Reform Jewish leaders are ruining their movement by wading deeper into politics

reform jewish

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), recently wrote a blog post responding to the movement’s politically conservative and centrist members, who say their views are unwelcome in the denomination’s ranks.

“Reform Judaism would not be the vibrant entity that it is if we all thought the same way, voted the same way, or agreed on the same answers to the challenges facing our world,” Pesner wrote. “We cherish the variety of views present in the Reform Jewish community. However, we do not allow disagreement to inhibit our pursuit of justice.”

In other words: We value the opinions of everyone in the movement. Even the benighted subhumans among us who hold unacceptable political opinions. See? Vibrant!

The Washington, D.C.-based RAC is the policy arm of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). The RAC, the URJ and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) make up the main organizations of the American Reform movement. These organizations have always been firmly politically leftist—as has the movement itself. But in recent years, the leftward drift has accelerated and the commitment to expressing it in contemporary political terms has deepened.

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