Jewish Secular Community of Asheville


Gary Selnick, President (828) 808-6911
Julian Biller, Secretary (828) 551-3419

We may be looking for each other…

You’re seeking to be more in touch with your Jewish heritage, in a comfortable, friendly setting with other thoughtful Jews with whom you can relate on a spiritual, intellectual and social level.

Secular Humanistic Judaism is a Jewish denomination that celebrates the centrality of human judgment and human power from a uniquely Jewish perspective. As secular humanists we believe that reason, rather than faith, is the source of truth, and that human intelligence and experience are capable of guiding our lives. As Jews we express these beliefs through the culture and practices that have evolved over centuries of Jewish history, including a vast body of literature, art, dance, music and food. Secular Humanistic Judaism is the cumulative cultural, moral and historical experience of the Jewish people.

As Secular Humanistic Jews we derive our values from the lessons of those cumulative experiences. Not just the events of biblical times but of all history. Humanistic Jews regard classical texts like the Torah as valuable sources of learning and inspiration although we do not automatically accept them as authoritative. We also draw ethical principles from centuries of Jewish philosophy and the folk wisdom of our ancestors. And because no one people have a monopoly on truth, we embrace worthy lessons from cultures other than our own. We acknowledge accountability for, and acceptance of, the consequences of our actions. We strive to put our values into practice through a commitment to social justice, championing the cause of the oppressed, the disenfranchised, and the suffering.  

Throughout Jewish history, observing holidays and special events in our lives has been a boundless source of joy, comfort, and strength. Our secular, humanistic Jewish services bind us to Jews through the ages while meeting our contemporary spiritual needs as atheists, agnostics, or believers in a non-interventional higher power. We preserve those traditional rituals, songs, and practices that are meaningful to us. We adapt others so that they speak to us more appropriately, and we create new ones specifically for our present and future generations.

As Humanistic Jews we affirm that we have the responsibility to shape our own lives. We also teach that we are responsible to one another. We need one another to celebrate our joys, to endure our sorrows, and to become partners together in making the world a better place for all people. And so we form communities, like The Jewish Secular Community of Asheville, to share in these common purposes and goals.

The Jewish Secular Community of Asheville (JSCA) provides a warm, inclusive and secular, humanistic environment in which to celebrate holidays, learn about both our traditions and our history and discuss current issues throughout the year. You’re invited to be our guest at the next JSCA event and judge for yourself. This could be the start of a meaningful affiliation.