Who are Reform Jews?
Reform Jews are, potentially, the majority of Jews today.
We include Jews who feel most comfortable within “minhag Anglia”, the Judaism that they remember from their grandparents, loving its customs and its tunes, but who cannot accept certain key aspects of the Jewish past – its treatment of women, its prejudice against sexual minorities, its impulse to separation.
We include Jews who believe passionately in God and prayer but whose understanding of God is very different from the medieval view of the King who rewards the righteous and zaps the wicked.
We include Jews whom the outside world might call secular – Jews who have major questions about belief and who do not express their spirituality through prayer. Many have a strong sense of Jewish identity and resonate with a Judaism expressed through ethical behaviour and a commitment to the repair of the world. Many find a love of Israel the dominant feature of their Jewish identity. Many feel a special bond with other Jews and just know intuitively that the Jewish story is their story.
The majority of Reform Jews are Jews because they were born on the journey. Reform Judaism has rediscovered the old Jewish impulse to inclusivity, despite past experiences of persecution and exclusion. So our communities contain many who have chosen the Jewish journey. Some have done so simply because they find it compelling. Some began their Jewish journey because they had become part of a Jewish family. Others have memories of Jewish ancestors.
What unites us is our sense of Jewish identity, our determination to give it meaning and purpose, our openness and inclusivity, our commitment to the Jewish journey.
We share a recognition that there are many ways of experiencing the faith of Judaism, understanding Torah and loving Israel.
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