“I can say much more firmly than I ever did, for many empirical reasons, that basic human needs can be fulfilled only by and through other human beings, i.e., society. The need for community (belongingness, contact, groupiness) is itself a basic need.”*
The City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism is a community of the unaffiliated, secular, or “just Jewish.” It is our first Jewish community and we came to it knowing little or nothing, or maybe even a considerable amount about Judaism. We wanted a connection to our heritage for ourselves or our children, and a community, with whom to share this connection.
Some of us had religious upbringings that were either perfunctory or rigorous, but traditional teachings and rituals no longer appeal to us. We may have spent years affiliated elsewhere or “synagogue shopping” without satisfaction. The City Congregation allows us to embrace the Judaism we cherish in a form that doesn’t require us to compromise our beliefs and values.
*A.H. Maslow, in the preface to the 10th edition of “Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences”
Penguin Compass 1976