Sherwin Wine

Born Jan 25, 1928

Sherwin Theodore Wine was a rabbi and a founding figure in Humanistic Judaism. Originally ordained a Reform rabbi, Wine founded the Birmingham Temple, the first congregation of Humanistic Judaism in 1963, in Birmingham, Michigan, outside Detroit, Michigan (the temple later relocated to its current location in Farmington Hills, Michigan). In 1969 Wine founded the Society for Humanistic Judaism.… Read More

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1928 Birth Born in 1928.


1951 23 Years Old Despite his movement away from theism, Wine decided to join the clergy rather than academia and in 1951 enrolled in the rabbinic program at Reform Judaism's Hebrew Union College. … Read More
1957 29 Years Old Wine began his service as an Army chaplain in January 1957 and was stationed in Korea.


1958 30 Years Old In November 1958, he returned to Temple Beth El in Detroit.
1959 31 Years Old In the fall of 1959, he joined a group in Windsor, Ontario just across the Detroit River in Canada to organize a new Reform congregation, also called Beth El. … Read More
1963 35 Years Old He began leading services for the new group, initially eight families, in September 1963 in Farmington Hills, Michigan. … Read More


1969 41 Years Old First, in 1969, the Society for Humanistic Judaism was formed by Wine’s Birmingham Temple; a previously Reform congregation in Illinois headed by Rabbi Daniel Friedman, who had led the congregation from Reform to Humanistic Judaism after learning about Wine’s work in Michigan; and a congregation in Westport, Connecticut which had been organized by a member of the Birmingham Temple who had moved to Connecticut. … Read More


1981 53 Years Old Wine also founded several organizations that are not specifically Jewish. In 1981, he and others created the Voice of Reason for the purpose of responding to the upsurge of right-wing political activism by religious leaders such as Rev. Jerry Falwell. … Read More
1982 54 Years Old Wine served as President of both of these organizations from 1982 until 1993. … Read More


2007 79 Years Old 1 More Event
On July 21, 2007, Wine and his longtime life partner Richard McMains were in a taxicab headed to a hotel from dinner in Essaouira, Morocco, when their cab was hit by another vehicle. … Read More
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