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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Reform Judaism

I was rather offended at the synagogue today. This year, we're following a community discussion program from the URJ (Union of Refrom Judaism, the national organization) - "10 Months, 10 Conversations." The first question (posed this month) is "What does it mean to be a Reform Jew in the 21st century?" A friend's friend was at our table, and immediately started the conversation by saying that she doesn't "get" Reform Judaism. She was raised Conservative. Now, all Jews think that anyone less observant than they are isn't really a Jew. Which I know, and which doesn't really bother me (at least we don't slaughter each other like the Protestants and Catholics). Except when I'm sitting in my own Temple. This woman joined the Reform Temple because, although there are two excellent Conservative Temples in Syracuse, she married a non-Jew and, as a mixed couple, they weren't really welcome there. So if there's anything to "get," it's that the Reform movement is inclusive of all Jews, regardless of who they marry. But she still feels completely free to sneer at us, despite seeking refuge with us. Not very, um, courteous.


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