In this issue: Intermarriage and the Future of Judaism; Fun and History in Philadelphia; Send Your Young Person to the D.C. HuJews Conclave; and a Thanksgiving message!
Intermarriage and the Future of Judaism
Secular Humanistic Judaism was well represented at the " Interfaith Opportunity Summit" hosted by on October 26, 2016, a watershed event for the organized Jewish community .
Rabbi Adam Chalom (second from right) represented Humanistic Judaism at the Interfaith Opportunities Conference, October 26 in Philadelphia.
Paul Golin, executive director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ), spoke on a panel about "How can we address difficult attitude and bound ary issues" and Adam Chalom, North American Dean of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ), spoke on  a panel about " The meanings of belonging to the Jewish people ."
Through these two sessions, more than half of the conference's 300+ clergy, lay leaders, and Jewish communal professionals learned that Humanistic Judaism's approach to interfaith/inter-cultural marriage is an unconditional welcome and embrace. Ours is the only Jewish denomination where all marriages are celebrated, no strings attached.
 SHJ executive director Paul Golin with author and co-presenter Dr. Keren McGinity (left) and Melissa Rosen of the Jewish Funders Network, October 27. 
The following day, SHJ exec Paul Golin was honored to present to 35 philanthropists as part of a gathering hosted by the Jewish Funders Network called "Engaging Intermarried Families: What's Next?" He spoke about his vision of the Jewish community in 2030, and how trends such as identity fluidity and an intermarried majority are already impacting Jewish life today.
Paul had another opportunity to prognosticate when, on November 11 at the Birmingham Temple, he gave a talk on "The Future, The Future of Judaism, and Where Do We Fit In?" You can watch his full presentation online here.
Fun and History in Philadelphia
On a beautiful fall weekend in late October, nearly 40 individuals came together from across the country to attend the IISHJ three-day seminar "Jewish, Secular and Humanistic American: A Learning Tour of Philadelphia."
The tour received front-page coverage in the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. In the article, Rabbi Adam Chalom, who lead the tour, explained that Philadelphia should not be overlooked "when you think of America and you think of Jewish identity" because actually
"Philadelphia is emblematic of ways of being Jewish and how our identities intersect with each other." 
Marlene Cohen and Deb Godden were two of the SHJ members participating in the seminar and they wrote of the experience:
The Bema at Beth Sholom Congregation.
The historical elements of Philadelphia, home of brotherly love and sisterly affection, were the perfect framework to look at how our identities as Secular Humanistic Jews connect to the thinking and ideals that formed our nation.
We explored three unique synagogues, walked the streets of colonial Jewish Philadelphia and 19th Century immigrant Jewish Philadelphia, and visited the splendid National Museum of American Jewish History. We saw the history of Jewish life in America entwined in the icons of the founding of American democracy.
The Sanctuary at Congregation Rodeph Shalom
The theme of the weekend was how history always changes. Recounting history is a selective process, what to include and how to interpret, and necessitates the slaying of sacred cows. Quite fascinating! The weekend also allowed us to meet fellow Secular Humanistic Jews from across many states and enjoy meals and conversation together.
The Philadelphia seminar is the first in a series of learning tour opportunities. Let us know the next historic Jewish location you'd like to visit through a Humanistic Judaism lens!
Send Your Young Person(s) to the HuJews Conclave in Washington D.C.
Students ages 14-22 will gather March 24-26, 2017, in the U.S. capital for HuJews Conclave 2017! Did you know that young people can attend SHJ's Conclave even if not a member of a local SHJ-affiliated congregation? Simply join SHJ as an At Large Member here (discounted student memberships available). Some scholarships to cover costs are made possible through the generosity of SHJ donors.
The theme for this year's HuJews Conclave is ACTIVISM. Participants will learn what it takes to make a change in our world from advocacy experts at the Secular Coalition for America and will engage in a service project. They will also visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and explore other landmarks on The Mall, all while spending time celebrating and learning together with fellow secular and humanistic Jewish teens and college students from across the United States and Canada. HuJews Conclaves are always a safe and supervised weekend of fun, friendship, insight, and discovery.
Past Conclave attendees in front of the White House.

Registration for the 2017 Conclave opens this week! Find out how to register here and please email conclave coordinator Kate Forest at to let her know of your interest.

Happy Thanksgiving from SHJ!
We wish you and yours a safe, warm, and tasty holiday. You can share the below graphic on Facebook with your friends and family. Please also join our new Facebook discussion group here. Enjoy!
Jennifer Grodsky, Editor
Dr. Richard Logan, President
Dr. Miriam Jerris, Rabbi
Paul Golin, Executive Director

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