Challenging Convention: Secular and Humanist and Jew
Colloquium ’09 sought to explore the many identities of the Secular Humanistic Jew, all of which challenge popular conventions. We seek a public square without invocations and nations not “under God.” We challenge conventional wisdom, looking for meaning and community in this world, not beyond. We challenge universalist secular conventions, insisting on our particular Jewishness. And we challenge Jewish convention in Israel and North America, asking questions and celebrating realities that others fear.
You will be able to read more about Colloquium ’09, including synopses of the major speakers, in the forthcoming printed volume Challenging Convention: Secular and Humanist and Jew (IISHJ/Milan Press). Colloquium ’09 is currently available on DVD from the IISHJ (phone order or publications catalog), which includes introductions before and panel discussions after each presentation.
Rabbi Adam Chalom
Rabbi Adam Chalom explores the interplay of multiple identities
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.
Keynote: “A Manifesto for a New Secular Judaism”
Jacques Berlinerblau – associate professor and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Author of The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously.
“Who are Secular Americans? Why Must We Have a Voice?”
Lori Lipman Brown – Founding director of the Secular Coalition of America, former Nevada state legislator.
Ron Aronson – Distinguished Professor of the History of Ideas at Wayne State University, author of Living Without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided.
“Building Humanism: Purpose, Compassion and Community Without God”
Ron Aronson – see above.
Rabbi Greg Epstein – Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, author of Good Without God: What a Billion Non-Religious People do Believe.
“The New Jewish Diversity”
Caryn Aviv – Posen Lecturer in Secular Jewish Culture at the University of Denver’s Center for Judaic Studies, and academic director of the Certificate in Jewish Communal Service at DU’s Graduate School of Social Work. She also serves as Director of Research with Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. Co-editor/writer of New Jews: The End of Diaspora.
“Challenging Judaism in Israel”
Rabbi Sivan Malkin Maas – Dean of Tmura-IISHJ in Israel, training Secular Humanistic rabbis, and director of The Secular Library, publishing works on Judaism as Culture.
“Where Do We Go From Here?”
Rabbi Adam Chalom – Rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation in suburban Chicago and Dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism.