Colloquium ’01

Colloquium '01

Secular Spirituality: Passionate Search for a Rational Judaism

Can you be spiritual without being religious? Can you be rational and spiritual at the same time? Is there an ethical dimension to spirituality? Are science and spirituality in conflict? Or is "spiritual" not the best word we can find for the "experience?" Colloquium '01 explored the challenging question of "spirituality" for Secular Humanistic Jews with clarity, insight and emotional power.

You can read more about Colloquium '01, including synopses of the major speakers, in the introduction to the printed volume Secular Spirituality: Passionate Journey to a Rational Judaism (IISHJ/Milan Press, $14.95) which can be purchased online at or from the IISHJ. Secular Spirituality is also available as an e-book: KindleNook, and more.

Colloquium '01 is also available on DVD from the IISHJ, which includes introductions before and panel discussions after each presentation.

Felix Posen

Felix Posen

Graduating Leaders, Musicians and Spokesperson

Graduating Leaders, Musicians and Spokesperson

Rabbi Sherwin Wine

Rabbi Sherwin Wine

Video for each Colloquium presentation and the following panel discussion is now available on the IISHJ YouTube channel. Click here to see the complete playlist, or on each title for that specific video.

Andre' Aciman – Then-Professor of French and comparative literature at Bard College in New York. Fellow, Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Public Library. Prolific writer, poet and lecturer.

"Rethinking Traditional Spirituality"
Dan Cohn-Sherbok - Professor Judaism at the University of Wales, Dr. Cohn-Sherbok received his doctorate from Cambridge University. As a reformed rabbi he has served congregations throughout the world. Author and editor of more than 60 books on Judaism including The Future of Judaism and Understanding the Holocaust.

"Rethinking the Bible"
Ralph Williams - Professor in the Department of English, Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, offers his engaging perspective on the Bible.

"Rethinking Jewish Mysticism"
Rahel Elior - Professor of Jewish Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Visiting professor at colleges and universities throughout the world. Research includes the history of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah, Messianism, Hasidism and Jewish women.

"Rethinking Jewish Secularism"
Mitchell Silver - Professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Then-Cultural Director of Camp Kinderland and educational director of the I.L. Peretz School of Workmen's Circle in Boston. Author of Respecting the Wicked Child: A Philosophy of Secular Jewish Identity and Education.

"Zionism and Spirituality"
Ruth Calderon - Founder and executive director of Alma Hebrew College in Israel. Dedicated to promoting Hebrew culture and greater mutual understanding between Jews of different backgrounds. Then completing doctorate in Talmudic studies.

"Art and Nature: Beauty and Spirituality"
Rabbi Daniel Friedman – Rabbi Emeritus of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, founding member of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis and author of Jews Without Judaism: Conversations With an Unconventional Rabbi (Prometheus, 2002).

"Science and Spirituality"
Norbert Samuelson - Chair of Jewish studies at Arizona State University. Prolific writer of books and academic articles on Jewish philosophy. The First Seven Days is the first of a planned seven-book series on constructive Jewish theology in the light of contemporary philosophy and science.

"Ethics and Spirituality"
Joseph Chuman - Founding faculty member of the IISHJ and longtime leader in Ethical Culture movement. Has taught contemporary civilization, religion and master's seminars in religion an human rights as a visiting professor at Columbia and Barnard College. Writings on Humanistic Judaism are widely published.

"An Alternative Perspective"
Harry T. Cook – Then-Rector of St. Andrews Church in Clawson, Michigan. Former ethics and public policy columnist for the Detroit Free Press. Author of Christianity Beyond Creeds and Sermons of a Devoted Heretic.

"Now What Do We Do?"
Rabbi Sherwin Wine - Rabbi of the Birmingham Temple and founder of the worldwide movement of Humanistic Judaism. Sought-after lecturer on philosophy, religion and ethics. Celebrated author of innumerable publications and inspirational texts, including Staying Sane in a Crazy World. [now deceased]

Rabbi Daniel Friedman articulates the power of a natural spirituality