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NEWS: Humanistic Jews Support Women’s Equality Day,
Condemn Gender Discrimination

Farmington Hills, MI, August 22, 2013 — The Society for Humanistic Judaism has issued a statement condemning gender discrimination and endorsing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day in commemoration of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote.

“As Humanistic Jews, we see Jewish history as testimony to the continuing struggle for human dignity, freedom and equality. 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. “We believe that all people are to be valued and treated equally, and that gender is no exception.”

The statement reads in part:

“As Humanistic Jews, we understand that gender equality is not only a human rights issue, but also an issue of justice, safety, peace, security, and economic advancement in all nations around the world. Women all over the world should have the same rights and privileges as men, including legal protections, roles in decision-making, access to healthcare, equal pay, educational opportunities, and career choices.

“... The Society for Humanistic Judaism wholeheartedly supports the observance of Women’s Equality Day on August 26 to commemorate the anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women to vote; ... condemns gender discrimination in all its forms, including restriction of rights, limited access to education, violence, and subjugation; and ... commits itself to maintain vigilance and speak out in the fight to bring gender equality to our generation and to the generations that follow.”

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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