Whilst Humanistic Judaism UK (HJUK) is at an embryonic stage of it’s development, it seems appropriate to draw up an initial “wish list” or vision of what it can develop into.
No doubt the focus will change over time but is important to ensure that the core ideals of Humanistic Judaism UK drive it forward.
This post can thus be seen as an initial discussion paper to begin to formulate the key objects of the organisation.
Here are some discussion points:
1. The Philosophy of Humanistic Judaism is clear and concise. Please see our about page. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. Whilst there is always room for discussion and measured argument, the key tenets of Humanistic Judaism as centrally administered by the Society for Humanistic Judaism are to be supported.
As such, for this and for many other positive reasons, HJUK should be affiliated in some way to the Society for Humanistic Judaism.
2. Geography and Community
Whilst in comparison with the United States, the United Kingdom is a small country, it is still far too large and disparate to successfully grow a Humanistic Jewish community in just one place and make it successful.
Having stated this, the age of the internet makes it far easier for a central organisation such as HJUK to centrally administer and promote Humanistic Judaism in the Uk whilst also providing active support to its constituent member groups and communities as they grow across the UK.
HJUK can utilise the power of modern technology to provide educational materials, marketing support and a central forum for all constituent members based on proper democratic principles and good governance.
Of course, Community is a central tenet of Humanstic Judaism and is key to allowing Humanistic Judaism to grow and flourish in the future. It is widely accepted that the bringing together of like-minded people in a social and supportive environment with education and other facilities is a key glue to civil society, which is currently being actively supported by the coalition government, as part of it’s Big Society.
Interestingly, to date, whilst Humanistic Jewish communities and groups have established themselves across North America and other parts of the World, this has just not happened in the UK, yet.
As a result, many of us will know many Jewish people who one way or another will basically agree with the philosophy of Humanistic Judaism but are affiliated to no Jewish organisation as nothing exists to meet their needs or alternatively there are Jewish people who are nominal or indeed active members of theistic Jewish congregations when their beliefs are in reality humanistic.
Of course, the tenets of Humanistic Judaism are such that anyone who wishes to adopt the practices of Humanistic Judaism can join its Community. This puts Humanistic Judaism at an enormous advantage compared with orthodox congregations, in particular, as Humanistic Judaism can be inclusive and not exclusive.
If Jewish people are to survive as a successful group, with presence in the modern World (UK) as part of the general population rather than as an exclusive sect, a modern Humanistic Jewish community must reach out to anyone with an affiliation to the Jewish people. In particular, this must mean working to attract those Jewish people who have married a non-Jewish partner but wish to remain part of an accepting Jewish community and if required, for their own children to be aware of and be part of the Jewish people from whence their parent and grandparents came.
The creators of this site are currently drawing upon their administrative skills and interest in Humanistic Judaism to envisage the way in which HJUK may grow as a central organisation but whilst HJUK can provide central support, there will be a need for charismatic and persuasive leaders at a local level to forge Humanistic Jewish groups and communities in relevant towns and cities across the UK.
In time, it is to be hoped that full time and fully trained Rabbis in the Humanistic Judaic faith can form part of the Uk community but as in much of community life, it will be the hard work of local leaders who truly believe that Humanistic Judaism can provide a key means to maintain and grow a thriving Jewish community into the future which will be needed.
It is believed that the Society for Humanistic Judaism can provide experience and support in this continued endeavour.
There is a lot more to raise and further posts on this vision for HJUK will follow. In the meantime, we welcome your comments either below or directly via our contact section.