I received a little flack over the weekend for belonging to a reform synagogue vs. orthodox as it was labeled “not Jewish enough”.
Like Christianity (think Catholics vs. Mormons vs. Lutherans etc. ) Judaism is also divided up into different sects; Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist etc. I was initially introduced to a Reform shul in Park Slope via my ex. It is where I started taking classes, where I was going to be married and a community full of like minded individuals from all walks of life that I have befriended. Now that I am in the process of conversion, I am curious to try other branches of Judaism to see experience what makes each unique.
Reform Judaism (thank you Wikipedia) “maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and compatible with participation in the surrounding culture”. Shouldn’t all religious practices be thoughtful in its relationship with modern society…more fluid rather than rigid? This does not mean throwing away traditions or laws…but knowing why we believe in what we believe and acknowledging more outdated laws.
The reform Rabbis I have the privilege of learning from are inspired, intelligent and forward thinking. I love how inclusive and welcoming to all Jews (and non Jews) they have been. This is not to say that other sects of Judaism are not. I am exploring all of my options so that I make the most informed choice as to how my religious practice and community manifests. A few weeks ago I attended a Reconstructionist service and this past week attended a Chabad. Both were unique and both were Jewish.
So…take that haters 🙂