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Our Beliefs

Humanistic Judaism

Judaism Beyond God

Humanism is a philosophy of life that affirms our ability to live meaningful and ethical lives free of divine or other supernatural authority. Judaism is the civilization, culture, and historical experience of the Jewish people. Humanistic Judaism combines Jewish culture with Humanistic philosophy; we express our Humanism through our Judaism.

Humanistic Jews uphold the worth and dignity of every person and work for the common good of humanity. We believe that ethical values are grounded in human welfare as tested by experience, compassion, and reason. Morality does not come from God or the Torah.

Humanistic Jews are committed to community service, civic engagement, tzedakah (charitable giving), social justice, and activism. We foster a commitment to ethical engagement through education and the cultivation of humanistic spirituality. Humanistic spirituality is the intentional cultivation of feelings of inner peace, compassion, connection to others, and self-transcendence.

Humanistic Jews celebrate Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and life-cycle events with non-theistic ceremonies, liturgy, and music inspired by tradition but not limited by it. Integrity is a central value of our movement. We say what we believe, and we do not say what we do not believe.

We believe in the importance of education. We engage in study and debate of Jewish and non-Jewish topics, current events, and intellectual sources. We read the Torah and other scriptures as human-created literature of great historical and cultural significance, but not as binding religious authority.

Humanistic Judaism is committed to radical inclusion in our communities. We believe that Humanistic Judaism can create a positive impact in the lives of anyone who wishes to embrace it, and therefore, it would be unethical to place limitations on who can join or participate in our communities. We embrace an expansive understanding of Jewish identity and affirm that a Jew is any “person of Jewish descent or any person who declares himself or herself to be a Jew and who identifies with the history, ethical values, culture, civilization, community, and fate of the Jewish people.”

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