Chapel Hill: Community

On Faith: Kehillah to begin 3-part series on Israel

Kehillah Synagogue has announced a three-part lecture series titled “Varying Perspectives on Israel,” beginning Wednesday, Sept. 10, when John Judis will discuss his recent book, “Genesis.”

“Genesis” is a historical account of Israel’s founding and the role played by American Zionists in successfully lobbying then U.S. President Harry Truman to support the creation of the new Jewish state.

Peter Beinart, the author of his own controversial book on this same subject, wrote, “You don’t have to agree with all of Judis’ conclusions to be powerfully impressed by the extent of his research, the quality of his insight and his deep empathy for both Jews and Palestinians in the tortured land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”

Judis, the author of six books, is a senior editor at The New Republic. He has written for GQ, Foreign Affairs, the New York Times and the Washington Post, among others.

The lectures will continue on Thursday, Nov. 13, when Jeff Spinner-Halev speaks on “Conversations with Israelis During the War in Gaza,” and on Thursday, Dec. 11, when Josh Block’s topic will be “Israel in the Mind of America.”

All the lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. at Kehillah, Synagogue located at 1200 Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill.

The series is co-sponsored by Beth El Synagogue and Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, and Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.

Hang concert Saturday

Matt Venuti will bring his one-man touring show that features new instruments and new music to Unity Center of Peace, 8800 Seawell School Road in Chapel Hill, at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Venuti will perform a special concert singing his songs while playing the Hang, a new acoustic instrument that has become a YouTube phenomenon, but is rare to hear live.

He is one of the world’s premier players of this instrument. He will also debut a brand new acoustic instrument from the same manufacturers called a Gubal. He says this instrument gives him the ability to create the sounds and rhythms of an entire ensemble on his lap.

His compositions and performances have been praised by fans worldwide. He has a history of performing at happenings like the TED Conferences and other special events either as a soloist or with his California-based ensemble, The Venusians.

Visit the center’s website at for more information or to buy tickets, $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Enrolling now

Fall term enrollment for Friends of Christ School for Christian Spirituality is underway. Classes begin Sept. 15.

Courses offered this fall will include two of the school’s five core courses. They are “The Christian Spiritual Journey as Transformation,” an introductory course for new school participants, and “Spiritual Discernment” for previously enrolled participants.

Orientation to include class descriptions and registration is set at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, at Christ United Methodist Church in Southern Village.

The Christian Spiritual Journey is being offered from 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays, Sept. 15 to Nov. 3 at Christ United Methodist in Chapel Hill, and on Thursdays, Sept. 18 to Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to noon at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3639 Old Chapel Hill Road in Durham.

The fee for each class is $25, which does not include the course text.

Friends of Christ School is an ecumenical school for Christian spiritual formation. It offers spiritual growth opportunities both through transmission of the common Christian traditions and in-depth experience of its core spiritual practices.

Since the school opened in fall of 2012, more than 110 persons have participated in the core courses, retreats, labyrinth walks, spiritual companioning groups and one-time presentations.

Information and registration can be found at

Hagan to speak

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan will speak at an anniversary banquet marking the 150th anniversary of St. Paul AME Church at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Sheraton Hotel, 1 Europa Drive, Chapel Hill.

Other speakers will include Justice Cheri Beasley from the N.C. Supreme Court, local mayors and other elected officials.

Deborah Noel of UNC-TV’s “Black Issues Forum” is the mistress of ceremony. Singer Lois Deloatch from Durham will provide entertainment.

Tickets at $50 are available by calling the church at 919-967-3961.

Send your faith news to Flo Johnston at or call 910-361-4135.