- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I found it unfortunate that Julia Duin did not mention Secular Humanistic Judaism, the one movement in Judaism that meets the identity and ceremonial needs of cultural and secular Jews (“Study finds Jews in U.S. drifting away from faith,” Page 1, Wednesday). The affiliated communities of the Society for Humanistic Judaism reach out to culturally Jewish and intermarried families in a way that gives them a Jewish home and with a philosophy that is consistent with their worldview.

Instead of the “woe is me” attitude expressed in Ms. Duin’s article and by many members of the Jewish community, Humanistic Judaism affirms a positive Jewish identity, independent of supernatural authority — a place to celebrate and commemorate Jewish holidays and the life cycles of birth, bar/bat mitzvah, marriage and death. Both partners in intermarriage are accepted as equal participants in our congregations. There is much less to despair regarding the increased number of secular Jews with Humanistic Judaism available as an option to all those who identify as humanist, cultural and secular Jews.

MIRIAM JERRIS

Rabbi, Society for Humanistic Judaism

President, Association of Humanistic Rabbis

Farmington Hills, Mich.

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