Group forms Secular Humanist Circle

A Secular Humanist Jewish Circle has formed in Tucson. The group will hold its first event, an observance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Secular Humanist Judaism “places emphasis on human beings having the innate ability to make moral and ethical decisions based on evidence from the world and from history,” explains Becky Schulman, a member of the group’s steering committee. Humanistic Judaism is a non-theistic alternative in contemporary Jewish life that seeks a connection with Jewish culture, tradition and history, she says, adding that “actions must reflect a respect for self, others, the planet, the world and for future generations.”

In 1963, Rabbi Sherwin Wine started the first Humanistic Jewish congregation, the Birmingham Temple, in Detroit, Mich. Today the Society for Humanistic Jews lists more than two dozen congregations in North America.

The Tucson group’s High Holiday observance on Sept. 11 will be held at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 4831 E. 22 St., with registration at 9:30 a.m. and a program beginning at 10 a.m. Jack Silver, madrikh (certified clergy) of Or Adam Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Phoenix, will participate. A light lunch will follow. Participants are encouraged to bring shofars.

The cost of the event is $10 per person. RSVP by Aug. 27 to Becky at 624-3132; Jacqui at 722-5652; or Susan or Marshall at 577-7718.