Organize a Community
No community in your area? With a limited number of affiliates and the increased mobility of the Jewish people, often Humanistic Jews find themselves in communities where there are no affiliates of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Members relocate to retirement communities or to be near their children. Children raised in Humanistic Judaism leave their childhood community for college or careers.
Being part of an SHJ community gives opportunity for a like-minded group of individuals to celebrate holidays, study together, educate children, and provide support in times of joy and sorrow.
The Society for Humanistic Judaism helps individual members to connect with other Humanistic Jews in their area. We assist you in developing strategies to reach out to like-minded secular and cultural Jews. The SHJ Rabbi and Executive Director provide support as the community grows.
Resources are available to support organizing efforts – Shabbat and holiday materials, advertising and marketing tools, adult and youth educational curricula, YouTube videos and DVDs describing the philosophy and practice of Humanistic Judaism. It may be possible to arrange a visit from the SHJ Rabbi.
There are three paths to connect to other Humanistic Jews:
- Organize an SHJ Community for communities that will ultimately consist of 25 or more household members.
- Organize an SHJ Havura for communities that will likely have less than 25 household members by choice or by limitations beyond the control of the organizers.
- Become involved in SHJ’s on-line Facebook page and discussion forum for individual members.
The requirements and benefits of these options vary. Please contact Rabbi Miriam Jerris for more information about organizing an SHJ affiliate in your area.
We are now working to organize Humanistic Jewish communities in: Gainesville, FL; Atlanta, GA; Kansas City, MO; Santa Fe, NM; Houston, TX; Austin, TX; and Madison, WI. These communities have individuals serving as contacts.
We have also had multiple requests about HJ communities in Southern New Jersey; Central New Jersey; Central, MD; New Orleans, LA; Rhode Island; and Las Vegas, NV. We are unable to move to the next step in these areas because no one has offered to serve as a contact person. If you are willing to be a contact person, please email Rabbi Miriam Jerris.
For information about efforts in these locations or an area near you, please send your complete contact information, including snail mail address and phone number to Rabbi Miriam Jerris, and include the area in the subject of your e-mail.