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soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Reform Judaism (10/12)
Section - Question 18.1.4: How is Reform Judaism structured in the North America?

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   In North America, the principal organization for Reform Jewry is the
   [5]Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) ([6] URJ was
   founded in 1873 as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC)
   by Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, and serves as the umbrella organization for
   Reform Synagogues throughout North America. It was renamed Union for
   Reform Judaism in November 2003.
   URJ funds a seminary system for Reform Judaism: the [7]Hebrew Union
   College--Jewish Institute for Religion ([8] HUC was
   founded in 1875, and it now has [9]campuses in Cincinnati, Ohio (+1
   513 221 1875); New York City, New York (+1 212 674 5300); Los Angeles,
   California (+1 213 749 3424); and Jerusalem ISRAEL (+972 2 232 444).
   See [10] for specifics.
   URJ works with a number of professional organizations:
     * CCAR. The CCAR or [11]Central Conference of American Rabbis
       (founded in 1889) [[12]]. Its members are the
       body of rabbis who consider themselves and are considered to be
       the organized rabbinate of Reform Judaism. Its members consist of
       Reform Rabbis ordained at the [13]Hebrew Union College (HUC), as
       well as Reform Rabbis ordained at liberal seminaries in Europe,
       and some rabbis who joined the Reform movement sometime subsequent
       to ordination (most of these were ordained either at Conservative
       Judaism's [14]Jewish Theological Seminary or [15]University of
       Judaism, or at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College). Note
       that not all HUC graduates are CCAR members; some leave for
       ideological reasons or because they have joined a different
       movement. The CCAR publishes a quarterly rabbinic journal called
       [16]CCAR Journal.
     * ACOC. [17]American Conference of Cantors ([18]
       The ACC is the professional organization of over two hundred fifty
       invested and/or certified cantors. Responsible for raising the
       professional standards of synagogue musicians, the ACC offers
       continuing education programs in conjunction with HUC-JIR School
       of Sacred Music and professional development opportunities for its
       members. Members of the ACC have special expertise in the music of
       the Jewish people and serve synagogues and communities in
       pastoral, worship, programming, and educational roles. The ACC
       sponsors an annual convention and publishes Koleinu, a monthly
       newsletter. It also offers placement services to its members and
       UAHC congregations through the Joint Cantorial Placement
     * NATA. [19]National Association of Temple Administrators
       ([20] The National Association of Temple
       Administrators is the professional organization founded in 1941
       for those who serve Reform Synagogues as executives,
       administrators, or managers. The title does not reflect the
       international make up of the organization, currently there are
       more than 400 members from the United States, Australia, Canada
       and Great Britain.
     * NATE. [21]National Association of Temple Educators
       ([22] NATE. is the professional organization
       of Educators serving congregations of the Reform Movement as
       Directors of Education, Principals, Department Heads, Preschool
       Directors and Family Educators. Many NATE. members also serve on
       the professional staff of Bureaus and Central Agencies of Jewish
       Education. A growing number of NATE. Educators direct Reform or
       Community Jewish Day Schools.
   URJ works with a number of special-interest groups:
     * WRJ. [23]Women of Reform Judaism (formerly National Federation of
       Temple Sisterhoods) [[24]]. Women of Reform
       Judaism, The Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, representing
       100,000 women in 600 local Sisterhoods throughout the United
       States, Canada, and thirteen other countries, is the women's
       agency of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the central
       body of Reform Judaism in North America.
     * NFTB. [25]National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods
       ([26] NFTB is a coalition of over 250
       affiliated brotherhoods with 30,000 members across North America,
       dedicated to tikkun olam, 'repairing the world', through the
       practice of Brotherhood. NFTB members are actively involved in
       youth education, adult education, social action, and fellowship
       activities which contribute to the enrichment of their synagogue
     * [27]PARDeS. The Progressive Organization of Reform Day Schools
       ([28] PARDeS brings together days
       schools and professional and lay leaders committed to advancing
       the cause of full-time Reform Jewish Education. PARDeS fosters
       Jewish identity, literacy and continuity through Jewish education
       in Reform Day Schools...Promotes a life-long covenant with the
       heritage of Judaism...And, advocates for excellence in education,
       (secular and Jewish).
