Growth of Jewish population in the USA

New reports show that the Jewish population in the USA is growing.

It has been intriguing to read details of the recent reports by Boston and Brandeis Universities which indicates that far from the projected decline in the US Jewish population over the last 10 years as predicted there has in actual fact been a quite significant increase in those identifying themselves as Jewish.

An interesting perspective from a American viewpoint is set out in this post by Rabbi Falick of Miami Florida on his atheist rabbi blog

Evidently the report deals with the Jewish population in the US. but it seems clear that the lessons to be learnt in the UK is that if UK Jewry is openly pluralist fully accepting orthodox, reform, liberal and humanists Jews as differing but representative members of a UK Jewish Community then there are grounds to believe that a stronger, larger and more confident UK Jewish community can thrive into the future, rather than the risk of retreating into a diminishing minority group.

Articles about Humanistic Judaism

Web content for Humanistic Judaism UK

Here at Humnistic Judaism UK, we are greatly aware of the multiplicity of stories, news, videos and books about humanistic judaism and related topics.

We cordially invite any of you to submit your own exclusive articles about humanistic judaism for publication on the site where, of course, we will be very happy to give you online credit for your work.

Please also refer us to any relevant material on the web or elsewhere which could add materially to the quality of the content on the site.

Thank you for your continued support.

Online Humanistic Jewish Sabbath Services

How to find online serrvices with a humanistic perspective

At the current time, there is no organised Humanistic Jewish community in the UK although it is certainly the aim of this site to develop the same over time.

As such, there is no easy way for a person in the UK to experience a Humanistic Jewish service without travelling to the United States where most organised communiites are based.

All is certainly not lost, however, as Rabbi Laura Baum and Rabbi Robert Barr provide live streaming sabbath and holiday services and recordings via ourjewishcommunity.org an online synagogue directly connected to Congragation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Our Jewish Community and its sister community is independent of the SHJ and other humanistic jewish organisations but its core values are humanistic and it is fair to say that they offer in many ways a superb fresh model for progressive judaism in the 21st century.

Please check the informal but meaningful recorded sabbath services such as last week’s service here:

Watch live streaming video from ourjewishcommunity at livestream.com

and take the opportunity where possible to join in their interactive services taking account of the fact that their timezone is 5 hours behind the UK.

Enjoy

New Bookstore at Humanistic Judaism UK

New Bookstore at Humanistic Judaism UK

We have now added a bookstore here on this site wiith links to a number of titles relevant to Humanistic Judaism.

We shall continue to seek other sources of relevant titles and we will welcome any information which allows us to increase appropriate publications available to users of this site with special regard to educational materials.

A vision for Humanistic Judaism UK 2

A further post examining a future vision for Humanistic Judaism UK

Following the post last week, we set out further ideas as to the future development of Humanistic Judaism UK.

Central to the progress of the organisation is to make education paramount. This will mean that the organisation keeps its own physical or online library of relevant publications and, in particular, develops relevant training courses for existing and future community leaders; and a recognised Humanistic Jewish curriculum for the children of members.

With regard to organisation, whilst Humanistic Judaism Uk will be the central body, it will be a fully democratic body representing its constituent members which will include local communities and other appropriate membership sections such as a student body which will be key in generating future leaders of the organistation.

A further key requirement for the Humanistic Judaism Uk organisation will be to provide central strategic support to communities wishing to set up and grow themselves across the UK. The modern internet world, will without doubt, assist in this role and provide central resoures to communities very simply. It will, of course, be up to local communities to grown in their own way according to local circumstances.

The key is for all constituent parts of the organisation to adhere to the central tenets of Humanistic Judaism without any part being tied to any prescriptive models which they must follow.

Again, please feel free to add your own constructive comments regarding the future of Humanistic Judaism UK or contact us directly.

A Vision for Humanistic Judaism UK

A vision for Humansitic Judaism UK with key points for discussion

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.

3. Leadership

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.

Reading more about Humanistic Judaism

The literature of Humanistic Judaism

Whilst a website such as this can set out the basic tenets of Humanistic Judaism and provide a forum for discussion, it is books and other publications that put the meat on the bones of Humanistic Judaism and let us develop our own understanding of the philosophy and central ideas of the movement.

As a starting point, one can always be directed to the clear and inspirational publications of the founder of modern Humanistic Judaism, Sherwin Wine, but there is also substantive new literature by writers such as Greg Epstein and Bernardo Sorj.

If Amazon cannot assist, please consider the bookshop of the Society for Humanistiic Judaism and also the publications section of the International Institue for Secular Humanistic Judaism.

At Humanistic Judaism UK, we are looking at ways to build up our own book store and library and will keep you informed of developments.

Enjoy your reading.

Welcome

Welcome to Humanistic Judaism UK

Humanistic Judaism Uk is a new site to represent Humanistic Judaism in the United Kingdom.

Whilst Humanistic Judaism is an established part of Jewish life in the United States, in particular, there is currently no central body to represent and promote Humanistic Judaism in the UK.

This site represents an opportunity to provide a central forum for Humanistic Jews in the UK and those who wish to explore this form of Judaism further.

It is hoped, therefore, that this site can provide a valuable first step in creating a vibrant Humanistic Jewish organisation and communities in the United Kingdom.

Please join us by subscribing here and be part of an valuable new movement.