WHAT IS ROOTS OF REFORM JUDAISM?
Foundational Reform Principles & Practice
Roots of Reform Judaism (RRJ) is the new name for the Society for Classical Reform Judaism (SCRJ), which was founded in 2008. An organization reaching out to individuals, clergy, congregations, and institutions, we provide liturgical resources geared to the multi-faceted needs of today’s changing Jewish landscape. Recognizing the needs of congregations and individuals, RRJ provides educational resources and support for religious school teachers and rabbinical, cantorial, and education students of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Our fundamental principle is that the eternal Jewish Covenant with God is at the heart of our identity and history as Jews. While our faith engenders and empowers many different understandings and interpretations of the Divine, it is the religious quest for faith and meaning that is at the core of our Jewish identity. We believe that:
As a spiritual community, we cherish the unique ties of history and destiny that link us to our fellow Jews throughout the ages and around the world today.
We understand the Jewish People as a community of faith, bound together by our shared experience, and grounded in the distinctive teachings of our Jewish heritage. The rich and varied ethnic and cultural traditions of the Jewish experience throughout the ages offer meaningful dimensions for our religious identity. Our faith is timeless and universal in its aspirations.
We believe that as Jews, we are called to be witnesses to the unity of God and the unity of all humanity. We must work as individuals and as a community to bring justice and peace to the world. We affirm this broad, universalistic, and humanistic spiritual vision.
We cherish the distinctive traditions of historic American Reform – a meaningful, participatory liturgy that appeals to both mind and heart. This commitment has always embraced a primarily English language service, enriched by the timeless elements of Hebrew texts and songs that link us to our past and to our fellow Jews throughout the world.
We affirm and celebrate the unique heritage of the Jewish experience in America. Our Torah’s principles of liberty, justice, and the equality of all people, have shaped American democracy from its earliest colonial beginnings. Inspired by the promise of the American values of freedom and opportunity, Jews have played a vital role in the founding and building of this nation.
Our relationship as American Jews to the State of Israel is one of great importance and has a complex history in the development of Reform Judaism. We affirm that our link to the land of Israel is a deep and historic one and that the State of Israel has profound significance for the Jewish experience. We share with all Jews, and with all people of good will the hope and prayer for an Israel, living in peace and justice with its neighbors.
Historic Reform principles and practice, embodying their own integrity and significance, will continue to speak to new generations of Jews today and tomorrow.
Looking to take a deeper dive into foundational Reform principles and practice? Check out Classical Reform Judaism: A Concise Profile by Rabbi Howard A. Berman.