Reform Judaism is the most liberal of the significant movements within Judaism today. It started in the 1800s in Germany throughout the emancipation and also encouraged the check of faith with one eye towards rationality and also egalitarianism.

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Reform Judaism differs from the other significant movements in that it views both the Oral and also Written regulations as a product of human being hands (specifically, it see the Torah as divinely inspired, but written in the language of the time in i beg your pardon it to be given). The regulations reflect their times, but contain many timeless truths. The Reform movement stresses retention the the an essential principles that Judaism. Together for practice, it strong recommends individual study of the timeless practices; however, the adherent is totally free to follow only those practices that rise the sanctity of their relationship to God. Reform Judaism additionally stresses equality between the sexes.

Reform Judaism share the universal Jewish focus on learning, duty and also obligation, fairly than creed together the primary expression the a religious life. Reform stresses that ethical responsibilities, an individual and social, space enjoined by God. Reform additionally believes that our ethical obligations are however a beginning; they expand to many other aspects of Jewish living, including creating a Jewish home centered on family members devotion; lifelong study; exclusive prayer and public worship; daily religious observance; keeping the Sabbath and also the holy days; celebrate the major events that life; involvement with the synagogue and community and other activities that promote the survival of the Jewish people and enhance the existence. Within each aspect of observance, revolutionary Judaism requirements that Jews face the insurance claims of Jewish tradition, yet differently perceived, and also exercise their individual autonomy — based, as the Shema says, ~ above reason, heart and also strength — choosing and also creating their holiness together people and as community. The necessity for commitment and also knowledge is repetitively emphasized. A revolutionary Jew that determines their practice based upon convenience alone is not acting in accordance v the recommended place of reform Judaism. Reform also rejects the faith tenets of various other religions as a matter of an initial principles.

- stimulus to Reform- Origins- an essential Principles- The authority of the Torah- belief in God- who is a Jew?- Conversion- Intermarriage- Divorce- The Messiah- Shabbat- Kashrut- Liturgy- Rosh Hashanah- views on Homosexuality- Abortion- business Structure

Stimulus to Reform

Reform Judaism was born at the moment of the French Revolution, a time once European Jews to be (for the very first time), well-known as citizen of the countries in which lock lived. Ghettos to be being abolished, one-of-a-kind badges to be no more, civilization could work out where castle pleased, dress together they liked and also follow the occupations the they wanted.

Many Jews cleared up outside the Jewish districts and began come live favor their neighbors and also speak the language of the land. They went to public schools and also universities, and began to overlook Jewish studies and also to overlook the Shulchan Aruch.

In 1815, after Napoleon's defeat, Jews lost the civil liberties of citizenship in countless countries. Countless Jews became Christians to maintain those rights. Many thoughtful Jews to be concerned around this. They realized that many of these alters took place not due to the fact that of a dislike the Judaism, but to obtain better treatment. Many rabbis thought that the method to address this was to force Jews to keep away from Christians and also give increase public schools and also universities. This didn't work.

Leopold Zunz suggest something else. He argued that Jews research their background and find out of the an excellent achievements of the past. If Zunz to be implementing his ideas, a movement started to make religious services far better understood, by combine music and also the neighborhood language. However, these transforms led to battles with the neighborhood rabbis, that urged the government to near the check synagogue.

Shortly after the closing, Rabbi Abraham Geiger suggested that observance might additionally be adjusted to appeal to contemporary people. Geiger, a expert scholar in both Tanach and also German studies, investigated Jewish history and found that Jewish life had actually continually changed. Every now and then, old practices were changed and brand-new ones introduced, causing a Jewish life that was quite different from that lived 4,000 or also 2,000 years before. He noticed that these transforms often make it easier for Jews come live in accordance with Judaism. Geiger concluded that this procedure of adjust needed to proceed to do Judaism attractive to all Jews. That met with other Rabbis in Germany, and changes were made.


The root of Reform/Liberal/Progressive Judaism lie in Germany, where, between 1810 and 1820, congregations in Seesen, Hamburg and Berlin instituted basic changes in traditional Jewish practices and also beliefs, such as blended seating, the usage of German in services, single-day observance the festivals and also the usage of a cantor/choir.

