Rabbi Jay B. Heyman
I was ordained at America’s seminary of Reform Judaism, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Since 1971, I have been a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. I have served as rabbi of congregations in the District of Columbia, the West Indies, California, and Washington. In 1984, following training in Washington, DC, I was admitted to membership in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. From 1991 to 1998, I served as a Chaplain for the U.S. Navy in Tokyo, San Diego, and Honolulu. I have filled other chaplaincy positions as well, including the Texas Department of Corrections, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, and the Philmont High Adventure Camp in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico. In 1998, I was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree by my alma mater. I received my training as a healthcare chaplain in the Spiritual Care Department of the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, worked as a hospital chaplain at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto, California, and served as a member of the Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research at Stanford University. Prior to moving to Seattle in 2009, Kol Hadash, the Northern California Community for Humanistic Judaism, claimed me as their rabbi.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can be of help to you. You can contact me by phone or by using the this Contact Form. If you phone (206-484-4340), do leave a message if I’m not immediately available; I’ll return the call just as soon as possible.
Core Beliefs of a Humanistic Rabbi
“I am committed to continuous learning and spiritual growth. In general this is what religion is about: each person will eventually take note of and contemplate the meaning of human existence. I see life as an organic process, one that unfolds naturally out of preceding events. What we do today determines what happens tomorrow. To better chart the course of the future, then, it is important to live in the present with as much wisdom and consciousness as possible. Expanding our understanding and awareness elevates the quality of our lives, expands our compassion, and inspires us to change the world.”
“Guidance on how to follow the path of life comes in many forms. As a spiritual humanist I believe that we can learn from and integrate the wisdom and insights of other faith traditions without a fear of losing our own unique identity. Judaism, however, is the particular map charted for me by my ancestors. Jewish traditions and practices offer a total path of being, one that encompasses all of life’s experiences and encourages me to pursue shalom in myself and my world.”
“I believe that while knowledge and commitment are essential to a teacher’s effectiveness, the manner in which one relates to others is equally important. Throughout my career I have endeavored to facilitate spiritual growth and healing by being emotionally available and open, and by honoring the divine image in me and in those around me. I believe that it is this element of presence linked with the spiritual–not just the knowledge I bring–that can help to renew and expand another’s life.”
What’s a humanistic faith?
“I have faith, faith in our wondrous capacity for hope and good, love and trust, healing and forgiveness. Faith in our infinite ability to wonder, question, pray, feel, think, and learn. I have faith. Faith in the infinite possibilities of the human spirit.” –James Brown, FOX NFL Sportscaster.