Mission: The Society for Humanistic Judaism mobilizes people to celebrate Jewish identity and culture consistent with a humanistic philosophy of life independent of a supernatural authority. As the central body for the Humanistic Jewish Movement in North America, the Society assists in organizing and supporting congregations and in providing a worldwide voice for its members.
Humanistic Judaism embraces a human-centered philosophy that celebrates Jewish culture without supernatural underpinnings. Humanistic Jews value their Jewish identity and the aspects of Jewish culture that offer a genuine expression of their contemporary way of life. We believe in the human capacity to create a better world.
Target demographics: people to connect to Humanistic Jewish communities
Direct beneficiaries per year: 100 teens attend a conference; Humanistic Jewish communities implement new Sunday school curricula, individuals and communities celebrate Jewish holidays and life cycle events humanistically
Geographic areas served: North America
Programs: cultural holiday celebrations for Humanistic Jews, youth and adult education, life cycle ceremonies, a humanistic and Jewish voice on important issues, conferences for teens and young adults, resources for individuals and communities
The Society for Humanistic Judaism serves an important purpose in providing a feeling of legitimacy (I'm not alone!) and a sense of community for Jews in the U.S. and Canada who identify as Jewish but do not believe in an interventionist god. Without the Society for Humanistic Judaism and its affiliated local communities, secular Jews like me would be faced with the choice of "going through the motions" of traditional Jewish ritual and prayer or disconnecting completely from our Jewish heritage. The Society supports the development of new Humanistic Jewish communities, the growth of existing communities, and a strong voice for Humanistic Jewish values on the important social issues of our time. My experience with the Society is that it is comprised of caring, hard-working, highly intelligent people who are visionaries in their approach to Judaism in the 21st century.
The SHJ has helped Jews like me across the country, who do not believe in a god, to find a community of like minded individuals. Individuals with whom we can share Humanistic Judaism--Humanistic ideals, Jewish customs, holidays and foods.