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About Us

The SJC is Seattle’s home for secular Jews. We are a vibrant community that celebrates our Jewish traditions, history and culture in a non-theistic context. The SJC is a proud chapter of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, and aligns itself with the global Humanistic Judaism movement, which focuses on the values of reason, justice, and responsibility. Our welcoming community includes and supports multi-racial people and families, differently-abled people and families, intergenerational families, mixed-faith families, and the LGBTQ+ community. We welcome everyone who wants to include the Jewish values and secular humanism as part of their contemporary Jewish identity!

Learn about our Sunday School, B’nai Mitzvah program, holiday celebrations, and more by contacting us today and seeing what you have been missing. We would love to meet you at our next event!

We are a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) organization.

Why a circle?

Our name, Secular Jewish Circle, refers to the roots of secular Judaism in the Yiddishist movement of the late 19th century. Eastern European Jews were accustomed to self-run mutual aid and other civic-social groups as a sort of nation within a nation. They brought these types of organizations with them when they immigrated in large numbers to the USA. Most of these organizations were socialist, such as the Workers Circle, which was founded in 1900 and still operates a school and summer camp in New York.

SJC uses the circle imagery as a nod to the Workers Circle, with whom we share many values.

Board Members

Jacob Kosman (he/him) President/Secretary

Headshot of Jacob Kosman, a bald man with a grayed chinstrap beard, a colorful, rustic shirt, and a soft expression.

Jacob grew up in an observant Jewish household outside Philadelphia, and went to a private Jewish day school, and then public school, before moving out west for college. Settling in Seattle, he sought a Jewish group that focused on the cultural, moral, aesthetic, and intellectual aspects of Judaism, not on the theistic aspects. That's how he discovered SJC and broader secular humanistic Judaism.

Jacob was elected to the Board in 2021.

 
Seth Levenson (he/him) Treasurer
Headshot of Seth Levenson, a man with dark hair, a receding hairline and chinstrap beard, wearing glasses and a purple dress shirt, and smiling.

Seth is a trans man who was born and raised in an interfaith home (Conservative Judaism and Roman Catholicism) in Buffalo, NY. The push-and-pull nature of living under two strict religions simultaneously, which both insisted they were the correct one, drove him to question theism itself. He relocated to the Puget Sound in 2009 in pursuit of higher education, and brings more than a decade of financial services experience to the Board.

Seth was elected to the Board in 2022.

 

Jeff Treistman (he/him) Program Director
Headshot of Jeff Treistman, a man with a receding hair line of dark gray hair, a light gray chinstrap beard, and thick glasses, wearing a dark brown windbreaker.

Jeff grew up in a Secular Jewish household in the Philadelphia suburb of Springfield Township. He moved to Seattle in 1976 and has been involved with the Secular Jewish Circle for twenty years. He retired from teaching at Seattle Public Schools after 18 years, 14 as a school librarian. He is the Founding Director of the Jewish Comics Library of Seattle.

Jeff was elected to the Board in 2017.

 

Diamond Crawford (they/them) Social Media Manager
Headshot of Diamond Crawford, a non-binary transgender woman wearing a shoulder-length dark brown wig, an indistinct dark shirt, and round glasses. They are happily smiling.

Diamond is a patrilineal Jew raised in a non-Jewish household. They began learning about their culture as a teenager before returning to it decades later, after feeling the call of a secular cultural Judaism. They were born and raised in the Seattle area. They're a non-binary trans woman.

Diamond was elected to the Board in 2023.

 


The Secular Jewish Circle of Puget Sound is a proud chapter of the Society for Humanistic Judaism.

Sun, 23 June 2024