What is Reform Judaism?

(Adapted from reformjudaism.org/what-reform-judaism)

Tradition and innovation

Throughout history, the Jewish people have danced between traditions passed on from our earliest days and the changing needs of the worlds we have found ourselves in.  Reform Judaism is a Judaism that acknowledges that this has always been our reality.  We embrace innovation while preserving tradition; honor diversity while asserting commonality; affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt; and bring faith to sacred texts while celebrating the questions we ask of them.

Living Torah

As Reform Jews, we see the Torah as a living, God-inspired document that enables us to confront the timeless, timely challenges of our everyday lives, with the understanding that Judaism is a living religion, community, and people that is always adapting to the needs and values of its time.  We affirm the central tenets of God, Torah, and Israel, within a community whose beliefs about what those concepts signify is wide-ranging.  We understand that Judaism asks us to renew our sacred Covenant every day by acknowledging the holiness present throughout creation—in ourselves, in one another, and in the world.  Our practice includes reflection, learning, ritual, and taking care of each other and our world.

The pursuit of justice

Central to Reform Jewish beliefs is the idea that all human beings are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, and that we are God’s partners in improving the world. Tikkun olam, the repair of our world, is a hallmark of Reform Judaism as we strive to bring about a world of justice, wholeness, and compassion.

As Reform Jews, we strive to make thoughtful choices about how we put our values into action. Organizationally, we are led, in part, by the work of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, a nonprofit advocacy center in Washington, D.C., that educates and mobilizes North American Jewry on legislative and social concerns.


We believe that there is more than one authentic way to be Jewish, and we stand for a Judaism that is inclusive and open. Crucially, we recognize that we can become a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community only when we recognize, honor, celebrate, and define ourselves by the diversity that is the reality of modern Jewish life.

We embrace the arrays of difference within our Jewish community, including Jews-by-choice and those exploring Judaism; Jews of color; LGBTQ+ Jews; Jews with physical, mental, and/or intellectual disabilities; multiracial families; and families with young children—and those of us at the intersection of many identities.  We are committed to the equality, inclusion, and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions.  And we cherish our families who are Jewish+ (inter-faith, inter-belief, and inter-tradition).