Reform Judaism

Throughout history, Jews have remained firmly rooted in Jewish tradition, even as we learned much from our encounters with other cultures. Nevertheless, since its earliest days, Reform Judaism has asserted that a Judaism frozen in time is an heirloom, not a living fountain. The great contribution of Reform Judaism is that it has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition, to embrace diversity while asserting commonality, to affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt and to bring faith to sacred texts without sacrificing critical scholarship

Reform Judaism affirms the central tenets of Judaism – God, Torah and Israel – even as it acknowledges the diversity of Reform Jewish beliefs and practices. We believe that all human beings are created in the image of God, and that we are God’s partners in improving the world. Tikkun Olam — repairing the world — is a hallmark of Reform Judaism as we strive to bring peace, freedom and justice to all people.

ReformJud

Reform Jews accept the Torah as the foundation of Jewish life containing God’s ongoing revelation to our people and the record of our people’s ongoing relationship with God. We see the Torah as God inspired, a living document that enables us to confront the timeless and timely challenges of our everyday lives.

In addition to our belief that Judaism must change and adapt to the needs of the day to survive and our firm commitment to Tikkun Olam, the following principles distinguish Reform Jews from other streams of Judaism in North America.

  • Reform Jews are committed to the:principle of inclusion, not exclusion. Since 1978 the Reform Movement has been reaching out to Jews-by-choice and interfaith families, encouraging them to embrace Judaism. Reform Jews consider children to be Jewish if they are the child of a Jewish father or mother, so long as the child is raised as a Jew.
  • absolute equality of women in all areas of Jewish life. We were the first movement to ordain women rabbis, invest women cantors and elect women presidents of our synagogues.
  • full participation of gays and lesbians in synagogue life as well as society at large.

Reform Jewish Movement Statement on the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Declaration of Israel as an Apartheid State

The Reform Jewish Movement strongly condemns Presbyterian Church (USA)'s declaration falsely charging that Israel is an apartheid state, with the passage of Amendment INT-02 at its recent General Assembly.

Reform Movement Leaders Respond to Tragic Gun Massacre in Highland Park

We mourn the six lives taken today in Highland Park, IL and pray for all those injured, beloved members of our Reform Jewish community among them. On this day celebrating American independence, it is clear that Americans’ ability to live independent of the fear of gun violence is ever more elusive. With each massacre, the freedom to gather, pray, shop, learn, and simply be, free from fear of gun violence, is taken away.

Reform Movement Leaders Denounce the Supreme Court’s Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

“We are outraged that the Supreme Court today has stripped women and others who can become pregnant of the fundamental right to make essential health care decisions free of governmental interference."

Reform Movement Responds to Supreme Court’s Decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen

“In the aftermath of the unceasing spate of recent mass shootings – including the horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde and recent gun violence at a church in Alabama, a Juneteenth concert in Washington, D.C., and in a neighborhood in New York City – it is incomprehensible that the Supreme Court has once again decided to value guns over the safety of our communities, children, and houses of worship."