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!

Religious Privilege and the Freedom to Oppress: A Conversation with Author Kate Cohen

Kate Cohen is a Washington Post contributing columnist and author of “We of Little Faith: Why I Stopped Pretending to Believe (And Maybe You Should Too),” forthcoming from Godine. She joined Paul Golin, executive director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism and lead staff of its pluralistic social justice initiative, Jews for a Secular Democracy, to discuss her journey “from pretending Jew to admitting atheist” and how it relates to her understanding of religious privilege in America today. Kate Cohen...
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Celebrating Harvey Milk’s Legacy and Continuing the Advocacy for LGBTQ+ Rights

With Stuart Milk of the Harvey Milk Foundation, Jaimie Krass of Keshet, and Paul Golin of Society for Humanistic Judaism/Jews for a Secular Democracy Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in the history of California when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Tragically, Milk was assassinated along with mayor of San Francisco George Moscone on November 27, 1978. A close friend remembered him as “very much a cultural Jew…. proud of being both...
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Minnesota humanists take out billboards to spread the secular word

“This month, Humanists MN returned to the State Capitol along with the humanist congregation First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and Or Emet Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism as part of an annual event they call the National Day of Reason. They gathered in the basement for croissants and coffee and invited other groups of nonbelievers, including the Central Minnesota Freethinkers, Jews for a Secular Democracy and Minnesota Atheists.” Read the full article here.

Religion-Government Separation in Michigan Today with State Senators Moss and Bayer

Hosted by the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Metro Detroit, Jews for a Secular Democracy facilitated a lively conversation with State Senator Rosemary Bayer and President Pro Tempore of the Michigan Senate Jeremy Moss, moderated by JFASD Michigan Director Nomi Joyrich and introduced by Society for Humanistic Judaism Executive Director Paul Golin. It was a wide-ranging conversation covering white Christian Nationalism, abortion access, LGBTQ rights, and many other timely church-state separation issues. Many thanks to our cosponsors: Congregation for Humanistic...
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Book Banning and Our Freedom to Read: Censorship in Our Libraries and Schools

Book banning and censorship in the United States has a sordid and persistent history. Often based on white Christian Nationalistic values, books dealing with slavery, gender identity, sexuality, disabilities, the Holocaust, mental illness, racism, and non-Christian religions including Judaism are continually challenged and banned from our libraries and schools. And unfortunately, this type of censorship is on the rise. According to the American Library Association, individual book challenges increased markedly in the last few years, from approximately 300 book challenges...
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The Rabbi Suing Florida Over Religious Freedom

In June 2022, Rabbi Barry Silver filed a lawsuit seeking to block Florida’s 15-week abortion ban. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the new law unconstitutional under the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as well as the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The suit argues that the 15-week abortion ban represents just one religious group’s views and not those of other faiths and/or secular beliefs. Rabbi Silver is a public interest attorney and Rabbi of Congregation L’Dor...
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Meet The Rabbi Suing Florida Over Religious Freedom

Rabbi Barry Silver discusses his lawsuit defending abortion rights on the next JFASD webinar. Does Florida’s abortion ban violate the separation of church and state? Does it violate the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act? What’s the current status of this lawsuit and what are the national implications? How might this lawsuit impact your state? Join us for this important discussion on the next JFASD webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 28th at 8 pm (EST). To register, please go to . As featured...
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Welcoming Katie Reiter, Our New National Coordinator

Katie Reiter grew up at the Birmingham Temple, now known as the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism. She studied under Rabbi Sherwin Wine and feels strongly connected to and appreciative of the teachings of Rabbi Wine and Humanistic Judaism. Accordingly, she has spent her life advocating for her community and fighting for human rights. For over 20 years, Katie juggled raising three children with running a successful health management consulting business and being a volunteer community activist. Eventually, Katie opened Our...
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