WELCOME to “The People of the Mountain” a Humanistic Jewish Community
in Sewanee, Tennessee
The Jewish community in our area is wide and diverse, as it is in most regions of the country. The sharing of Jewish heritage and tradition takes many forms. Here on the Mountain, far from the nearest synagogues in Nashville and Chattanooga, much of the shared Jewish experience takes place in informal gatherings in homes.
One new expression on the Mountain is a small group we are calling “People of the Mountain, or Am HaHar” It is designed to offer communal support and encouragement as we seek to affirm our Jewish Culture, History, and Traditions from a cultural and humanist perspective. If you want to affirm your Jewish heritage, but are not comfortable with any of the traditionally religious expressions, this may be meaningful to you.
We are a Humanistic Jewish Havura, affiliated with the Society for Humanistic Judaism. A havurah, or chavurah (חבורה Hebrew: “fellowship”, plural chavurot) is a small group of like-minded Jews who assemble for the purposes of facilitating Shabbat and holiday prayer services, sharing communal experiences such as lifecycle events, or Jewish learning. Chavurot usually provide autonomous alternatives to established Jewish institutions and Jewish denominations. Most chavurot, like us, place an emphasis on egalitarianism in the broad sense (of which gender egalitarianism is one piece), depending on participation by the entire community rather than top-down direction by clergy.
At present, we gather to celebrate holidays together, and occasional classes, such a challah baking. And we encourage one another in our traditions through this website.
As time goes by, we hope to share files of stories, recipes, ways we celebrate Shabbat or Holidays, etc., or perhaps to form a discussion group to share learning of the various aspects of Judaism. Our focus is on a shared Jewish culture, heritage, and history, and is not oriented toward any specific Jewish religious tradition such as Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or Reconstructionist.
As a Humanistic Jewish Havura Community
We support one another in keeping a Humanistic Jewish Home
We come together for Humanistic Celebrations of Jewish Holidays
We engage in the practice of Tikkun Olam, Healing of the World
We enjoy being Jewish together