Today is Yom Ha’atzma’ut – Israel’s Independence Day. It is also Openly Secular Day.
So, you know, it’s a pretty big day for a Secular Humanistic Jew.
You can be Jewish and something else. Need evidence? Me, and many others. There’s a thriving, formalized Secular Humanistic Jewish movement in the United States and in Eretz Yisrael.
Secular Jewishness. It’s a thing–even in Israel, where many secular Jews worry that the vision of Hatikva (the Israeli national anthem) of being a free people in the land, is threatened by the ever-expanding authority of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.
From April Rosenblum’s “Offers We Couldn’t Refuse,” in the May-June ’09 issue of Jewish Currents:
He had worked for years with an organization founded by a secular Jewish radical, and was inspired politically by Emma Goldman and other prominent secular Jews of the early 20th century, yet when I remarked that his lack of religion was no reason to question his Jewishness, it was something of a revelation to him.
Among Israeli secular Jews whom we can celebrate this Yom Ha’atzma’ut? David Ben-Gurion. Moshe Dayan. Golda Meir. Yitzhak Rabin. Amos Oz. Yehuda Amichai. A.B. Yehoshua. Shulamit Aloni.
You can be secular and Jewish, and claim both proudly.
The Society for Humanistic Judaism is a partner organization in Openly Secular Day. You can learn more about the Society for Humanistic Judaism here: http://www.shj.org.
You can learn more about the Israeli movement here (assuming you read Hebrew; I’m not sure I’d go around trusting Google Translate): http://israelijudaism.org.il.
You can learn more about Openly Secular Day here: http://www.openlysecularday.org.