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Marriage and Humanistic Judaism

Marriage Manual, Summer 1987 When marriage began, there was very little talk about romantic love, friendship, and personal growth. Marriage was soci­ety’s way of licensing reproduction and providing a structure for the rearing of chil­dren. In some parts of the world, this view of the relationship between husband and wife still prevails. Bonding between men […]

New Ethnic Realities and the Jewish Future

Judaism Beyond Ethnicity, Summer 1997 Two forces are shaping North American Jewry and making it radically different from the Jewish population of Israel. One is assimi­lation; the other is intermarriage. In Israel a new Jewish ethnicity is emerging. Despite the initial problems of in­tegration, Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Maghrebi, Yemenite, Oriental, and Ethiopian Jews are merging through […]

RESPONSA – Conversion

Question: Does Humanistic Judaism provide for conversion? If Judaism is viewed primarily as a culture, what does conver­sion mean? Responsum: Conversion is a Christian term. It refers to the dramatic transforma­tion of the individual who “sees the light” and is saved. This transforming or “born again” experience is not only the result of personal choice […]

What Could Be More Humanistic Than Jewish Humor?

Jewish Humor – Summer 1991 Jewish humor. Most everybody admits that it exists. But not everybody agrees on what it means. Is it simply ordinary humor with a slightly distinct ethnic touch? Or is it more significant — a folk culture assault on the establishment ideology of rabbinic Judaism? For most secularized Jews in North […]

Islam Today

Islam and the Modern World, Autumn 2005-Winter 2006 Islam has high visibility in America be­cause of what happened on September 11, 2001. But it has low understanding. Most Americans associate modern Islam with violence and terrorism. Their knowledge is limited by hostility and distance. The varieties and complexities of Muslim life are not part of […]

Immigration: A New (and Not-so-new) Crisis

Immigration Spring 2007 Immigration has become one of the hot controversies in America. The flow of illegal immigrants across the Mexican border has triggered an intense backlash of protest and resentment. Some protestors are demanding deportation and a wall of separation. Others are insisting on more intense surveillance. Still others want immigrants to commit them­selves to […]

Who is a Jew: Fundamental Issues

IFSHJ Conference Highlights: Who is a Jew  Spring 1989 Two years ago in Detroit, about 350 peo­ple gathered from ten countries around the world to establish the International Federa­tion of Secular Humanistic Jews. There was great excitement in the air, a lot of hope and anticipation of what we might be able to do together. […]

A Secular Yeshiva

Humanistic Judaism in Israel – Winter 1985 A secular “yeshiva” now exists. Yes, a secular “yeshiva”! Headquartered in Jerusalem, the Inter­national Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism is in the process of becoming a full reality. Despite the existence of a century-old tradition of secular Jewish thought, this is the first school of higher Jewish learning […]