Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris, President, Association of Humanistic Rabbis
Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris
Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris has been a member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism and committed to its philosophic principles since 1970. She is currently the Community Development Coordinator for the Society for Humanistic Judaism. and the President, of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis.
As a leader in Humanistic Judaism for the past thirty-five years, Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris has maintained that people are not just at the center of a Humanistic Jewish philosophy, they are the very heart of the movement.
Rabbi Jerris holds Masters Degrees in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology from the Center for Humanistic Studies, in Humanistic Judaism from the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, and a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies with a specialization in Pastoral Counseling from The Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ordained as a madrikha (clergy) in 1988, Jerris was ordained as a rabbi in 2001 by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. She is a member of its faculty. Jerris has served on the boards of most movement organizations and is currently the Vice President of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis. Rabbi Jerris is the 2006 recipient of the Sherwin T. Wine Lifetime Achievement Award.
Reflecting on her rabbinate, Rabbi Jerris cites five key characteristics that have shaped her role as a leader, teacher, and mentor: 1) tikkun halev, healing the existential pain of human existence through compassion; 2) supporting people to accept responsibility for themselves and the goals they wish to achieve; 3) nurturing Jewish identity; 4) increasing Jewish literacy; 5) being open to creative alternatives as they relate to liturgy and celebrations.
A specialist working with Jewish intermarried families, she has officiated at hundreds of weddings and baby naming celebrations, led dozens of intermarriage workshops and seminars, spoken to Jewish organizations, and is a regular contributor to www.interfaithfamily.com, a Web magazine serving the intermarried population.
Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris & Stephen Stawicki
Miriam S. Jerris, Ph.D. is co-founder of The Wedding Connection along with her husband, Catholic born, Stephen Stawicki, a Master Bridal Consultant. Ms. Jerris also is a Humanist Minister, ordained by the Humanist Society, associated with the American Humanist Association. She offers pre-marital and marital counseling, if desired. Her background and education places her in an exceptional position to serve the needs of couples from different cultural and religious backgrounds. She is committed to celebrating, with dignity, couples whose needs often go unmet, whether they be humanistic, interfaith, interracial, intercultural, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. She has performed more than 1,500 life cycle ceremonies since 1985. Jerris has raised two children in Humanistic Judaism.
Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris, Ph.D.
Society for Humanistic Judaism - Community Development Coordinator
28611 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334