Colloquium 2013

Colloquium 2013: Jewish Peoplehood

November 17, 2013

Are we one people?
Is cultural Judaism enough?
How can we thrive in a multicultural world?
What must change for the next 50 years?



Twenty-five years ago, a revolutionary statement on “Who is a Jew?” was adopted by Secular Humanistic Judaism. Its ringing endorsement of Jewish self-identification still resonates for all of us.

“A Jew is a person of Jewish descent or any person who declares himself or herself to be a Jew and who identifies with the history, ethical values, culture, civilization, community, and fate of the Jewish people.”

On Sunday, November 17, the Global Day of Jewish Learning, the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism will host a morning of learning, debate and discussion on The Future of Jewish Peoplehood. Colloquium 2013 will be held in suburban Detroit at The Birmingham Temple, 28611 West Twelve Mile Road in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Colloquium 2013 is part of an exciting weekend celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Birmingham Temple, which was the world’s first Humanistic Jewish congregation. From the Fiftieth Anniversary Shabbat celebration on Friday, November 15, to the seventh IISHJ Rabbinic ordination/Havdallah ceremony on Saturday, November 16, to Colloquium 2013, we anticipate a fascinating, thought-provoking weekend.


Rabbi Denise Handlarski, “A Cultural Judaism for a Multicultural World”



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.


(all times Eastern US)

Friday, November 15



Birmingham Temple Fiftieth Anniversary Shabbat led by Rabbi Jeffrey Falick

Saturday, November 16


Humanistic Bible Study Hour with Madrikh Natan Fuchs


IISHJ Ordination/Havdallah celebration for Rabbi Denise Handlarski


Gala Dinner for Birmingham Temple Fiftieth Anniversary – contact the Birmingham Temple at or (248) 477-1410 for more information.

Sunday, November 17 – Colloquium 2013


 Knowledge Table Opens


Session I – “Are We One People?”

Rabbis of Secular Humanistic Judaism from Israel and North America (facilitated by Rabbi Sivan Maas)




Session II – “A Cultural Judaism for a Multicultural World”

Rabbi-to-be Denise Handlarski and panel discussion


Conclusion – “Jewish Futures” Rabbi Adam Chalom


Shalom! (Knowledge Table remains open until 12:30pm)



Rabbi Adam Chalom

Rabbi Adam Chalom
Dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism and Rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation in north suburban Chicago, IL. Editor of Jews and the Muslim World: Solving the Puzzle, Rabbi Chalom is one of the leaders of world-wide Secular Humanistic Judaism. He currently blogs at

Rabbi Denise Handlarski

Rabbi Denise Handlarski
Rabbi Denise Handlarski will be ordained at Colloquium 2013. She serves as the Assistant Rabbi at Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Toronto, Canada. Rabbi-to-be Handlarski has a Ph.D. in English literature and a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies from York University, and has also earned degrees in literature, gender studies, and education.

Rabbi Sivan Malkin Maas

Rabbi Sivan Malkin Maas
The first Israeli rabbi ordained by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. She is Dean of Tmura-IISHJ in Jerusalem and director of “The Secular Library,” publishing works on Judaism as culture. She has previously run a kibbutz educational system and served as a Jewish Agency emissary to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

Members of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis and Merchav (Israel), as well as IISHJ-Certified Leaders/Vegvayzers/Madrikhim-ot, will also participate.