The Movement for Reform Judaism

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The Movement for Reform Judaism (also known simply as Reform Judaism) is one of the two World Union for Progressive Judaism–affiliated denominations in the United Kingdom. Reform is generally more traditional in its beliefs than its smaller counterpart, Liberal Judaism. It consists of 41 synagogues with more than 35,000 men, women and children (approximately 20% of UK synagogue affiliations).[1] Reform is an "unequivocally Zionist movement" which has a "...non-negotiable commitment to the State of Israel and its security".[2] The movement is a constituent of the World Union for Progressive Judiasm[1] which is an affiliate organisation of the World Zionist Organization (WZO).[3]

On 8 November 2010, 'The Movement for Reform Judaism" was incorporated as a registered company (company no: 07431950), a private company limited by guarantee without a share capital (and with an exemption from use of the word 'Limited').[4]

It is also a registered charity (No: 1139806), registered on 12 January 2011.[5]

Background and History


Correct as of 1 December 2021:[6]


Rabbi James Baaden - Co-chair of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors | Rabbi Kathleen Middleton - Co-chair of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors | Michael Harris | Paul Langsford

Board Members

Daniel Benjamin | Daniel Mackintosh | Ian Lancaster | Joey Leskin | Kathy Hirst | Melvin Pedro | Michael Harris | Michele Saffer | Paul Langsford | Peter Fraser | Roberto Lampl | Roy Saatchi

Senior Management Team

Debbie Doobay – Chief Operating Officer | Amit Handelsman – Director of Community Partnership | Sarita Robinson – Director of Community Partnership | Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick – Beit Din Convenor | Sharon Daniels – Head of Safeguarding and Wellbeing | Gilly Shulman – Director of HR

Relationship with Israel

The Reform Judaism website states its position on Israel as the following:

We are unequivocally Zionist. We have a non-negotiable commitment to the State of Israel and its security. We believe that the pursuit of peace is the highest ideal and priority. We are deeply committed to democracy; human rights and social justice; and religious pluralism.

We are committed to two viable states as the only just and realistic solution to the present situation. We believe that Israel should be a Jewish state and a state for all its citizens. We believe that exponents of moderate, liberal Judaism should ally with moderate, liberal secularists and work together to combat both religious and secular extremism.

Reform Judaism supports organisations dedicated to building bridges – both between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs and between Israeli Jews and Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza.[7]


Reform Judaism supports the work of the following pro-Israel organisations:[8]

RSY-Netzer Zionist Youth Movement

Reform sponsors the RSY-Netzer youth movement. RSY stands for Reform Synagogue Youth, and Netzer stands for Noar Tzioni Reformi (Reform Zionist Youth). It is part of the global Zionist youth movement, Netzer Olami.

The movement is run by 'Movement Workers' who help actualise the ideology. The group holds an annaul veidah (conference) where beliefs and practices are discussed. Decisions are recorded in a Policies, Beliefs and Actions booklet. The movement workers’ ‘vision’ for RSY-Netzer is ‘To educate, empower and challenge young Jews, creating a community for them to blossom, whilst practising our Reform values both within our movement and in the wider world.’[9] The group holds various events throughout the year. Five summer camps (Shemesh) are held for differing age groups and a day camp (which is actually a week long non-residential camp) (Garanim) is held for 5-11 year olds. Post-GCSE tours of Israel are organised to "...engage with progressive Judaism in Israel and to introduce what it means to be a Reform Zionist!"[10] Winter camps are also held along with a leadership programme (Course Hadracha) for 15-17 year olds. A gap year scheme also exists which is spent with RSY-Netzer's sister movement LJY-Netzer.

RSY-Netzer is affiliated to the Movement for Reform Judaism and the worldwide Reform Zionist Youth Movement, Netzer Olami and works in partnership with all the Reform synagogues in the UK.

The group has been critical of Israeli government actions, releasing a statement condemning the proposed unilateral annexation of West Bank territories.[11][12]

Alliance for Progressive Judaism

On 17 September 2014 Liberal Judaism (UK) and the The Movement for Reform Judaism announced the creation of an alliance between their two movements. The Alliance for Progressive Judaism saw an expansion of collaboration between the two movements in areas such as student chaplaincy, social justice and social action. Leaders from both Liberal Judaism and Reform Judaism were keen to stress that this was not a merger and the two movements would retain their autonomy and distinct identities.[13]

In 2017, the Alliance for Progressive Judaism established an Israel Desk. This full-time position aims to build and strengthen the movements relationship with Israel. The desk is a collaborative venture and is jointly funded by ProZion, Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), Friends of Leo Baeck Haifa and Friends of Progressive Judaism (FPJ).[14]

The Israel Desk is currently staffed by Carrie Shaw.[15]

Members and Communities

Glasgow Reform Synagogue | Newcastle Reform Synagogue | Darlington Hebrew Congregation | Blackpool Reform Jewish Congregation | Southport and District Reform Synagogue | Bradford Tree of Life Synagogue | Sinai Synagogue | Sha’arei Shalom | Liverpool Reform Synagogue | Manchester Reform Synagogue | Menorah Synagogue | Seven Hills (Sheffield and District Reform Synagogue) | Ne’ve Shalom, Hull Reform Synagogue | Coventry Reform Jewish Community | Milton Keynes & District Reform Synagogue | Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue | Cardiff Reform Synagogue | Swindon Jewish Community | Radlett Reform Synagogue | Harlow Jewish Community | Maidenhead Synagogue | Kol Chai Hatch End Jewish Community | Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue | Mosaic Reform Synagogue | Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue | Finchley Reform Synagogue | Makor Hayim | Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue | West London Synagogue | South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue | Tikvah Chadasha | Wimbledon Synagogue | North West Surrey Synagogue | Bromley Reform Synagogue | Southend and District Reform Synagogue | Bournemouth Reform Synagogue | South Hampshire Reform Jewish Community | Isle of Wight Jewish Society | Totnes Reform Jewish Group | Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue | Thanet & District Reform Synagogue | Kehilat Kernow Synagogue[16]



The Movement for Reform Judaism
The Sternberg Centre for Judaism
80 East End Road, London
N3 2SY
Tel: 020 8349 5640


  1. 1.0 1.1 About Reform Judaism, Reform Judaism. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  2. Israel, Reform Judaism. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  3. Affiliated Zionist Organisations, World Zionist Organization. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  4. The Movement for Reform Judaism Overview, Companies House. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  5. The Movement for Reform Judaism Governance, Charity Commission. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  6. Reform Judaism Leadership, Reform Judaism. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  7. Reform Judaism - Our Relationship with Israel, Reform Judaism. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  8. Israeli Organisations, Reform Judaism. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  9. What We Believe, RSY-Netzer. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  10. What We Do, RSY-Netzer. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  11. RSY-Netzer Statement on Annexation, Google Doc of RSY-Netzer Statement. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  12. Tweet regarding RSY-Netzer's Statement against the proposed annexation of West Bank Territories by the Israeli Government, Twitter. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  13. Liberal and Reform together launch alliance for Progressive Judaism, Reform Judaism. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  14. Israel & the Diaspora, Liberal Judaism. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  15. Carrie Shaw – Alliance for Progressive Judaism & Israel Desk Coordinator, Liberal Judaism. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  16. Synagogues, Reform Judaism. Retrieved 1 December 2021.