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Views on Reform Judaism

Hey Guys,

so i’ve noticed on both of the larger Jewish subs (here and r/Jewish) a lot of disparagement about the reform movement. and most of it is just, at least to my understanding, completely false, and i felt like it’s worth addressing ( i realize the irony of posting this right before shabbos so that mostly only reform Jews will be commenting till sunday)

a lot of what i’m about to say is anecdotal so i’ll give context: I grew up in a family where my moms side was reform, my dads side was conservative, i grew up attending a reform synagogue, went to secular public school but also attended some form of additional jewish education (hebrew/ sunday school classes at my temple until sophomore year of high school, then an extended program at the jcc through senior year of high school) in college i majored in religious studies and minored in Jewish Studies

i currently attend a conservative shul (used to be infrequently but recently i’ve been going weekly) but last week i went to a reform service because my usual temples building was closed for shavuot

i have found through my upbringing and bouncing back and forth between the different synagogues (and also from trying to flirt with the USY and NFTY girls in high school) the differences are entirely surface level. the strictness of adherence to shabbat, the percentage of people eating kosher and how seriously they take those rules, modesty in dress, any thing you can think of that indicates level of Jewish observance in any way. amongst the people i know who practice reform or conservative judaism these things are identical. literally the only differences at the services are that in my reform services the Amidah is said aloud and in conservative services silently, and in my reform services everyone stands for mourners kaddish and in conservative services only those observing yahrzeit do

i also have never been to a reform temple that was “anti zionist” though many on this sub seem to think that the reform movement is actively against israel. i was actively encouraged to make aliyah as a kid, went to israel on a nfty summer program where i participated in gadna, and more than one of my reform relatives had made aliyah to join the army in israel. i’m especially confused about this impression

i guess i don’t really have a question, it’s just something that i’ve found troubling and id encourage the more observant amongst us to get to know their reform siblings and discover we’re all just Jews trying to live in a fulfilling way

submitted by /u/Any-Grapefruit3086
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Source: Reditt