Machar


Secular Humanistic Judaism

Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, founder of Humanistic Judaism

Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, founder of Humanistic Judaism

Humanistic Judaism was founded as a congregational movement in 1963 by the late Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, and has emerged as a stream of Judaism that enables people of any ethnic or religious background to cherish Jewish history, culture, and ethics without worshiping or praying to a supernatural being. As an affiliate of the Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ), Machar is part of the national and international Humanistic Judaism movement. The International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ) is the educational arm of our movement, training rabbis and other leaders.

On its website, IISHJ offers this list of “evolutionary forebears to Secular Humanistic Judaism”:

• The Jewish wisdom literature tradition, exemplified by Proverbs and Job…
• The encounter of Jewish culture with Hellenistic philosophy in Late Antiquity…
• The emphasis on human action and mutual support in rabbinic Judaism…
• The Jewish experience of an urban and literate people who used their talents and intellect to survive…
• The rational philosophies of Baruch Spinoza and Enlightenment philosophers…
• Nineteenth-century Jewish ethnic and national identities, such as Yiddishism and Zionism…
• Secular Jewish schools, labor unions, political parties and social welfare organizations…
• Modern Humanist philosophies of human power and responsibility…

Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ)

Larry Lawrence, Machar Member and SHJ President

Larry Lawrence, Machar Member and SHJ President

The Society for Humanistic Judaism mobilizes people to celebrate Jewish identity and culture consistent with a humanistic philosophy of life independent of a supernatural authority. As the central body for the Humanistic Jewish Movement in North America, the Society assists in organizing and supporting congregations and in providing a worldwide voice for its members. The SHJ was organized in 1969. LEARN MORE

Rabbi Adam Chalom, IISHJ Dean

Rabbi Adam Chalom, IISHJ Dean

International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism
The International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ) was established in 1985 in Jerusalem to serve the needs of the growing movement of Secular Humanistic Judaism. Its three primary purposes are: to train rabbis, leaders, educators, and spokespersons; to commission and publish materials for the movement; and to offer public seminars and Colloquia for education and inspiration. Since the North American Section was incorporated in 1985, it has ordained over forty leaders (madrikhim/ot or vegvayzer) and rabbis.