What's Happening Now

Thoughts from volunteer leaders and supporters of Jews for a Secular Democracy. If you have something to share, please be in touch, we would welcome your contributions to the blog!

What it means to be a ‘Jew of No Religion’ — it’s not what you think

This piece originally appeared in J. The Jewish News of Northern California on May 19, 2021 I’m thrilled that atheist/agnostic, nonreligious Jews like me seem to be growing in numbers. I’m concerned, though, that our full set of values is not made apparent by the new Pew Research survey of American Jews. Pew splits the community between “Jews by Religion” and “Jews of No Religion.” It suggests an increase among Jews of No Religion to 27 percent of all Jewish...
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Trans Rights *is* Religious Freedom

Two Bills in Congress Can Knock Down the Fundamentalist Privilege Still Too Often on Blatant Display Try as I might, I simply cannot wrap my mind around the stunning hypocrisy of those who would fly literal flags exhorting “Liberty!” and “Freedom!” yet who feel entitled to tell others how to express their sexuality or gender identity and seek to punish those who enact their own freedom differently. It’s obvious at this point in America’s divided society that anyone waving those...
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As a Secular Jew, Here’s What “Jews for a Secular Democracy” Means to Me

What is special about Jews wanting a secular democracy? I wish there were also organizations like “Christians for a Secular Democracy” and “Muslims for a Secular Democracy.” Or better yet, there should be no need for such organizations because all Americans should favor a secular democracy. The United States was founded as a secular democracy, and there should never be a need to defend that principle. Our framers established the first government in history to separate religion and government. They...
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The Jewish Imperative to Defend Reproductive Rights

On October 26, the week before the 2020 presidential election, Senate Republicans confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. Besides the remarkable hypocrisy of the confirmation, rushed through just before an election only four years after Senate Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Court precisely because of the proximity to the 2016 election, the confirmation of Justice Barrett has renewed fears among...
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Bat Mitzvah Bettering the World

Ilana Schwartz became a Jews for a Secular Democracy (JFASD) Volunteer Leader at age 12 and quickly demonstrated how, at any age, a caring and devoted activist can bring positive change into the world. A member of the SHJ Massachusetts affiliate Kahal B’raira, Ilana decided to lead an advocacy campaign as her mitzvah project. She initially planned to meet with legislators in support of the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act, legislation to limit local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement and allow...
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Climate-Change Denial is a Church-State Separation Issue

By Paul Golin [This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of Humanistic Judaism Magazine. Reprinted with permission.] There are few existential crises for our species that loom larger than global warming. Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that human activity has contributed to climate change, and that the growing threat to life on earth is real and significant. This “inconvenient truth” about the environment should have galvanized our country into action long ago. Our current U.S. administration, however, not only...
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Trump’s Indefensible Bible Stunt

A picture says a thousand words. Our country is literally burning from our unchecked legacy of racism. A hundred thousand of our fellow citizens are dead from a pandemic that the White House first denied, then downplayed, and continues to make unscientific claims about, in the hope it will all just miraculously disappear. And with all this swirling around him, the President felt it necessary to deploy the National Guard to clear the DC streets (escalating the violence to do...
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