INVIGORATED BY THE MANY SUCCESSES OF
NORTH AMERICAN REFORM JUDAISM, IT IS ONCE AGAIN
TIME TO BOLDLY FORGE A NEW PATH FORWARD
Reform Judaism is a North American success story. Over the past several decades, the Reform Movement has grown to be the largest force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 congregations and 1.5 million passionate adherents.
Reform rabbis are thought leaders in both the religious and secular realms. Reform institutions have won the respect and admiration of faith communities across the religious spectrum. The Religious Action Center and other social justice initiatives of the Movement are effective and energizing, delivering on Reform Judaism’s profound commitment to tikkun olam.
As we settle into the new millennium, Reform Judaism models a balanced life, rich with traditional Jewish, humanistic, and universal values.
AT THIS MOMENT, WE HAVE MUCH TO BE PROUD OF. Our leadership is renowned. We have a much-coveted position of political power and influence, representing North American Jewry in Washington and Israel. In addition, over the last several years we have created exciting opportunities for congregational leaders—lay and professional—to address their most pressing existential concerns. We have piloted new services and invested in broadening the visibility of Reform Judaism. Our network of innovative URJ camps and social action efforts are core strengths of the institution and unique to our Movement.
STILL, REFORM JUDAISM, LIKE MANY FAITH COMMUNITIES, IS CHALLENGED AS NEVER BEFORE. Therefore, it is at this very moment that we heed the call for change, the hedge against complacency, delivered so long ago in the Book of Deuteronomy. It is time to get down from the mountain and move forward, time to re-envision the future.
Well-publicized studies detail sobering trends about Jewish identity in the United States. Jews today are less religiously identified, they intermarry in greater numbers, fewer are joining synagogues, and Israel is increasingly a dividing rather than uniting cause. The world of our fathers and mothers is gone. The world of our children hangs in the balance.
You have stayed long enough at this mountain.