Westporter Saul Haffner and Easton resident Lucy Katz are both being honored by the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism for extraordinary service to the Congregation and the community at large. On December 9th they will be presented the Menschlichkeit Award at a ceremony at the Red Barn in Westport.
A mensch is a Yiddish word that means a good person, or a person of integrity. Menschlichkeit refers to the qualities that make someone a mensch.
The Menschlichkeit Award is bestowed by the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (CHJ), devised to recognize members who have embodied the ideals of Humanistic Judaism over a long period of time. Those ideals include human kindness, public service, strengthening community bonds, and creating connections within our community and neighboring ones. In addition, the Congregation’s much revered recipients have provided leadership within the Congregation, and volunteered in a wide variety of ways such as teaching, writing services, mentoring, etc. CHJ gives this award to those very special individuals who make a huge difference in the life of its Congregation and in the wider community.
The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism is a cooperative community and members are responsible for its operation. Both honorees are accomplished members of the Congregation, and over the past 30-plus years they have held too many leadership roles to list.
Lucy Katz is the Ritual Chair and she authored most of CHJ’s Shabbat ceremonies. She is also the CHJ representative with the Tent of Abraham. This is an interfaith dialogue program that fosters cooperation and bridge building between different religious communities. Similarly, Saul Haffner was involved with the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut; this group engages religious groups to act to meet society’s needs. Saul was a past President of CHJ and he is a member of the Ritual Committee. He is the Congregation’s Bible expert and Torah commentator. Lucy and Saul’s active involvement with CHJ and the community at large is a testament to their commitment the values that make up Humanistic Judaism.
The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism has a full calendar of activities for adults and children, including Jewish holiday celebrations, a wide array of Friday and Saturday night and Sunday morning programs, Sunday School, discussion groups, and a book group. To learn more about the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism and its programs, and see a calendar of upcoming events, check the website: www.humanisticjews.org.