Jewish Beliefs and Practices in The Reform Movement - Jewish Beliefs and Thought - Regional Differences

Regional Differences

While progressive Jews share many beliefs in common, they often differ in their practices. Significant disagreements exist on the issues of patrilineal descent, homosexuality, intermarriage, and the role of rabbinical associations in setting congregational policy.

Patrilineal descent. Patrilineal descent is accepted by North American Reform Jews, UK Liberal Jews and Progressive Jews in Australia and New Zealand. Some other regional movements may disagree.

Homosexuality. Opinions are also divided on homosexuality. North American Reform Jews and UK Liberal Jews accept gay marriages and commitment ceremonies. In other regions the issue is very controversial and rabbis can lose their jobs for performing homosexual unions.

Intermarriage. In UK Liberal Judaism, as of 2004, "many communities were happy to carry out a mixed-faith blessing... Rabbi Goldstein emphasised that the principle was to make people feel accepted.". In the USA, North American Reform Jews the congregational association (URJ) approved intermarriage and the Reform rabbinical assembly, the CCAR, officially opposes intermarriage. UK Reform's Assembly of Rabbi's say their rabbis cannot officiate in any way at a mixed faith marriage, neither in the shul nor not in the shul. In isolated cases a rabbi will perform a blessing so long as the couple does not expect the rabbi to mention God.

Rabbinical authority. In the USA the congregation has the final word and can override decisions of the Central Conference of American Rabbis - the US Reform Rabbinical body - by refusing to hire rabbis who disagree with the congregation's viewpoint. In other regions, such as Israel, the rabbinical body sets policy and rabbis can lose their jobs for not following the policy.

Read more about this topic:  Jewish Beliefs And Practices In The Reform Movement, Jewish Beliefs and Thought

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