About Reform Judaism

Reform Judaism

Iyr HaMelech is a member congregation of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Reform Judaism began at the end of the 1700s, a time when social and political changes were opening up new possibilities for Jews to participate in Western European culture, leading many to abandon Judaism. The first Reform Jews insisted that it was possible both to participate fully in the surrounding culture and to remain sincerely and passionately Jewish.

Reform Jews share with all streams of Judaism a commitment to ethical living and a love of the intellectual, cultural and spiritual treasures of the Jewish heritage. We are different from some other streams in the following ways:

We recognize and celebrate individual freedom of choice. There are no hard and fast rules of ritual or belief; instead, we learn from tradition and work out our own Jewish paths.

We continue to insist that a committed Jewish life is fully compatible with being involved in the life and culture of the broader community.

The ancient prophets of Israel, who challenged our people to justice, inspire us to work practically and politically for a more just, caring, free, and peaceful world.

We are committed to full religious and societal equality for all genders. This commitment to equality applies to all and recognizes the full spectrum of LGBT diversity. All qualified Persons can lead services, count in the minyan, and so on; no religious roles are off limits because of gender or identity.

Reform congregations welcome the participation of non-Jewish partners of members, and non-Jews considering  a commitment to Judaism.

Our Judaism is a work in progress, open to liturgical and intellectual creativity, with the emphasis not on what the rules say but on what works.