American reform Judaism began as these German "reformers" immigrated to America in the mid-1800s. Revolutionary rapidly ended up being the dominant id system of American Jews of the time. It to be a nationwide phenomenon. The an initial "Reform" team was formed by individuals who separation from Congregation Beth Elohim in Charleston, south Carolina.

Reform Judaism in America benefitted indigenous the absence of a central religious authority. It likewise was molded by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise. Rabbi Wise came to the U.S. In 1846 from Bohemia, invested eight years in Albany, NY, and also then relocated to Cincinnati on the leaf of the frontier. He then proceeded to:

Write the an initial siddur edited because that American worshipers, Minhag American (1857).Found the Union the American Hebrew Congregations in 1873.Found Hebrew Union university in Cincinnati in 1875.Found the central Conference the American Rabbis in 1889.

Early revolutionary Judaism, led through Rabbis such together David Einhorn of Baltimore, Samuel Holdheim, young name Felsenthal and also Kaufmann Kohler, took an significantly radical stance. Numerous rituals and customs to be dropped, part congregations organized "Shabbat" top top Sunday. This at an early stage radicalism was stated in the 1885 Pittsburgh Platform.

By 1880, much more than 90% that American synagogues were Reform. This was the time of the significant Eastern european immigration, i m sorry was heavily Orthodox and non-German, as contrasted through the strongly German revolutionary movement. Numerous Reform congregations of this time were challenging to distinguish from bordering Protestant churches, through preachers in robes, pews with combined seating, choirs, organs and also hymnals. Although early on Reform dropped fairly a little of timeless prayers and rituals, there to be still a "bottom line." In 1909, the CCAR formally claimed its opposition come intermarriage. And, although decried as "archaic" and also "barbarian," the exercise of circumcision stayed a central rite. By 1935, Reform had started to return to a much more traditional technique to Judaism — patent Jewish and also distinctly American, but likewise distinctively non-Christian.

Reform Judaism pioneered a number of Jewish organizations, such as the educational Alliance top top the Lower eastern Side of new York, the Young Men's Hebrew Association, the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation organization of B'nai Brith.

Early revolutionary Judaism was likewise Anti-Zionist, believing the Diaspora was crucial for Jews to it is in a "light depend the nations." Nevertheless, a variety of Reform rabbis were pioneers in creating Zionism in America, such together Gustav and also Richard Gottheil, Rabbi Steven S. Way (founder the the American Jewish Congress) and Justice louis Brandeis. Following the Balfour Declaration, the revolutionary movement began to support Jewish settlements in Palestine, and also institutions such as Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University. In 1937, the Columbus communication affirmed "the duty of every Jewry to aid in structure a Jewish homeland...."

Fundamental Principles

Although reform does not have actually a mandated laundry list of "fundamental principles," concepts and principles the characterize lot of the Reform motion include:

Belief in the rationality that humanity.Belief the the procedure of reinterpretation of the Torah to the language of today is ongoing, and also that every Jew has actually a stake and also a duty in the restatement and extension.Belief in egalitarianism (equal treatment of the sexes) where possible.Belief in the solid moral and social activity commitment innate in the Torah and embodied in the principle of Tikkun Olam, rebuilding the world.

The authority of the Torah

The 1937 Columbus platform of revolutionary Jewry expressed the position that the Torah outcomes from the relationship in between God and the Jewish people. The documents of ours earliest confrontations space uniquely necessary to us. Lawgivers and prophets, historians and poets gave us a legacy whose study is a religious imperative and whose exercise is ours chief means to holiness. Rabbis and also teachers, philosophers and also mystics, gifted Jews in every age intensified the Torah tradition. Because that millennia, the development of the Torah has not ceased and also Jewish creativity in our time is adding to the chain that tradition.

The platform went on come say that God is revealed not just in the majesty, beauty and orderliness that nature, but additionally in the vision and moral striving of the human being spirit. Revelation is a continuous process, border to no one group and to nobody age. Yet, the human being of Israel, v its prophets and also sages, accomplished unique insight in the kingdom of religious truth. The Torah, both written and also oral, enshrines Israel's ever-growing awareness of God and of the moral law. The preserves the historic precedents, sanctions and also norms of Jewish life, and seeks to mold that in the patterns of goodness and also of holiness. Being commodities of historical processes, particular of the laws have actually lost their binding pressure with the passing of the problems that called them forth. Yet as a repository of long-term spiritual ideals, the Torah remains the dynamic source of life the Israel. Each period has the responsibility to it is adapted the teachings the the Torah come its basic needs in consonance with the genius that Judaism.

Reform Judaism see the rabbinic previous as a historical development. The "Oral Law" is not viewed as divinely offered at Sinai, yet rather as a enjoy of Judaism's historic development and encounter with God in each succeeding generation. In this, Reform follows Zunz, Geiger, Frankel, Graetz, and others in viewing God functioning through human agents. Revolutionary believes the each generation has developed capable and religiously influenced teachers (this method that revolutionary rejects the regularly expressed see that assigns greater holiness come those who stayed in the past). Some individuals of our generation may equal or exceed those the the past.

Historical and sociological studies of the rabbinic literature throughout the last two centuries have illuminated it. Revolutionary Judaism see this substantial literature as the product of the person reaction to differing needs motivated by religious thought and the divine impulse. Reform Judaism feel no need to justify each segment the the literary works in regards to every other section as done through hidushim and pilpul. Revolutionary sees the differences among Talmudic and also later authorities as reflections of certain points that view, different understandings the the divine mandate, and the requirements of details groups within their Jewish communities.

When reform Judaism analyzes each period of history, that discovers different strands in the halachah. These show up both in the decisions and also underlying philosophy. Timeless Judaism has actually chosen a solitary path and also rejected the others, but we recall the presence of the various other paths and the fact that they were suggested and followed by faithful Jews in the past. Revolutionary Judaism feels that diversity has always been the hallmark of our literature and our people. Thus, when Reform finds itself facing new situations, it turns both to the tendency of rabbinic thought as well as its divergent routes for halakhic guidance. In Reform's view, the halachah is a substantial repository whose old debates are regularly relevant to brand-new situations.

Sometimes the solutions of revolutionary Judaism might parallel those of previous generations. On other occasions, reform diverges native them. V this effort, revolutionary Judaism looks for solutions for generations living in lands distant and also distinct indigenous those that the ancient Near eastern or medieval Europe.

Reform Judaism recognizes that no every question can be solved by reviewing the rabbinic literature; in some instances, totally new legislation is appropriate. That may be buttressed through rabbinic precedent.

Belief in God

Reform Judaism to trust in God. This belief has to be demonstrated indigenous the earliest days of the movement; specifics the Pittsburgh platform in 1885, which said, "We host that Judaism gift the highest ide of the God-idea as taught in our holy Scriptures." It to be reaffirmed in 1937 in the Columbus Platform: "The love of Judaism and also its chief donation to faith is the doctrine of the One, living God, that rules the world through law and also love." It to be reaffirmed however again in 1976: "The affirmation the God has constantly been crucial to our people's will certainly to survive."

Who is a Jew?

Reform's position is the the same requirements must be used to develop the condition of the son of a blended (interfaith) marriage, regardless of whether the mother or the father is Jewish. Therefore, in 1983, the CCAR authorize the complying with resolution:

The central Conference of American Rabbis declares that the boy of one Jewish parent is under the presumption the Jewish descent. This presumption that the Jewish condition of the offspring of any kind of mixed marital relationship is come be established through appropriate and timely public and formal action of identification with the Jewish faith and people. The performance of this mitzvot offer to go those who participate in them, both parent and also child, come Jewish life.

Mitzvot leading toward a positive and also exclusive Jewish identification will encompass entry into the covenant, salvation of a Hebrew name, Torah study, bar/bat mitzvah, and Kabbalat Torah (Confirmation). For those beyond childhood claiming Jewish identity, other public action or declarations may be included or substituted after consultation through their rabbi.

Note the this decision is sometimes dubbed the "Patrilineal Descent" decision, although it does no say that Patrilineal Descent, together opposed come the an ext traditional Matrilineal Descent, is used. Rather, it says that a kid of one interfaith pair must be increased with a continuing and also positive association through Judaism to it is in Jewish.

If you research the Report of the Committee top top Patrilineal lower on the standing of children of blended Marriages, friend will check out that, because that the child of an interfaith marriage, merely having a Jewish parent is inadequate to do the child Jewish. Rather, the decision claims that having actually only one Jewish parent gives the child a "presumption" the Jewish descent. The Jewish status, however, have to be created through "appropriate and also timely public and also formal plot of identification through the Jewish faith and also people."


Reform Judaism welcomes every sincere converts there is no regard to racial or national origin or to their former religious faith. In reform Judaism, the is adequate for the prospective convert (ger) to declare, orally and in writing, in the visibility of a rabbi and also no much less than 2 lay leaders of the congregation and community, accept of the Jewish faith and also the intention come live in accordance v its mitzvot. This declaration takes ar after a preparatory duration of study. The length of the period of preparation is determined by the rabbi, taking into factor to consider the time required by the candidate for conversion to achieve the crucial understanding and appreciation of Judaism to do a free-will decision through respect come their accept of the Jewish faith and identification through the Jewish people.

Reform recommends the the period of examine be reinforced by requiring and assisting the prospective convert's active participation in the various celebrations, observances, and worship solutions of Judaism and also the Jewish people. It recommends that continual attendance at synagogue worship, and also evidence of concern for Jewish values and causes in the home and community, need to be required. The will of this is to permit the rabbi and also their associates to fulfill themselves not just that the candidate has a enough knowledge of Judaism, but, of also greater importance, that the candidate is a human being of sincere and responsible character, who is genuinely desirous of do a wholehearted commitment come synagogue affiliation and to the Jewish faith and people.

Reform walk not need male converts to experience b'rit milah (circumcision) or hatafat dam b'rit (the illustration of blood); nor does it need converts to have tevilah (ritual immersion). However, that recognizes the there space social, psychological, and spiritual values connected with these rituals, and also it recommends that the rabbi acquaint prospective gerim v the halakhic background and also rationale because that b'rit milah, hatafat dam b'rit, and also tevilah, and offer castle the opportunity, if they for this reason desire, to watch these extr rites.

The biggest difference between Reform and also Orthodox conversion is implicit. Both conversions call for acceptance of the yoke the the mitzvot. However, the translate of that phrase differs substantially from Orthodoxy (where it indicates acceptance the the government of Rabbinic law as well as all 613 commandments together written) to revolutionary (where the is autonomy and an option based top top study). Other than that, revolutionary has various requirements for witnesses. Reform in the United says does not call for ritual immersion, and does not mandate b'rit mila because that males (although that is strongly recommended); revolutionary in Canada and also Israel need both milah/hatafah and also tevilah.


In 1909 the CCAR organized that intermarriage (interfaith marriage) is "contrary to the traditions of the Jewish religion." The same position was restated in 1947, and enhanced in 1973, when a substantial bulk at the CCAR Convention in Atlanta declared its opposition to participation through its members "in any type of ceremony i beg your pardon solemnizes a mixed marriage."

Most rabbis justify your refusal to officiate in ~ interfaith weddings by arguing that the Jewish conception of marital relationship is the of a covenant in between two Jews. However, in the joined States, there room a number of Reform rabbis who carry out such ceremonies, under the belief that it is much better to not develop an environment of rejection, which have the right to only offer to rotate away and also alienate the Jewish partner. If the Judaism the the Jewish companion is strong, the non-Jewish partner is frequently turned towards Judaism and the youngsters are raised Jewish.

Reform Judaism has actually made provisions for family members of blended marriages and also their children. Such families are welcomed in revolutionary congregations, and also Reform Judaism continues to advice them to transform to Judaism. The conference resolution of 1973 succinctly summarizes the position of reform Judaism:

The main Conference the American Rabbis, recalling the stand embraced in 1909 the "mixed marital relationship is contradictory to the Jewish tradition and also should it is in discouraged," currently declares the opposition to participation by its members in any ceremony which solemnizes a combined marriage.


The main Conference of American Rabbis renders no provision for a religious divorce, and civil divorce is recognized as dissolving a marital relationship by most Reform Rabbis. Keep in mind that even if Reform to be to present its very own get, it would likely not be recognized by timeless Judaism as valid. However, numerous Reform Rabbis, if asked, would advise the couple regarding obtaining a get, and would likely direct them come the suitable community institutions that could assist them.

The Messiah

Although reform does not believe in the ide of a an individual messiah, that does believe in the concept of a messianic age. There are individual revolutionary Jews who believe in resurrection "m'chayey meytim;" however, the Reform movement does no have any creed i beg your pardon would require such a belief. By an altering m'chayey meytim to the an ext generic m'chayey ha-kol, the Amidah becomes equivocal. This enables the believer in resurrection to know the prayer as resurrection while enabling those v the an ext conventional Reform id to relate to the prayer with pundit integrity.


Gates of the Seasons, the American revolutionary Movement's overview to the Jewish year, see Shabbat as a distinctive Jewish contribution to civilization, and a main activity to surviving the forces of assimilation and also corruption. As such, the calls the end the complying with mitzvot because that Reform Jews:

The mitzvah of Shabbat observance. It is a mitzvah because that every Jew, single or married, young or old, to watch Shabbat. The distinctive status the Shabbat is prove by its being the only among the divine days to be discussed in the Ten Commandments.... Shabbat observance involves both confident and an adverse mitzvot, i.e., doing and refraining native doing.

The mitzvah that joy. It is a mitzvah to take joy in Shabbat observance, together Isaiah said, "You shall call Shabbat a delight." Oneg indicates celebration and relaxation, sharing time through loved ones, enjoying the beauty, beauty of nature, eating a leisurely meal made special v conviviality and song, visiting through friends and also relatives, acquisition a leisurely stroll, reading and also listening come music.

The mitzvah the sanctification. It is a mitzvah to hallow Shabbat by setting it apart from the other days of the week.... Shabbat have to be identified from the various other days of the mainly so the those that observe it may be transformed by its holiness.

The mitzvah of rest. It is a mitzvah to remainder on Shabbat. However, Shabbat rest (menuchah) suggests much more than refraining indigenous work. The principle of Shabbat rest includes both physics relaxation and tranquility that mind and spirit. Top top Shabbat, one deliberately turns away native weekday pressures and also activities.

The mitzvah that refraining native work. that is a mitzvah to stop from work-related on Shabbat...Abstinence from job-related is a major expression that Shabbat observance; however, it is no straightforward matter to define work today. Certain activities that some execute to knife a living, others carry out for be sure or come express their creativity. Clearly, though, one should avoid one's normal occupation or job on Shabbat whenever possible and engage only in those species of tasks that enhance the joy, rest and holiness that the day.


Gates the Mitzvah, a overview to mitzvot in a reform context, states regarding kashrut:

Many reform Jews observe certain traditional self-controls as part of your attempt to establish a Jewish home and also lifestyle. Because that some, timeless kashrut will enhance the sanctity the the home and also be observed as a mitzvah; for some, a degree of kashrut (e.g., the avoidance the pork assets and/or shellfish) may be meaningful; and also still rather may discover nothing of value in kashrut. However, the fact that kashrut was vital feature of Jewish life because that so numerous centuries need to motivate the Jewish family members to research it and also to take into consideration whether or not it may improve the sanctity of their home.

The straightforward Reform philosophy is the it is a revolutionary Jew's duty to study and consider kashrut so regarding develop a valid an individual position. For although "classic" reform Judaism did disapprove kashrut (as detailed in the Pittsburgh communication of 1885), that did not stop Reform Jews and also Reform congregations native adopting and observing the dietary laws.

In attempting come evolve a position on kashrut, a revolutionary Jew has several options, because that example, abstention from pork/shellfish products, no mixing meat and also milk, etc. They might observe the laws at home, but not as soon as eating out, or they can observe them every the time. They might eat only kosher meat, or might come to be vegetarians in consonance with the rule of tzaar baalei chayim--prevention of pain or cruelty to animals. The selection of alternatives is from full observance to complete nonobservance.

The Torah regulates Jews to observe the dietary laws as a method of making that kadosh--holy. Holiness has the twin sense of inside hallowing and outer separateness. Over there are countless reasons that Reform Jews embrace some form of kashrut:

1. Identification and also solidarity with an international Judaism.

2. The ethical self-control of avoiding certain foods or limiting one's appetite since of the growing scarcity that food in parts of the world.

3. The avoidance of details foods traditionally obnoxious to Jews, giving a feeling of identification with previous generations and their battle to remain Jews.

4. The authority of ancient biblical and also rabbinic injunctions.

5. The desire to have a house in which any type of Jew have the right to eat.

One or much more of these reasons (or perhaps one more reason) might lead a reform Jew to take on some kind of kashrut. Others could still choose to no observe kashrut. But given the central nature the kashrut to classic practice, reform Jews are urged to research it and also consider very closely whether it would include kedushah, sanctity, to your home and also their lives.


The reform Movement has repeatedly modification the traditional liturgy come shorten the business by dispensing with several of the repetitions (for example, over there is just one Reader's Kaddish), and also to bring the doctrinal content of the liturgy right into accord with Reform assumed by omitting or recasting i expressive of beliefs that space not part of reform (e.g., a personal Messiah as distinct from a messianic age, resurrection of the dead, restoration of the sacrificial cult and the visibility of angels).

As an instance of this, consider the Shema and Tefillah. Traditionally, the Shema is composed of three Scriptural passages: Deut. 6.4-9, Deut. 11.13-21, and Num. 15:37-41. In reform siddurs, the second paragraph is frequently omitted since of the doctrine of retribution, and also the 3rd because the the commandment regarding fringes. Reform does incorporate Num. 15.40f. V respect to the Tefillah, there space more significant changes. The Tefillah traditionally is composed of 18 benedictions, come which, maybe in the second or 3rd century CE, a 19th to be added. It have the right to be broken into three parts: the an initial three benedictions, an intermediary thirteen benedictions and a last three benedictions. These room traditionally claimed three times daily, and also appear (in a modification form) in the weekday organization in the revolutionary siddur (although most Reform congregations do not organize weekday services, there room congregations and study teams that do, and hence, a service is provided for them). On Shabbat and also on festivals, only the an initial three and the last three space said; the intermediary benedictions are replaced by ones strange to the appropriate day.

Rosh Hashanah

In north America, part Reform congregations carry out observe 2 days that Rosh Hashana; however, the basic trend is to only observe one. Two days to be the tradition in the diaspora, wherein it was complicated to recognize with accuracy the first day. Given present time determination techniques, most congregations now observe only one day. In Israel, the gradual Movement observes 2 days, based upon the fact that the holiday is described as yamim nora'im, the work of Awe.

Views ~ above Homosexuality

The adhering to is a resolution from the central Conference the American Rabbis v respect come homosexual marriage:

Judaism places good emphasis on family, children, and the future, i m sorry is assured by a family. However we may know homosexuality--whether together an illness, together a genetically based dysfunction or together a sexual preference and also lifestyle--we cannot accommodate the relationship of 2 homosexuals as a "marriage" in ~ the paper definition of Judaism, for none that the elements of kiddushin (sanctification) normally associated with marriage have the right to be invoked because that this relationship.

However, the Reform activity in general is donate of homosexuals (the individuals), also though it might not encourage the lifestyle. This is demonstrated in the adhering to statements from the UAHC in 1977:

... Resolved that homosexual persons room entitled come equal security under the law. Us oppose discrimination versus homosexuals in areas of opportunity, including employment and also housing. We speak to upon our society to watch that such defense is detailed in actuality.

... Addressed that we affirm our id that private sexual act in between consenting adults room not the proper province of government and law enforcement agencies.

... Solved that we urge congregations come conduct suitable educational programming for youth and adults so together to provide greater knowledge of relationship of Jewish values to the range of human being sexuality.

In 1987, the UAHC fixed that it would urge that congregations and also affiliates to:

1. Encourage lesbian and gay Jews to share and participate in worship, leadership and also general congregational life of every synagogues.

2. Continue to develop educational program in the synagogue and community which promote understanding and also respect because that lesbians and gays.

3. Employ people without for to sexual orientation.

4. Advice the commission on Social activity to bring its references to the next basic Assembly after considering the report that the CCAR committee and any action of the CCAR pursuant come it.

5. Urge the Committee on Liturgy to build liturgically inclusive language.

Then, in 1989, UAHC solved to:

1. Reaffirm the 1987 resolution and also call upon every departments that the UAHC and our member congregations to completely implement the provisions.

2. Embark ~ above a movement-wide routine of heightened awareness and education to accomplish the fuller accept of gay and lesbian Jews in ours midst.

3. Urge our member congregations come welcome gay and also lesbian Jews come membership, as singles, couples and also families.

