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MazorGuide Home > Living Jewish > Denominations

The Major Streams of Judaism

MazorGuide’s Jewish Living Channel is a place for all to learn, read, and share views about Judaism’s rich tradition, heritage, and customs. The terms Jews and Judaism refers to the religion, the culture, and/or the people. Judaism is both a worldview and a way of life, and the Torah is its primary source.

The three major religious movements in Judaism are: Orthodox Judaism, Conservative (Masorti) Judaism, and Reform/Liberal/Progressive Judaism. Reconstructionist Judaism, a fourth movement that is substantially smaller than the other three, has immerged in the United States in the second half of the 20th Century.

As recently as 200 years ago, orthodox Judaism, which adheres to the traditions and rules practiced for thousands of years, was the only form of religious Judaism.

The Conservative movement, formally organized as the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in by Dr. Solomon Schechter in 1913, though its establishment dates back to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in the 1880s, believes that the traditional laws may be changed to suit the times.

The Reform/Liberal/Progressive movements, which originated in Europe, believe that individuals can choose and pick the laws, traditions, and customs they wish to follow.

 

Read more about the different denominations by clicking below.

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