Judaism Without Belief: An Exploration of Jewishness from a Post-Religious Perspective
After decades steeped in Jewish faith and observance, Shulem Deen rejected Judaism’s foundational principles, and consciously detached from faith and observance. Nevertheless, he still feels the tug of heritage and bonds of kinship. As American Jews experience an unprecedented paradigm shift in their relation to both peoplehood and religiosity, many are asking: What does Jewishness mean today? In this personal and provocative presentation, Shulem Deen will offer thoughts on the continued relevance of Jewishness in his own life, and how we might engage with tradition in a post religious, post-ethnic American Jewish reality.
Shulem Deen is the author of All Who Go Do Not Return, a memoir about growing up among and then leaving the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the United States. Winner of the 2015 National Jewish Book Award, he is a columnist for the Forward, and his work has appeared in The New Republic, Salon, and Tablet Magazine. In 2015, Deen was included in the Forward 50, an annual list of American Jews with outsized roles on political and social issues. He serves as a board member at Footsteps, a New York City-based organization that offers assistance and support to those who have left the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. He lives in Brooklyn.
Sponsor: Jewish Studies Program