A Reform View of What Acceptance Means

Excerpts from June 2001 Conference

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d) Tzedakah and tikkun olam [commitments to doing justice and repairing the world] and gemilut chasadim [acts of lovingkindness].  

e) Some element of Jewish dietary discipline. The commitment to some element of Jewish dietary discipline should be understood both as a commitment to the observance itself and as a spur to a further discussion of the role of diet in Jewish life. The minimum expectation in this area is fasting on Yom Kippur, eating matza [unleavened bread] at seder, and abstaining from chametz [leavened products] during Pesach [Passover]. These expectations do not represent an attempt to establish new halakhic [Jewish legal] categories for Reform Jewish observance, but reflect well-established Reform practice. In addition, elements of social justice, such as tzaar baalei chayim [the pain of living things] and oshek [not exploiting workers], should also be considered in this area.  

f) Personal and communal tefilah [prayer], on a regular basis.  

g) Continued talmud torah [Jewish study].  

h) Affiliation with a synagogue. This should be seen as including not only affiliation, but active involvement and participation in the life of a synagogue community.  

i) Marriage to a Jew (if not currently married). Gay and lesbian converts are similarly expected to enter into sanctified relationships with a Jewish partner.  

j) Raising future children as Jews. This should be seen as including such things as the celebration of appropriate lifecycle events in the life of the children, enrolling them in available synagogue education programs, and supporting their participation in such programs through confirmation.  

k) Medinat Yisrael [the State of Israel]. This can best be explored through the words of "Reform Judaism and Zionism: A Centenary Perspective," adopted by the CCAR in Miami in June 1997, "Even as Medinat Yisrael serves uniquely as the spiritual and cultural focal point of world Jewry, Israeli and diaspora Jewry are interdependent, responsible for one another, and partners in the shaping of Jewish destiny."

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