World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Progressive Judaism (United Kingdom)

Article Id: WHEBN0014117231
Reproduction Date:

Title: Progressive Judaism (United Kingdom)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Progressive Judaism in the United Kingdom, Jewish religious movements, Nancy Morris, Reform Judaism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Progressive Judaism (United Kingdom)

Liberal Judaism and Reform Judaism.[1][2]

Reform Judaism

Reform Judaism in the United Kingdom started in West London and Manchester in the 1840s and 1850s.

Since 2005 the movement has been organised as the Movement for Reform Judaism, also called British Reform. The first organisational body of Reform Judaism in the United Kingdom was formed in 1942, with membership of six Reform Jewish congregations, as Associated British Synagogues. This evolved into the more nation-focused Associated Synagogues of Great Britain, and in 1958 into Reform Synagogues of Great Britain, a name which would last until 2005.

The movement has a comparatively traditionalist approach to religious practice and superficially resembles the Conservative Judaism of the United States, though it does not claim to be a halachic movement. Its stated aim is to revitalise Jewish community involvement among British Jews, with particular focus on children, teenagers and families where one member of the couple is not halachically Jewish.

Liberal Judaism

Liberal Judaism in the United Kingdom dates from 1902, when the movement was founded, by Claude Montefiore, Lily Montagu and others, as the Jewish Religious Union (JRU). It did not see itself as being a separate denomination. Rather, synagogues affiliated with the JRU were interested in developing a form of authentic Judaism that was responsive to changes going on in the modern world, without going down the path of classical German Reform. Many of its members were inspired by Claude Montefiore's 1903 book Liberal Judaism – An Essay. In 1909 the JRU changed its name to the Jewish Religious Union for the Advancement of Liberal Judaism. In 1944 the name changed again to the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues, more commonly known as the ULPS. In 2003 it changed its name to Liberal Judaism, which has always been the main term used for the movement.

Although the Liberal movement does not identify itself as a Reform movement, British Liberal Judaism's beliefs and practices are much closer in practice to American Reform than is British Reform.

Cooperation between Liberal and Reform

Jewish education and professional training

Despite historical and theological differences, both the Liberal and Reform movements of Great Britain have, since 1964, together with the charity UJIA, co-sponsored Leo Baeck College in London, "the premier centre for Progressive Jewish learning" according to the college's website.

Most Reform and Liberal rabbis in Britain train and receive their rabbinical ordination from Leo Baeck College, where they are taught the theology and ritual of both movements.

Ideological rapproachment

In recent years, as with North American Reform Judaism, there has also been a move towards more traditional elements in Liberal services than was the case a generation earlier – such as, more use of Hebrew, more wearing of tallit and kippot, and more enjoyment of Purim and other traditional minor festivals. But Liberal Judaism is still distinctly more progressive than Reform. Examples include more readily recognising as Jewish without conversion the child of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, [1], and Liberal Judaism's readiness to celebrate homosexual partnerships in synagogues with more of the traditional symbolism associated with Jewish weddings [2].




  • Rabbi Danny Rich – Chief Executive
  • Rabbi Pete Tobias – Chair of Rabbinic Conference


  1. ^ Adam Langleben (10 June 2007). ""What is Progressive Judaism in Great Britain all about? What is it like to be Jewish in Great Britain? How is it different from being Jewish in North America?"". Jewish Living.  
  2. ^ Congregations Worldwide - United Kingdom: list includes congregations affiliated with both the UK Reform and UK Liberal movements
  3. ^ "Rabbi Sybil Sheridan: Chair of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis UK". Movement for Reform Judaism. 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 

See also

External links

  • Official website of Reform Judaism in the UK
    • News
    • Synagogues
    • Contacts
    • Forum
  • Jeneration is the portal for Jewish life on your terms – backed by the Movement for Reform Judaism with the aim of enriching all of our Jewish lives - however we choose to identify ourselves.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.