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NEWS: Society for Humanistic Judaism Joins Religious and Secular Organizations Condemning Bigotry Toward American Muslims

Farmington Hills, MI, July 27, 2012 — The Society for Humanistic Judaism joined the Interfaith Alliance in a broad coalition of 42 secular and religious organizations that sent a letter to Reps. Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney, and Lynn Westmoreland protesting the representatives’ recent letters regarding prominent American Muslim individuals and organizations.

The organizations told the representatives that their “letters question the loyalty of faithful Americans based on nothing more than their religious affiliations and what is at best tenuous evidence of their associations. As such, your actions have serious implications for religious freedom and the health of our democracy.” Click here to read the full text of the letter and list of participating organizations.

“Our Humanistic Jewish values teach us to stand up for the dignity and freedom of all people,” said Society for Humanistic Judaism executive director Bonnie Cousens. “An attack on any individual simply because of their religious beliefs or associations threatens the religious freedom guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment.”

The Society for Humanistic Judaism is the national umbrella organization for Humanistic congregations in North America. Humanistic congregations embrace a human-centered philosophy that celebrates Jewish culture. Humanistic Jews value their Jewish identity and the aspects of Jewish culture that offer a genuine expression of their contemporary way of life. Humanistic Judaism embraces the belief in the human capacity to create a better world rather than in reliance on a supernatural power or an omniscient deity.

There are currently more than 30 congregations in the United States and Canada affiliated with this growing movement. Forty-nine percent of the United States 5.5 million Jews say that their outlook is secular and forty-eight percent do not belong to a synagogue or other Jewish organization according to the American Jewish Identification Survey undertaken by professional statisticians under the auspices of the Center for Jewish Studies at the City University of New York. The Society helps to organize local congregations and havurot, creates and disseminates celebrational and educational materials, provides national programs, including programs for teens and young adults, and serves the needs of individual members who do not live near an existing Humanistic congregation.

For more information, contact the Society for Humanistic Judaism.

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