Notes for Religious Studies 369:

Introduction to Judaism

Modern Judaism

Reform Judaism


Religious response to the Emancipation:

Reform Judaism proposed changes in the religion that would facilitate Jews' participation in the general society.

Note: In contrast to Eastern European Jews, the options in Western or Central Europe were:

  1. Reforming the religion
  2. Converting to Christianity.

Early Reform (c. 1790-1830)

The first phase of reform was a lay initiative. Emphasis on features that would impede the acceptance of Jews as individuals and as a group into European society.

Israel Jacobson (1768-1828)
Israel Jacobson
Example: Israel Jacobson (1768-1828) of Seescen Westaphalia : Wealthy financier who established private synagogues in Seesen (1810) and Hamburg (1818) according to modern standards.

Justifications for changing traditional practices:

Reform finds Leaders, becomes a Movement

Characteristics of Second Generation:

Abraham Geiger
Abraham Geiger