Home  Principles & Statements  Positions of the ACJ  Articles  DonationsAbout Us  Contact Us  Links                                         

Letter To The Editor

Edward J. Klein
Summer 2000

To The Editor,  

Stephen J. Whitfield (Issues, Spring 2000) says: "There is simply no longer a serious way of being Jewish-and living within Jewish culture-without Judaism. As various secular bases of Jewish life have vanished or have been discredited, religion alone remains standing." I must take exception to Mr. Whitfield's statement.  

Secular Humanistic Judaism is alive and thriving in North America, witness the Society for Humanistic Judaism, the Congress of Secular Organizations and the Workmen's Circle.  

Many thinking Jews cannot accept a Judaism based on theophany, God-given laws and miracles, but they can live a culturally rich Jewish life as secular Jews, taking pride in Jewish history and culture and living lives of dignity, self respect, personal commitment and communal unity.  

Being a Secular Humanistic Jew involves more than subscribing to Judaism. Jewish ethnicity and identification with Israel. That is why the SHJ and CSJO have over 60 communities, synagogues and schools in North America in addition to the Workmen's Circle schools.  

Secular Humanistic Jews celebrate Jewish holidays and life-cycle events with appropriate humanistic rituals. Meetings will include discussions on Jewish history, music, art, book reviews and Jewish education for all ages. Secular Humanistic Jews are indeed serious about their Jewishness.  

To survive, Judaism must be pluralistic. A rational option in Judaism must be available if we are to retain and attract those thinking Jews who arrive at their own beliefs independent of any synagogue or rabbi.

< return to article list
© 2010 The American Council For Judaism.