Progressive Judaism

Progressive Judaism is the dynamic growing edge of Judaism. It respects Jewish tradition and seeks to preserve the best of our Jewish heritage. It is also a living tradition, an integral part of the modern world. It confronts the challenges of our time, welcoming advances in all areas of human knowledge, and responding constructively and creatively to changing circumstances.

Progressive Judaism encourages men and women to play prominent and equal roles in leading services and in the running our synagogues. We believe in the full and equal inclusion of all Jews regardless of gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

Morality is at the centre of Judaism. Without ethics the rituals of Judaism have no meaning. The Torah teaches that we exist in order to do what is right. We see ourselves as a holy community which upholds the teachings of Torah and works for truth, justice and peace for all humanity.

Progressive Jews believe that Judaism should be an active force for good in the lives of Jewish individuals, families and communities and that it should contribute to the betterment of human society. Progressive Jews value truth above tradition, sincerity above conformity, and human needs above legal technicalities.

Progressive Jewish Organisations

Progressive Jews are represented in South Africa by the South African Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ). You can find out more about them from the SAUPJ website.

Since the 1920s there has also been an international representative body for Progressive Judaism. It is the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). Find out more about the WUPJ.

There are important Progressive (also called Reform, Liberal, Reconstructionist) Jewish communities and organizations all around the world. Below are some website links to key institutions which you might find of interest:


Country Organization Web address/link
UK Liberal Judaism
UK Movement for Reform Judaism
UK Leo Baeck College
USA Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
USA Hebrew Union College (HUC-JIR)
USA Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR)
Israel Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ)
Israel Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)

(For a more extensive list of online resources click here.)

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