Month: May 2024

Profiles in Resistance: Jews For a Secular Democracy

Jews for a Secular Democracy is a nationwide initiative of the Society for Humanistic Judaism that began in April 2018. Drawing from Jewish perspectives and pluralistic values, they combine education and community organizing to uphold secularism. They believe Jewish voices and community are necessary to oppose the ongoing elevation of Christian Nationalism.

Jews for a Secular Democracy works to defend Jews’ and other religious minorities’ right to freedom of religion, deconstruct “Judeo-Christian” rhetoric, and maintain separation of church and state. They define Christian Nationalism in tandem with political power and the imposition of Christian doctrine in policy. They specifically highlight attempts to curtail reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and secular public education. Recognizing how legal discrimination has historically been weaponized against the Jewish community, their advocacy aims to prevent similar treatment of others and the roll back of civil rights.

JFASD Michigan Director Nomi Joyrich at Reproductive Rights protest
Jews for a Secular Democracy, Michigan 2022 Ballot Proposals: Deep Dive and Relational Organizing Training with Nomi Joyrich

Jews for a Secular Democracy is headed by Paul Golin. The organization operates chapters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and New York. They are also organizing action in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. They have been involved in many projects, including promoting secular education in New York nonpublic schools and yeshivas with YAFFED and defending reproductive rights through a ballot initiative with the Floridians Protecting Freedom Coalition.

Kojo Aurelien is a Digital Media and Design B.A. and Sociology Alumni of the University of Connecticut. He combined these dimensions in his work for the lab as a social media intern and research assistant.

For more information about the organizations and individuals resisting Christian Nationalism in the United States today, check out our Pluralist Resistance to Christian Nationalism project page.