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What Is Humanistic Judaism?

Most Jews in the United States don’t believe in the God of the Bible, yet still consider
themselves Jewish. How does this work? We’ll talk about the trend in general, then focus on
how Humanistic Judaism offers a non-theistic alternative to contemporary branches of Judaism,
by defining Judaism as the cultural and historical experience of the Jewish people and
removing God and the supernatural from holiday and lifecycle rituals.

We will also discuss wider implications for secular and humanistic people of all backgrounds,
such as acknowledging the familial and cultural pull toward tradition and history;
the benefits and pitfalls of ethnic and cultural identity that may continue after secularization;
how rituals can enhance life; and what meaning might still be found in religious practices
or teachings. Must secular people reject traditional religion wholesale, or might we be throwing the
baby out with the bathwater?

Paul Golin is the executive director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism (www.SHJ.org), the communityorganizing
umbrella of a 60-year-old congregational denomination of American Jewry. He also serves as lead
staff for SHJ’s pluralistic social justice initiative, Jews for a Secular Democracy, mobilizing Jewish voices to
defend the separation of religion and government. Paul is a writer, speaker, advocate, and consultant on issues
including secularity, intermarriage, disaffiliation, and inclusion. He co-authored two books and his
writing has appeared in the Forward, Jewish Week, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He is the white Ashkenazi
half of a “Jewpanese” (Jewish/Japanese) multiracial household and administers the Jewpanese page on

This program will take place both in-person (at 12:30PM) and online (at 1PM), via Zoom. The in-person event will be held at Pinnacle Living at 45 Forts Ferry Road in Latham, NY, it is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available at the in-person meeting before the speaker’s presentation. Current paid CDHS members will automatically receive an invite to the on-line meeting via email***.***

ANY ONE WHO IS NOT A CURRENT PAID MEMBER of CDHS CAN Attend. You can request a link to the Zoom meeting using the Contact page or send an e mail request to: CDHS.Albany@gmail.com. Please send the request several days prior to the event.