My Journey to Become a Madrika

By Jamie Ireland

Have you ever taken courses that you felt were designed for you? Well, I have. Having been a long-time CSJO-er, it was nice to be certified as a Madrikha earlier this month in Detroit in a beautiful ceremony at the Birmingham Temple. As my certification suggests, now I may legally perform all of the similar duties as a minister, priest or rabbi- pretty cool! As a Secular Humanist Leader, I can be the legal officiant at weddings, conduct memorials and other ceremonial functions and engage in moral counseling upon request. 

During my 5-year leadership program, I learned about the history of the Secular movement, the history behind our holiday and life cycle celebrations, as well as educating our youth and managing our organizations. Much of my studies reinforced ideas that I knew but bolstered my knowledge in these areas. But there was new learning as well when I took courses on Sephardic and Israeli Jewry. My favorite, because I knew the least-therefore learned the most- was the course with hands-on practical skill learning of philosophic guidance and counseling.

As a teacher of our Jewish Culture School and serving on the board I have been active in our Tri-Valley Cultural Jews community since its inception 12 years ago. I wanted to have more background knowledge of our movement and as a lifelong-learner, I knew there was always more to learn so I went for it, tackling the feat of this program that I had heard of as a teen and now I have completed it … it feels so good to accomplish this long-held goal.

Jamie Ireland
Tri-Valley Cultural Jews
November 2017

jaimie ireland grad iishj.JPG