Kol Hadash, Northern California Community for Humanistic Judaism

ABOUT US: Humanistic Judaism

Family ShabbatWhat is Humanistic Judaism?

Humanistic Judaism is a nontheistic alternative in contemporary Jewish life, begun by Rabbi Sherwin Wine and his small break-away congregation during the sixties in a suburb of Detroit. Since that time it has grown into an international movement involving many congregants and organizations, including an institute for ordaining rabbis. Humanistic Judaism offers an opportunity to practice Judaism in ways that are consistent with our humanistic outlook.

As members of Kol Hadash and the Society for Humanistic Judaism,

  • We affirm our identity as members of the Jewish people. A Jew is a person, any person, who identifies with the history, culture, achievements and future of the Jewish people.
  • We believe our Jewish identity is best preserved in a free, pluralistic environment. The freedom and the dignity of the Jewish people must go hand in hand with the freedom and dignity of every human being.
  • We view Jewish history, like the history of other peoples, as a product of human decisions and actions. It is testimony to the continuing struggle for human dignity.
  • We demonstrate our bond to the Jewish people through humanistic observance of Jewish holidays and life cycle events. We create and use non-theistic Jewish rituals, services, and celebrations to foster a positive Jewish identity, intellectual integrity and ethical behavior among celebrants.
  • We affirm the value of study and discussion of Jewish and universal human issues. We rely on such sources as reason, observation, experimentation, creativity and artistic expression to address questions about the world and in seeking to understand our experiences.
  • We seek solutions to human conflicts that respect the freedom, dignity and self-esteem of every human being. We make ethical decisions based on our assessment of the consequences of our actions.
  • We believe that it is human beings who have the responsibility for solving human problems. We are committed, in the enduring Jewish tradition of support for social action and social progress, to community service and actions for social justice. We each take responsibility for our own behavior and all of us take collective responsibility for the state of the world.

We are committed to passing these values on to present and future generations through education and by our example.

About Us | Contact Us | © 2007 Kol Hadash