work with Jewish supplemental schools in an effort to integrate students with special needs into the classroom. Terry has served, and continues to serve, on the board of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ).
Terry is very excited about her new role within CSJO and is looking forward to traveling to its communities and meeting its members. Terry is happy to communicate with you and can be reached at
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I just received a very nice piece of news that I've been looking forward to for a long time — CSJO has become an Endorsing Member of the Secular Coalition for America! The Coalition's mission is to "increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all" and it is "dedicated to amplifying the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States."
Read more about the Secular Coalition for America at
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Bennett Muraskin has updated his excellent booklet "A Short History of Jews in the American Labor Movement." The new title is "Jews in the American Labor Movement: Past, Present & Future."
The Jewish labor movement is one of the major sources of our ideals and principles as secular humanistic Jews. This is a concise, readable, illustrated survey of the Jewish labor movement and its many emanations in the worlds of politics, journalism, literature, theater, film and scholarship. It is a valuable resource for use in adult education programs as well as the classroom for b'nai mitzvah students.
The booklet is available from CSJO by emailing The cost is $4.00.
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The CSJO Board of Directors, at its meeting during the CSJO 2016 Annual Conference, created a new committee: the Outreach Committee, which is chaired by Karen Knecht and co-chaired by Joan Kurtz.
On August 20, the Outreach Committee held a meeting of CSJO affiliates in Farmington Hills, MI, to discuss how to better the relationships between affiliates and CSJO. CSJO had offered the participants a substantial travel subsidy and had the hotel costs underwritten for one representative from each affiliate. If others wanted to join, they were welcomed to do so, but at their own expense. Ten affiliates had representatives in attendance, and six other individuals joined at their own expense. CSJO is very pleased at the number of people who wanted to participate. There were a total of 19 people in attendance.
Issues discussed at the meeting were, among others: ways of improving communication, improvement of CSJO's website, re-establishing the Social Action Committee of CSJO and bringing back an education/administration training program. A plan was put together that will be presented to the CSJO Board at its next meeting (in November 2016). What was also made clear was the need for in-person visits from youth and adult members of the Board to the affiliates. A commitment was made to review the budget to make this possible. Please contact our new Executive Director Terry Waslow (; 267-312-7635) , to arrange a visit.
Karen Knecht, chair of the committee, sends a special "thank you" to the people who  participated in this wonderful, productive meeting. They were:
  • Art Miron, Jewish Children's Folkshul, Philadelphia, PA
  • Mindy Blatt, Jewish Children's Folkshul, Philadelphia, PA
  • Mark Weber, Jewish Secular Community, Cleveland, OH
  • Dana Lowi-Merri, Morris Winchevsky School, Toronto, ON
  • Nancy Okamoto, Pacific Community of Cultural Jews, Orange County, CA
  • Joanne Shane Plummer, Philadelphia Secular Jewish Organization, Philadelphia, PA
  • Jacinda Bauman, Secular Jewish Community and School, Oak Park, IL
  • Sanford Greenberg, Secular Jewish Community and School, Oak Park, IL
  • Jordan Sigunick, Secular Jewish Community and School, Oak Park, IL
  • Mark Sigunick, Secular Jewish Community and School, Oak Park, IL
  • Laurence Braude, Sholem Community, Los Angeles, CA
  • Zev Rumstein, Sholem Aleichem Community, Winnipeg, MB
  • Solomon Ireland, Tri-Valley Cultural Jews, Greater East Bay, CA
  • Barbara Blaser, United Jewish People's Order, Toronto, ON
  • Terry Waslow, CSJO Chair
  • Sarah Waslow-Washington, CSJO Vice Chair
  • Joan Kurtz, Outreach Committee Co-Chair & CSJO Treasurer
  • Jordi Shuster, CSJO Board – Youth Executive Committee Member
And CSJO wants to thank Karen Knecht for spearheading this valuable initiative!
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I want to finish this, my last e-newsletter, by expressing how much I have enjoyed working with so many of you over the last 22 years. I will still be found at our wonderful conferences, and I'm only an email or phone call away if some information is wanted or needed. I wish you all, affiliate members and associate members, good health and joy in expressing your secular Jewishness!
Roberta 'Rifke' Feinstein
Outgoing Executive Director, CSJO
Now Available

"Matza Balls and Easter Eggs"
by Roberta "Rifke" Feinstein

Cost: $5.95

To order, email
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