On the Move

August 2016 E-Newsletter

In This Issue
Join Now Button


Donate Now

First time donors of $118 or more will receive this beautiful lapel pin with our gratitude
SHJ HuJews logo
March 24-26, 2017
Washington, DC
shopping online?
when you shop at
  Amazon will make a donation to the Society for Humanistic Judaism
SHJ Makes Presence Known at DC Reason Rally

This summer, thousands of secular Americans converged upon Washington, DC and made their voices heard.  There was no mistaking the potential impact of the secular vote and political power from an ever growing number of secular free-thinkers.  

SHJ was among the masses at the 2016 Reason Rally , helping secular humanistic Jews show their strength.

Thoussands gather in Washington D.C. for the 2016 Reason Rally

Immediate Past President Larry Lawrence continues to support SHJ's mission and voice the value of participation  
(at Reason Rally; pictured with fellow Machar member Joyce Rosenthal)

SHJ board member Ezra Donner attended the 2016 Reason Rally and wrote about the experience in his blog.  

Ezra writes "I attended the 2016 Reason Rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Reason Rally Coalition is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to hold large events in celebration of atheist, humanist, and secular identity and to demonstrate the power of the secular voting bloc. The goal of the Reason Rally is to showcase the presence and power of the nonreligious voting bloc, and to demand that reason be put at the forefront of our public and political discourse.

Speakers included Bill Nye, Carolyn Porco, Lawrence Krauss, Penn Gillette, and many others.

It was a fascinating day and an eye-opening experience. I would estimate there to have been on the order of 10,000 people or more in attendance, and most of the interactions I had with other people there were very positive. Curious to see what impact, if any, secular voters en masse will have on the 2016 Election. From my point of view, their voices need to be heard now more than ever."

Secular Coalition for America Hosts Pre-Reason Rally Advocacy Day

In the days leading up to the 2016 national Reason Rally, the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) hosted an advocacy day, giving humanists and secular thinkers the opportunity to discuss hopes and concerns with Congressional staff in Washington, DC.  

Participant lobbyists were trained on effective advocacy and clear explanation of key issues.  They were urged by secular leaders and coalition partners to "Speak up for Reason" as they addressed congressmen and women from all congressional districts.  The 2016 Advocacy Day  topic, selected by SCA through feedback from participating lobbyists, was evidence-based sex education.

SHJ's own Deborah Godden, member of Machar - the Washington Congregation for Humanistic Judaism,  was a participating lobbyist, and found the opportunity to be invaluable.
Deborah Godden

Deborah writes " Issue advocacy has always been a hugely satisfying activity for me. Speaking with elected officials or their staffs at the state and federal level provides a level of two-way educating that voting never can.

This year's Reason Rally Advocacy Day was more of the same. A highlight for me was my visit to my Virginia Congressman with whom I never agree. Our topic was a bill to shift funding from abstinence-only sex education to programs of greater, more scientific merit. I have many times sent him advocacy communications; he always thanks me politely, but his views don't change. I knew going in that asking him to support the bill would be an exercise in futility.

This year,  however, my Congressman is retiring and leaving an open seat. Things were different. I truly enjoyed speaking with the bright young staffer about my secular humanist values and the importance to the political process of secular voters, knowing that he would inevitably find himself working for another elected official, and perhaps would remember our conversation. The meeting was friendly and positive.

I visited other elected officials on that day, but those visits were mostly preaching to the choir. Visiting my alien-to-me Congressman was far more satisfying."

Contact the Society for Humanistic Judaism 

Paul Golin, Executive Director

Richard Logan, President 

Rabbi Miriam Jerris

Jennifer Grodsky, Editor

You are welcome to share this E-Newsletter with friends and family. Just click on the FORWARD E-MAIL link at the bottom of the E-Newsletter.


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us. And let us know if there's something you would like to see in a future issue.


   Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter 


  View our videos on YouTube