One-minute rap on who we are.

By Judith Seid

Secular: that means that we believe in this world and the reality of this world. We believe that people and events and movement affect the world. We believe that supernatural beings do not affect human events or history. Humanistic: that means we believe that people have the ability and the responsibility to solve human problems. We believe in self-determination of the individual and respect for differences. Jewish: Let's start from what it's not. It's not a race - you can tell that by looking, if you even subscribe to a theory that race exists at all. It's certainly not a religion; Jews believe all sorts of things. Some believe in an after life and some don't. Some believe in a messiah and some don't. Some believe that people can do miracles, and some don't. It's not even a common history. I don't have any relatives who were in Operation Magic Carpet, but that's my history. I don't have any ancestors who were kicked out of Spain, but that's my history. What defines us as Jews is a shared historical consciousness. We all believe that the totality of Jewish history is ours. We define ourselves as members of the people who share that historical consciousness.