37 Facts About Reform synagogue


Critics, like Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, warned that Reform synagogue became more of a Jewish activities club, a means to demonstrate some affinity to one's heritage in which even rabbinical students do not have to believe in any specific theology or engage in any particular practice, rather than a defined belief system.

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Basic tenet of Reform synagogue theology is a belief in a continuous, or progressive, revelation, occurring continuously and not limited to the theophany at Sinai, the defining event in traditional interpretation.

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Reform synagogue rejected the notion of "progressive revelation" in the meaning of comparing human betterment with divine inspiration, stressing that past experiences were "unique" and of everlasting importance.

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Reform synagogue Judaism emphasizes the ethical facets of the faith as its central attribute, superseding the ceremonial ones.

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However, practices were seen as a means to elation and a link to the heritage of the past, and Reform synagogue generally argued that rituals should be maintained, discarded or modified based on whether they served these higher purposes.

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The postwar "New Reform synagogue" lent renewed importance to practical, regular action as a means to engage congregants, abandoning the sanitized forms of the "Classical".

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Reform synagogue is unique among all Jewish denominations in placing the individual as the authorized interpreter of Judaism.

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Reform synagogue sought to accentuate and greatly augment the universalist traits in Judaism, turning it into a faith befitting the Enlightenment ideals ubiquitous at the time it emerged.

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From its beginning, Reform synagogue Judaism attempted to harmonize the language of petitions with modern sensibilities and what the constituents actually believed in.

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In 1846, the Breslau rabbinical conference abolished the second day of festivals; during the same years, the Berlin Reform synagogue congregation held prayers without blowing the Ram's Horn, phylacteries, mantles or head covering, and held its Sabbath services on Sunday.

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Some branches of Reform synagogue, while subscribing to its differentiation between ritual and ethics, chose to maintain a considerable degree of practical observance, especially in areas where a conservative Jewish majority had to be accommodated.

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Reform synagogue Judaism is considered to be the first major Jewish denomination to adopt gender equality in religious life.

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Reform synagogue pioneered family seating, an arrangement that spread throughout American Jewry but was only applied in continental Europe after World War II.

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American Reform synagogue, especially, turned action for social and progressive causes into an important part of religious commitment.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform synagogue Judaism became an important lobby in service of progressive causes such as the rights of minorities.

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Tikkun Olam has become the central venue for active participation for many affiliates, even leading critics to negatively describe Reform synagogue as little more than a means employed by Jewish liberals to claim that commitment to their political convictions was a religious activity and demonstrates fealty to Judaism.

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In truth, it is political, basically a mirror of the most radically leftist components of the Democratic Party platform, causing many to say that Reform synagogue Judaism is simply 'the Democratic Party with Jewish holidays'.

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The North American Union for Reform synagogue Judaism accepted it in 1983, and the British Movement for Reform synagogue Judaism affirmed it in 2015.

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The title "Reform synagogue" became much more common in the United States, where an independent denomination under this name was fully identified with the religious tendency.

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Reform synagogue was interested in decorum, believing its lack in services was driving the young away.

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Massive Orthodox reaction halted the advance of early Reform synagogue, confining it to the port city for the next twenty years.

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Apart from strictly aesthetic matters, like having sermons and Reform synagogue affairs delivered in English, rather than Middle Spanish, they had almost their entire liturgy solely in the vernacular, in a far greater proportion compared to the Hamburg rite.

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Reform synagogue is considered the founding father of Reform Judaism.

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Reform synagogue himself differentiated between his principled stance and quotidian conduct.

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Reform synagogue declared mixed marriage permissible – almost the only Reform rabbi to do so in history; his contemporaries and later generations opposed this – for the Talmudic ban on conducting them on Sabbath, unlike offering sacrifice and other acts, was to him sufficient demonstration that they belonged not to the category of sanctified obligations but to the civil ones, where the Law of the Land applied.

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Except Berlin, where the term "Reform synagogue" was first used as an adjective, the rest referred to themselves as "Liberal".

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Outside Germany, Reform synagogue had little to no influence in the rest of the continent.

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Reform synagogue was of little ideological consistency, often willing to compromise.

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Rabbi Jacob K Shankman wrote they were all "animated by the convictions of Reform Judaism: emphasized the Prophets' teachings as the cardinal element, progressive revelation, willingness to adapt ancient forms to contemporary needs".

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Reform synagogue's approach echoed popular sentiment in the East Coast.

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Reform synagogue redrafted the Union Prayer Book in 1940 to include more old formulae and authored many responsa, though he always stressed compliance was voluntary.

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The Columbus Principles signified the transformation from "Classical" to the "New Reform synagogue Judaism", characterized by a lesser focus on abstract concepts and a more positive attitude to practice and traditional elements.

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Reform synagogue turned the notion of Tikkun Olam, "repairing of the world", into the practical expression of affiliation, leading involvement in the civil rights movement, Vietnam War opposition and other progressive causes.

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In 1954, the first permanent Reform synagogue congregation was established in the State of Israel, again at Jerusalem.

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Reform synagogue called for a policy of outreach and tolerance, rejecting "intermarriage, but not the intermarried", hoping to convince gentile spouses to convert.

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On 26 May 1999, after a prolonged debate and six widely different drafts rejected, a "Statement of Principles for Reform synagogue Judaism" was adopted in Pittsburgh by the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

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In 2008, the Society for Classical Reform synagogue Judaism was founded to mobilize and coordinate those who preferred the old universalist, ethics-based and less-observant religious style, with its unique aesthetic components.

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