Essay about Reform Jewish Women: Stepping Outside Their Spheres

Essay about Reform Jewish Women: Stepping Outside Their Spheres

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With the institution of religion being so steeped in patriarchal ideals throughout history, Reform Judaism has proven to be a beacon of acceptance for Jewish women looking to live fulfilling lives in both the private and public spheres. Within North America, Women of Reform Judaism has lead women to to become active citizens and stand up for worthy causes. As well, the introduction of female congregational leadership has presented a fresh opportunity for spiritual enrichment. In Israel, which is governed by traditionalism, Reform Jewish people worldwide are in support of equality at the Western Wall- supporting an organization called Women of The Wall. Even though religion is on a decline within Western society, Reform Judaism has grown to be the biggest denomination of American Jews today. That’s not to say that Orthodox Judaism isn’t growing, because it is. However, Reform Jewish Women’s participation has really grown to be tremendously significant within the movement and beyond, both in and outside of the congregational sphere. The Reform idea of allowing women to have equal opportunities in all aspects of Jewish and secular life has had a positive impact on the community as a whole.
Before delving in to the incredible impact that Reform Jewish women have had on their local and global communities, it is crucial to explore who Reform Jewish women are. According to the most recent statistics, Reform Jews make up 35% of the American Jewish population.1 An issue that is at the forefront of global Reform Jewry is that many people identify as Reform Jews, but are not practicing or participating in Jewish life at all.2 This leads to the incorrect belief that Reform Jews do not value tradition or Jewish customs. As the most progressiv...

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"Israel Information and Action." Union for Reform Judaism. N.p., n.d. Web.
"Mission Statement | Women of the Wall | נשות הכותל." Women of the Wall. N.p., n.d. Web.
"Rabbis in the United States." Jewish Women's Archive. N.p., n.d. Web.
"Sally Priesand." Jewish Women's Archive. N.p., n.d. Web.
Schijanovich, Ran Zev. "Disconnected American Jewry (or How Do We Solve a Problem like America)." The Times of Israel. N.p., 16 Mar. 2014. Web.
"What Is Reform Judaism?" Reform Judaism. N.p., n.d. Web.
"Women in Judaism: A History of Women's Ordination as Rabbis." Jewish Virtual Library. N.p., n.d. Web.
"Women in the Twentieth Century and Beyond." Women in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. N.p., n.d. Web.
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