Sherwin Wine, founder of Humanistic Judaism, dies


The founder of Humanistic Judaism, Rabbi Sherwin Wine, died in a car crash in Morocco. Wine, 79, was killed Saturday.

Wine, a Detroit native who was raised by Conservative parents, attended Reform rabbinical school before founding the first congregation of Humanistic Judaism, the Birmingham Temple, in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham in 1963. He helped establish the Society for Humanistic Judaism in 1969, gradually building it into a worldwide movement with some 40,000 members. He retired in 2003.

Wine was the author of several books, including “Humanistic Judaism,” “Judaism Beyond God” and “Staying Sane in a Crazy World.” According to The Associated Press, he was in Morocco this summer writing a book about living a meaningful, moral life without depending on faith for guidance.

He and his partner, Richard McMains, were near Essaouira, Morocco, when the taxi in which they were riding was struck by another driver. Wine was killed instantly. McMains remains hospitalized in stable condition, according to the society’s Web site.

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