- Or Hadash (New Light), the Humanistic Judaism Congregation of Birmingham, Alabama was established in 1998 to respond to the needs of a contemporary and diverse Jewish community. We welcome all who identify with the history, culture, struggles, triumphs and future of the Jewish people. Our membership is composed of individuals of diverse ages, lifestyles and backgrounds. Among our members are those who bring more than one religious tradition to Or Hadash - both within and outside of Judaism. As a congregation, we strive to make all members feel comfortable and welcome. Our congregation is still small and stresses closeness, congeniality, and warmth. Its present programs include Junior Havurah, our children's education program, monthly Shabbat celebrations and potluck suppers, a monthly Havurah discussion group, and a monthly Jewish History presentation and discussion. The congregation also celebrates the major Jewish Holidays and the various life cycle events of the congregants. Secular Humanistic Judaism promotes certain important values in Jewish life that the traditional establishments have resisted. These values are rationality, personal autonomy, gender equality, the celebration of human strength and power, and the development of a pluralistic world with mutual understanding and cooperation among all religions and philosophies of life. Humanistic Jews affirm that: *we have the power and responsibility to shape our own lives independent of supernatural authority. *our beliefs are expressed in our behavior. *the freedom and dignity of the Jewish people must go hand in hand with the freedom and dignity of every human being. Humanistic Judaism places complete responsibility for human behavior on humans themselves. We believe in the value of human existence and in the power of human beings to solve their problems both individually and collectively. We have organized into communities and congregations because we believe that the fellowship of other Humanistic Jews enables us to affirm the value of our Jewish identity in the present, while preserving our connection to the past and linking us to the future.