Reform Judaism

Attempt to modernize Jewish religion in keeping with the needs of modern society ("the spirit of the age").

First phase (c. 1790-1830):

Lay initiative. Emphasis on features that would impede the acceptance of Jews as individuals and as a group into European society.

German Reform Judaism: The Next Generation (c. 1840-1880):

Characteristics of Second Generation:

Controversial Issues:


Reform Judaism in America

The movement has undergone some far-reaching changes. Thus, the 1886 "Pittsburg Platform" typifies the most radical positions of German Reform, rejecting most rituals and defining Jews as a purely religious community, without any national or ethnic component.

On the other hand, the "Columbus Platform" of 1937 expresses a most positive attitude towards observance in all its venues, Zionism, Jewish national solidarity.

Recent Developments in Reform Judaism:


Click here to read texts of:

  1. The Pittsburg Platform (1885)
  2. The Columbus Platform (1937)
  3. The Centenary Perspective (San Francisco 1976)

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