Wednesday April 23, 2014
Secular Humanist Jewish Circle Joins Society for Humanistic JudaismSalem-News.com
Humanistic Jewish communities serve the “just Jewish,” secular, cultural and Humanistic Jews, Jewish atheists and agnostics, intermarried families, and the LGBT community.
(PHOENIX, AZ) - The Society for Humanistic Judaism welcomes the Secular Humanist Jewish Circle (SHJC) in Tucson, Arizona, as its newest affiliated community. While Phoenix congregation Or Adam has provided a long-standing presence for Humanistic Judaism in Arizona, Secular Humanist Jewish Circle is the first community dedicated to Humanistic Judaism to be organized in Tucson. The SHJC joins congregations and communities across North America, including communities in the East U.S. in Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Washington, DC; in the Midwest in Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota; in the Western U.S. in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington; and in Canada in Toronto.
For many unaffiliated Jews, Humanistic Judaism is the best expression of their Jewish identity and the only option that allows them to be a part of Jewish community.
"I recognized that there was a great interest and hunger in Tucson for a secular Jewish alternative when more than 70 people showed up to hear Rabbi Miriam Jerris speak in February 2010," said SHJC founding member Susan Rubin. "Since then, we have been enthusiastically growing our community. We now have a committed board and solid membership. Affiliating with SHJ will bring us into the national family, open the door to exciting new resources, and give SHJC respect and legitimacy."
Rabbi Miriam Jerris, who has been supporting the efforts of the leadership in Tucson for nearly three years, observed that she knew from the beginning that Susan and Marshall Rubin's understanding of the philosophy and their personal warmth, combined with their knowledge of Jewish organizational life, were the right combination for creating a community in Tucson. “We welcome the more than twenty-five household members into our organizational family and hope that they will learn what I learned many years ago, 'What we do together is more powerful than what we can accomplish on our own.’”
Humanistic Judaism, one of the five branches of Judaism, promotes the Jewish values of loving-kindness (Gemilut Chassadim), charity (Tsedaka), and making the world a better place (Tikkun Olam), while recognizing that the responsibility for putting these values into practice lies in human hands. It is a nontheistic movement in which cultural Jews and their families can affirm, celebrate, and enrich their Jewish identity and values consistent with their humanistic philosophy of life.
The Society for Humanistic Judaism, the central body for the Humanistic Jewish movement in North America,assists in organizing new communities, supporting its member communities, and in providing a voice for Humanistic Jews. Humanistic Jewish communities serve the “just Jewish,” secular, cultural and Humanistic Jews, Jewish atheists and agnostics, intermarried families, and the LGBT community. For more information about Humanistic Judaism, contact the Society for Humanistic Judaism, 28611 West 12 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills, MI 48334, (248) 478-7610, email@example.com, or visit their website www.shj.org.
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