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What is Reform?
The Beauty of Tradition – With a Modern Twist.
Reform Judaism was first introduced to the United States in 1841 as a new Jewish orientation that introduced modifications to Judaism in order to make it relevant and meaningful in an emerging modern society. Thus, although Reform Judaism affirms the central tenets of Judaism - God, Torah and Israel - the Reform movement 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.
In addition to our belief that Judaism must change and adapt to the needs of the day to survive, the following principles distinguish Reform Jews from other streams of Judaism in North America:
- Immersion in study (Torah), prayer (Avodah), and the performance of good deeds (Gemilut Chassadim);
- Personal responsibility for religious choices made based on knowledge and commitment;
- Dedication to Tikun Olam, repairing the world, through acts of social justice;
- Full equality of women and men in all aspects of synagogue leadership and religious life;
- Commitment to the inclusion of all who wish to celebrate Jewish life, regardless of gender, marital status, sexual preference or family background; and
- Developing and maintaining close ties to the State of Israel and her people.