Reform Judaism is facing major challenges. The rate of affiliation with synagogues is falling. Younger people are seeking more meaningful spiritual connections in smaller groups, networks, and even online. Rabbi Kaplan examines these issues, providing a history of the Reform denomination as a starting point. He discusses the questions of observance, values and ethics, who is considered a Jew, and spirituality. He offers ideas for reforming Reform Judaism to make it more relevant for today’s young people. These include providing a more personal experience rather than focusing on loyalty to a congregation, encouraging ethical behavior, and Torah study to reinforce basic Jewish values. The book includes a timeline of significant events in the development of Reform Judaism, a glossary, and notes for further reference. It is a useful resource for clergy as well as for synagogue and academic libraries.
The New Reform Judaism: Challenges and Reflections
Barbara M. Bibel is a librarian at the Oakland Public Library in Oakland, CA; and at Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA.
Jewish literature inspires, enriches, and educates the community.
Help support the Jewish Book Council.