THE SOCIETY FOR HUMANISTIC JUDAISM:
Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine Lifetime Achievement Award
NEWS: Society for Humanistic Judaism
Farmington Hills, MI, October 25, 2013 — The Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ) presented the 2013 Sherwin T. Wine Lifetime Achievement Award to Esther and Ron Milan of Southfield, MI. They have been active members of the Birmingham Temple, Farmington, Hills, MI, since its early years.
Ron Milan has been a committed member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Humanistic Judaism for more than 30 years, and has served on the boards of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism and the International Federation of Secular Humanistic Jews. In presenting the award, SHJ Executive Director Bonnie Cousens said, "they have stimulated the adoption of innovations in outreach and technology to expand the reach of the movement." Esther and Ron Milan recognized the importance of reaching out to unaffiliated and non-theistic Jews early in the development of the Humanistic Jewish movement, funding advertising campaigns and publication of the journal Humanistic Judaism and works by Rabbi Sherwin Wine. Most recently, they have established the online Library of Secular Humanistic Judaism, which features video presentations of lectures, services, and other programs. In presenting the award, SHJ Executive Director Bonnie Cousens said, "they have stimulated the adoption of innovations in outreach and technology to expand the reach of the movement."
The award, established by SHJ past president and Kol Hadash, California, member Bert Steinberg in 2003 in honor of Wine's 75th birthday, represents Steinberg's heartfelt gratitude at finding a Humanistic Jewish community that reflected his lifelong philosophy and unfulfilled need. Steinberg joined SHJ and became bar mitzvah at the age of 72 under Wine's tutelage.
When the award was first established in his name Wine said, "I feel very honored that it not only is connected to what is most meaningful in my life, but it is an award recognizing other people's work."
Recipients of the award are individuals who have "over the years exemplified extraordinary dedication, devotion, adherence to and activity in the Secular Humanistic Judaism Movement and the philosophical doctrines enunciated by the Movement's founder, Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine." Past recipients of the award include, Marilyn Rowens, Southfield, Michigan, Bert Steinberg, San Francisco, California, Rabbi Miriam Jerris, Huntington Woods, Michigan, Lorraine and Ben Pivnick, Franklin, Michigan, Jane Goldhamer, Beaverton, Oregon, M. Bonnie Cousens, executive director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, West Bloomfield, Michigan, Shari Gelber, Newton, Massachusetts, Deb Godden, Charlottesville, Virginia, and Louis Altman of Northbrook, Illinois, and Bradenton, Florida. A permanent plaque bearing the image of Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine is on display at the SHJ's headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan. A smaller replica is given each year to the recipient, along with a personal gift.
Humanistic Judaism, one of the five branches of Judaism recognized by the United Jewish Communities of North America, combines the Jewish values of loving-kindness (Gemilut Chassadim), charity (Tzedaka), and making the world a better place (Tikkun Olam), with the recognition that the responsibility for putting them in 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. The Society is the central body for the Humanistic Jewish movement in North America.
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