About this book
This book collects some of the best Humanistic Judaism liturgy from leaders, thinkers, and clergy from across the movement and over the past half-century. The liturgical pieces within can augment existing holiday observances (Shabbat, Passover, Hanukkah, etc.) and life-cycle ceremonies (baby namings, b’nai mitzvahs, weddings, etc.), and can serve as the core around which to build new services or ceremonies. It can be used in communities large and small, and in individual homes. Most of all, it can help people, by providing the right words at the right times to foster joy and remembrance, reflection and celebration, awe and appreciation.
The 50th anniversary of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, the movement’s community-organizing body, is an auspicious occasion to share these liturgical highlights and find in them inspiration for new Jewish and humanistic expressions in the years ahead!
“For those of us who are deeply rooted in our Jewish heritage, who value Jewish culture and community, who enjoy Jewish ritual and meaningful celebration, and yet no longer believe in ancient myths, supernatural beings, or intellectual compromise, this thoughtful and inspirational compendium of life-cycle liturgy is a true boon to be warmly welcomed and heartily embraced.”
—Phil Zuckerman, Ph.D., author of Living the Secular Life and What It Means To Be Moral
“This new collection of resources is invaluable for those of us who are called upon to be celebrants of and officiants for Humanist Jewish lifestage ceremonies. The texts are accessible and the context within which they were created is affirming of a Jewish identity and affinity that is expansive and diverse.”
— Rev. Marti Keller, Past President and Member of the Board of Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness and Co-Editor, Jewish Voices in Unitarian Universalism
“Liturgy is a script that the community reads when it speaks with one voice; so liturgy matters because making community real matters. This book wonderfully embodies what SHJ communities have chosen as most meaningful to say together in their services of observance, memory, and celebration. But this beautiful collection is community twice over: being shared across all of SHJ underlines how much the community of our wider movement matters too.”
— Richard D. Logan, Ph.D., Society for Humanistic Judaism Board President, Professor of Human Development (retired), and author of Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean