What is Reform Judaism?
The journey of the Jewish people begins 3,750 years ago in the ancient Middle East with Abraham and Sarah. Judaism is what gives the journey meaning and purpose. The faith and values which drive the journey provide a compelling vision of where we want to get to and offer such direction and signposting as we can make out.
Reform Judaism is Judaism’s most positive response to the terrain of the last 200 years. When the Jewish people emerged from the ghettos of Europe, some were – or became – so frightened of what they found that they have rebuilt the ghetto ‘walls’. Some recognise the new reality but are determined not to be changed by it. Reform Jews are those who don’t underestimate the challenge of modernity but can also see that it offers new ways of understanding and thinking which help us grow and add to the meaning and purpose of the journey.
So Reform Judaism is Judaism for those who wish to journey on, carrying with us the wisdom we have acquired over nearly four millennia and continuing to be enriched, as we always have been in the past, by the best of what we encounter on the way.
Reform Judaism is living Judaism. It is a religious philosophy rooted in nearly four millennia of Jewish tradition, whilst actively engaged with modern life and thought. This means both an uncompromising assertion of eternal truths and values and an open, positive attitude to new insights and changing circumstances. It is a living, evolving faith that Jews of today and tomorrow can live by.