SHJ to Focus on Freud in 2006
Sigmund Freud, one of the most influential thinkers in history and an outstanding humanist Jew, will
be a focus of study by the Society for Humanistic Judaism for the year 2006.
Following the interest in Albert Einstein, the personality selected as a focus for 2005, SHJ has
decided to commemorate Freud in the year that marks the 150th anniversary of his birth on May 6, 1856.
The decision to study humanist Jews who have contributed
to humanity was raised by Rabbi Sherwin Wine who advocates that Jewish education should encompass not only early Judaism but
also those personalities who have left a mark on humanity.
Freud was chosen after the SHJ sought suggestions from the Association of Humanistic Rabbis.
An unbeliever until the end of his life, Freud always remained
linked to his Jewishness, writing, "There was a perception that it was to my Jewish nature alone that I owed two characteristics
that had become indispensable to me in the difficult course of my life. Because I was a Jew I found myself free from many
prejudices which restricted others in the use of their intellect; and as a Jew I was prepared to join the opposition and to
do without agreement with the compact majority."
Mark Silverman, a leader of Kol Haverim, the Finger Lakes Community for Humanistic Judaism in Ithaca, New
York, who has taught Freud on the collegiate level, will be the coordinator of the Freud programs.
Jerry Lieberman of the Birmingham Temple is a co-leader.
Congregations who develop programs on Freud are invited to communicate and share their ideas with
Mark Silverman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jerry Lieberman at Glieberman@decisionstrategies.com.