On the Move

October 2015 E-Newsletter

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March 4-6, 2016
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Our movement is growing. Heartiest congratulations and mazel tov to the five new Israeli Humanist Rabbis.

Welcome to "On the Move."  Feel free  to share this E-Newsletter with friends and family.  Just click the FORWARD EMAIL link below.
SHJ Vision Project - A Time of Possibility

The Society for Humanistic Judaism has embarked on a serious journey of self-examination which has the potential to result in great positive change.  Last spring, the SHJ Board of Directors decided to contract with a consultant to help clarify the vision and purpose of SHJ and to recommend new directions and structures for the Society.

After extensive discussion and review, SHJ partnered with Goaltrac, a strategic planning and work plan development consultant, for guidance and recommendations about SHJ structure, services, and staffing.  SHJ Board President Larry Lawrence states that "the SHJ Board, its officers and Rabbi are completely committed to expanding the base of involvement, as well as creating more transparency at SHJ."

SHJ executive committee member Richard Logan (also a member of Or Emet, Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism) was inspired by the vision process to write an essay titled  "Some Thoughts on Who We Are," which can be read here.

SHJ Board at work discussing vision project during the national board meeting in October, 2015

SHJ Joins Jewish Organizations Urging Congress to Support "EACH Woman Act"

The Society for Humanistic Judaism joined with other Jewish organizations and signed on to a letter to Congress circulated by the National Council of Jewish Women.

The letter shows Jewish community support for the "EACH Woman Act," HR 2972, a bill to lift the Hyde Amendment that denies abortion coverage to some women because they are poor or are otherwise insured through a federal health plan/program.  

The letter goes on to say that "Each individual must be guaranteed fair treatment in exercising their constitutional right to access abortion, regardless of their income, type of insurance, or where they live. Ensuring this access to care is critical to uphold a woman's religious liberty -... it is unjust for Congress to push abortion out of reach from a woman just because she is poor or due to the insurance she holds, and privileging the religious views of those who oppose abortion." 

This is consistent with many prior statements made by the SHJ that supports the right of women to make decisions about reproduction solely with her physician.   Click here to read the full text of the letter sent to Congress.
SHJ Supports American Atheists "Patient's Right to Know Act"

Recently, the American Atheists proposed a "Patient's Right to Know Act."  This model act balances the religious liberty of health care providers with the basic health care  rights of their patients.

The act requires that any health care provider who uses religious beliefs  to determine patient care instead of standard medical guidelines and practices, subsequently  resulting in any health care options being omitted or favored based on these religious beliefs, to  inform patients in writing of health care services that are not available to the patients through this  particular providerĶ¾ patients must provide signed consent acknowledging they have received this  information.

Click here  for more details.

Contact the Society for Humanistic Judaism 

Larry Lawrence, President 

Rabbi Miriam Jerris  

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