Our mission at Secular Humanist Jewish Circle is to celebrate cultural humanistic, and secular Judaism.
We see ourselves as a caring and stimulating community which although secular and non-theistic, proudly values our Judaism and what we have in common with all other Jews. We welcome everyone who connects with the history and culture of the Jewish people and the principles of Humanistic Judaism.
After attending an inspiring lecture about Humanistic Judaism in February 2009, a group of Tucson locals joined together as a passionate community with the goal of establishing a humanistic Jewish community in Tucson. As more Tucson Jews gained interest, the community gained traction and became known as Secular Humanist Jewish Circle.
Today, we plan and sponsor educational and social events to celebrate the history and tradition of Jewish holidays. We celebrate the High Holidays, Chanukah, Purim, Passover and Sukkot. SHJC meets in libraries, community centers, and members’ homes - the rotation of locations addresses the wide geographic area of our members.
What is Secular Humanistic Judaism:
Humanistic Judaism emphasizes Jewish culture and Jewish history as the source of Jewish identity without prayer and theism.
Humanistic Judaism was established in Detroit, Michigan in 1963 after Rabbi Sherwin Wine started the first Humanist Jewish congregation, the Birmingham Temple. A non-theist alternative in contemporary Jewish life, Humanistic Judaism seeks a connection with Jewish culture, tradition, and history.
At Secular Humanist Jewish Circle, we:
Draw strength from the history, culture, and achievements of our people
See Jewish history as testimony to the continuing struggle for universal human dignity
Create and observe secular interpretations of Jewish rituals, services, and celebrations
Include study, questioning, discussion, and social justice as examples of Jewish values
Believe that action to create social justice is an affirmation of our Jewish identity
Seek solutions to human conflicts that respect the freedom, dignity, and self-esteem of every human being
Believe that human beings have the responsibility for solving human problems
Hold values independent of a supernatural authority
Rely on sources such as reason, observation, experimentation, creativity, and artistic expression to address questions about the world and to seek understanding of our experiences
A collection of photos from SHJC events
Meet our SHJC Board Members
Rabbi Jack Silver has served as our rabbi since 2017. He resides in Tempe with his wife Sharon. In addition to providing Shabbat and Holiday services in person and via tele-video, he is always happy to assist members with life cycle events and questions about Humanistic Judaism.
Rabbi Jack Silver