Reform Judaism

denomination of Judaism

Progressive Judaism, sometimes called Reform Judaism is a change of beliefs within Judaism. This change began in 19th century Germany. There are a number of changes which fall under these denominations. In very basic terms:

  • Jewish laws can be split into two laws: ethical and ritual laws. The ethical laws do not change, the ritual laws can be changed.
  • As good as Jews can, they should try to be like the country they live in. This means that some of the ritual laws must be changed. The changes also allow modern lifestyles.
  • The religious books of Judaism should not be read exactly as they are written. They can be read, thought about and challenged like any other text.
  • Women are seen as the same as men and are allowed to sit with the men when in the synagogue while in Orthodox Judaism, women are expected to sit in a different place. Women are also allowed to not wear head coverings when attending synagogue.
  • Hebrew is not always spoken in Reform synagogues.