     * ARZA/World Union. Association of Reform Zionists of America/World
       Union ([29] The mission of ARZA/WORLD
       UNION, North America is to further the development of Progressive
       Judaism in Israel and throughout the world. ARZA/WORLD UNION,
       North America strives to strengthen Jewish communities by
       encouraging Jewish solidarity, promoting religious pluralism and
       furthering Zionism. ARZA/WORLD UNION, North America is working to
       strengthen the relationship of North American Reform Jews with
       Progressive Jewish communities in Israel and throughout the world
       and to educate and inform our constituency on relevant matters of
       Jewish importance. ARZA/WORLD UNION, North America is the
       representative of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and an
       affiliate of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
     * NFTY. [30]North American Federation of Temple Youth
       ([31] NFTY is the youth arm of the Union
       of American Hebrew Congregations, and is comprised of over 450
       Temple Youth Groups (TYGs) throughout the United States and
       Canada. The overall purposes of NFTY are to instill Jewish
       identity, foster commitment to the ideals and values of Reform
       Judaism, and increase synagogue participation in high school
       youth, pursued in a framework that emphasizes the development of
       personal and leadership skills in a wholesome, social, Jewish
     * [32]KESHER. Reform Jewish Student Organization
       ([33] KESHER is the college movement of
       North American Reform Judaism, an affiliate of the Union for
       Reform Judaism that connects college-aged Reform Jews, Reform
       college groups, and college campuses to each other and to the
       Reform movement, in order to promote continuous involvement in
       Reform Judaism.
     * Berit Mila Board ([34] A joint
       project of HUC, CCAR, and URJ. An organization of Reform Judaism
       whose goal is to train mohelim.
   At the political level, Reform Judaism in the US is respresented by:
     * RAC. [35]Religious Action Center ([36] The
       Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) has been the hub
       of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in the nation's
       capital for over 35 years. It has educated and mobilized the
       American Jewish community on legislative and social concerns as an
       advocate in the Congress of the United States on issues ranging
       from Israel and Soviet Jewry to economic justice and civil rights,
       to international peace and religious liberty. The RAC is the
       Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the
       Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), representing 1.5
       million Reform Jews and 1,800 Reform rabbis in 870 congregations
       throughout North America.
   In Canada, Reform Congregations are members of the Canadian Council
   for Reform Judaism ([37] CCRJ
   represents approximately 9000 households in 24 affiliated
   congregations from Montreal to Calgary. The CCRJ is the Canadian
   region of the Union for Reform Judaism.
   The CCRJs mandates are:
    1. To promote the aims and objectives of member congregations
    2. To promote and assist in the formation of new liberal
       congregations in Canada
    3. To represent the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in Canada
    4. To promote and represent liberal Judaism in Canada
   At the International Level, Reform Judaism is represented by the
     * WUPJ. World Union for Progressive Judaism
       ([38] The World Union for Progressive
       Judaism was founded in London in 1926 as the international
       organization to promote and sustain liberal Judaism, its practices
       and ideas. Over 1.5 million Reform, Liberal, Progressive, and
       Reconstructionist congregations are affiliated with the movement
       in over 35 countries and on six continents. From its central
       office in Jerusalem, the World Union brings back Judaism to
       countries where former Nazi and communist tyrannies sought to
       stamp out Jews and Judaism forever. It also introduces disaffected
       Jews in many parts of the world to an open and questioning
       expression of Judaism to which they can relate.
     * ARZENU. International Federation of Reform and Progressive
       Religious Zionists ([39]
     * IRAC. The Israel Religious Action Center

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