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Expansion of the Reform Movement in Israel

03/24/2023 05:16:18 PM


We are happy to share with you some of the ways the Reform movement has expanded in Israel.
The first Reform congregation in Israel, Har-El in Jerusalem, opened its doors in 1958, yet Reform and Progressive Judaism in Israel existed even earlier. A popular myth is that Reform Judaism in Israel is transplanted from North America, but actually its founders were from Western Europe and from Israel itself. A branch of the American Reform seminary, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, founded its first Jerusalem campus in 1963, yet today’s movement is deeply rooted in Israel and has expanded over the years. 
According to the Union for Reform Judaism, communities affiliated with Reform Judaism in Israel now include:

  • 50 congregations and community centers throughout Israel
  • 50 kindergartens, five elementary schools, and two high schools
  • 100 Reform rabbis ordained in Israel
  • 120 Reform rabbis in Israel
  • 500 young people have participated in pre-army programs
  • 500 weddings a year performed by movement-affiliated rabbis
  • 1,000 campers participate annually in summer camps programs
  • 1,500 b’nai mitzvah ceremonies were held during 2016 at Israeli Reform congregations
  • 12,000 families are affiliated with Reform/Progressive communities and educational institutions

Read more about Reform Judaism in Israel on the URJ website.   

June 6, 2023 17 Sivan 5783