Society For Humanistic Judaism Receives Grant From the Simon Foundation to Launch Michigan Programming Detroit Jewish News – The Jewish News

Posted By on January 18, 2022

The Donald R. and Esther Simon Foundation has awarded a grant to the Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ) to expand its Jews for a Secular Democracy social justice initiative by piloting a state-specific program in Michigan.

The goal is to build a pluralistic network of partners in the state across Jewish communal institutions and denominations to bring a Jewish perspective to education and advocacy defending the separation of church and state.

SHJ Executive Director Paul Golin explains, The results of this grant will be a Jewish community more aware of how social-justice issues of great concern to Jews, such as reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ equality, tie into First Amendment religious freedom; a greater understanding of how to advocate for positive change on these issues; and a working coalition to learn together and foster that positive change through shared Jewish values.

The grant provides the opportunity to create a state-based model and learning lab for the Jews for a Secular Democracy initiative nationally as it seeks to then expand into other states.

Sarah Levin, program coordinator for the initiative, adds, There are, unfortunately, church-state separation issues in every state that should be of concern for Jews, as a religious minority. We have an obligation to share our diverse perspectives and historical experiences to help more grassroots activists educate decisionmakers to not favor one religions approach over others or none.

Society for Humanistic Judaism (www.shj.org) is the central body for the Humanistic Jewish movement in North America. Founded by Rabbi Sherwin Wine and volunteers in suburban Detroit in the mid-1960s, Humanistic Judaism combines the Jewish values of loving-kindness (gemilut chassadim), charity (tzedakah), and making the world a better place (tikkun olam), with the recognition that the responsibility for putting those ideals into practice lies in human hands. It is a nontheistic movement in which cultural Jews and their families can affirm, celebrate and enrich their Jewish identity and values.

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Society For Humanistic Judaism Receives Grant From the Simon Foundation to Launch Michigan Programming Detroit Jewish News - The Jewish News

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