4. Commend the CCAR for its sensitive and thorough initiatives to progressive the consciousness of the rabbinate about homosexuality. We urge the CCAR to go after its own mandate v vigor and also complete its work as quickly as possible in order come respond come the communal and also spiritual aspirations the gay and lesbian Jews.


The Reform movement has had a long history of liberalism on plenty of social and also family matters. Revolutionary feels that the sample of tradition, till the many recent generation, has actually demonstrated a liberal strategy to abortion and has certainly permitted it in instance of any type of danger to the life the the mother. The danger may be physics or psychological. When this occurs at any time throughout the pregnancy, reform Judaism would certainly not hesitate to allow an abortion. This would likewise include situations of incest and rape if the mother wishes to have an abortion.

Twentieth century medication has carried a higher understanding of the fetus, and it is now feasible to discover major problems in the fetus quite at an early stage in the pregnancy. Some genetic defects have the right to be found shortly ~ conception and more research will certainly make such methods widely available. That is, the course, same true that modern medicine has actually presented means of maintaining babies with very serious troubles alive, generally in a vegetative state, i beg your pardon brings great misery to the family involved. Together problems, as those resulted in by Tay Sachs and also other degenerative or permanent problems which serious endanger the life that the child and also potentially the mental health of the mother, room indications because that permitting an abortion.

Reform Judaism agrees through the traditional authorities the abortions have to be approached cautiously throughout the life the the fetus. Many authorities would certainly be least hesitant during the an initial forty job of the fetus' life (Yeb. 69b; Nid. 30b; M. Ker. 1.1; Shulhan Arukah Hoshen Mishpat 210.2; Solomon Skola, Bet Shelomo, Hoshen Mishpat 132; Joseph Trani, Responsa Maharit 1.99, Noam 9 pp 213ff, etc.). Even the strictly Rabbi Unterman permits non-Jews to execute abortions within the forty day durations (Rabbi Unterman, op. Cit., pp 8ff).

From forty days till twenty-seven weeks, the fetus possesses some status, however its future continues to be doubtful (goses biydei adam; San. 78a; Nid 44b and also commentaries) as we room not certain of this viability. Revolutionary Judaism must, therefore, be an ext certain of the grounds because that abortion, but would still allow it.

It is clear from every one of this the the traditional authorities would certainly be many lenient through abortions in ~ the first forty days. After the time, there is a difference of opinion. Those who room within the broadest variety of permissibility permit abortion at any time prior to birth, if over there is serious peril to the health of the mother or child. Reform Judaism does not encourage abortion, nor favor it because that trivial reasons, or sanction it "on demand."

Organizational Structure

The Union the American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC, now well-known as the Union ofReform Judaism or URJ) was started in 1873 by Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, and also serves as the umbrella organization for revolutionary Synagogues throughout north America. That is component of the human being Union for gradual Judaism, which incorporates Liberal/Progressive/Reform congregations on every continent.

The UAHC funds a seminary system for revolutionary Judaism: the Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute because that Religion. HUC was founded in 1875, and it now has campuses in Cincinnati, Ohio; brand-new York City, new York; Los Angeles, California and also Jerusalem.

UAHC works v a variety of professional organizations:

The CCAR or main Conference the American Rabbis (founded in 1889). That is members room the human body of rabbis who consider themselves, and are taken into consideration to be, the arranged rabbinate of revolutionary Judaism. Its members consist of of revolutionary rabbis ordained at the Hebrew Union college (HUC), as well as Reform rabbis ordained at liberal seminaries in Europe, and some rabbis that joined the Reform motion subsequent come ordination (most of these to be ordained either at Conservative Judaism's Jewish Theological Seminary, the university of Judaism or in ~ the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College). Keep in mind that not all HUC graduates room CCAR members; part leave for ideological factors or since they have joined a different movement.

The world organization for Reform Judaism is the world Union for gradual Judaism, which is headquartered in Jerusalem. External of north America, reform is also known as "Progressive" or "Liberal" Judaism.

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Progressive Jewish congregations are to be found throughout the Jewish world, indigenous Europe come Asia, from southern America come India and from Africa come Australasia. In Israel, in enhancement to metropolitan congregations, there are also two progressive kibbutzim and a Progressive town settlement.