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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 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 still operates a school and summer camp in New York.

Board Members

Jacob Kosman (he/him) President/Secretary

Hello! I grew up in an observant Jewish household outside Philadelphia. During the silent Amidah portion of the prayers at the Jewish day school I attended, I realized I was just reading Hebrew words. I didn't even know what most of the words meant, and reading these words meant nothing to me spiritually, emotionally, or in any other way. When I looked at the English translation, I became even more repelled by its meaning: Endless praise and worship of a being I had never seen nor heard. Many years later, after I moved out west for college and then to Seattle for work, I sought a Jewish group that focused on the cultural, moral, artistic, and intellectual aspects of Judaism, not on the theistic aspects. That's how I discovered SJC and  broader secular humanistic Judaism.

Jacob was elected to the Board in 2021.

Seth Levenson (he/him) Treasurer

Seth was born and raised in an interfaith home (Conservative Judaism and Roman Catholicism) in Buffalo, NY, and relocated to the Puget Sound in 2009 to pursue higher education. He brings nearly a decade of financial services experience to the Treasurer role and a queer perspective to the SJC Board.

Seth was elected to the Board in 2022.


Jeff Treistman (he/him) Program Director

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.

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

Thu, 21 September 2023