“Origins of Jewish Astrology: A Michigan View of the Sky” will offer a unique exploration of astrology and astronomy in Jewish history and culture.

The Jewish Historical Society of Michigan has organized a special program at Flint’s Longway Planetarium in conjunction with the Flint Jewish Federation on Sunday, April 2, 2023 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. “Origins of Jewish Astrology: A Michigan View of the Sky” will offer a unique exploration of astrology and astronomy in Jewish history and culture. In addition, participants can view “From Darkness to Light: Mosaics Inspired by Tragedy,” a series of mosaics created after the 2018 shootings at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh which are on exhibit at Longway Planetarium.

The idea for the Jewish astronomy program came from Hilary Dubinstein, program director of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan. After attending one of the planetarium’s monthly “Cultural Astronomy” programs, she approached planetarium manager Patrick Ross to inquire about a possible program with a Jewish theme.

According to Ross, the “Cultural Astronomy” programs are intended to highlight astronomical advancements from cultures outside of Europe. “This history of Astronomy in the modern era is traditionally Eurocentric and touches heavily on Greek, Roman, and later European astronomers. However, cultures all over the world have developed systems to track the movement of the Sun, Moon, Planets, and stars and used this movement to predict the changing of the seasons and years,” he explains. This family-friendly program has been created specifically for the two organizational partners — Flint Jewish Federation and the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.

The series of mosaics created to honor victims and survivors of the Tree of Life Congregation includes two local artists—Shelley Jaffe of Royal Oak and Joan Schwartz of Huntington Woods. Since this exhibit is nearing its end, some mosaics have been moved to other locations and they may be available only in digital format. Dubinstein is also encouraging participants to visit the newly remodeled Sloan Museum of Discovery and the Flint Institute of Arts, both of which are near the Longway Planetarium.

Registration Information

To register for “Origins of Jewish Astrology”, visit www jhsmichigan.org. The cost for the program and kosher lunch is $54 for Jewish Historical Society members with an additional $36 for bus transportation; the fee for non-members is $72 and $108 with bus transportation. The fee for Genesee County residents is $36 through support from the Flint Jewish Federation.

The bus will leave from the parking lot of Temple Shir Shalom, 3999 Walnut Lake Road in West Bloomfield at 9:30 a.m. and return at 3:30 p.m.  The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Longway Planetarium, located at 1310 E. Kearsley Street in Flint.

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