Is Reform Movement Going Kosher (sic)?


reform-kosherJTA reports: Kosher — it’s the first word in the book. And tackling the “k” word head-on is part of what makes the first Reform guide to Jewish dietary practice so significant.

“The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic,” to be published next month by the Reform rabbinical association, uses an array of essays by Reform rabbis and activists to challenge Reform Jews to develop a conscious dietary practice grounded in Jewish values.

And it’s not shy about suggesting kashrut, both traditional and re-imagined.

“No longer an oxymoron, ‘Reform kashrut’ has entered the Jewish lexicon, although there is no consensus on what this means exactly,” Rabbi Carole Balin, a Jewish history professor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, writes in the book, which is being published by Central Conference of American Rabbis Press.

For a movement whose founding Pittsburgh Platform of 1885 rejected kosher laws along with other traditional Jewish rituals of dress and body as “entirely foreign” to modern sensibilities, the book represents a significant milestone in the development of Reform spirituality and practice.

Read more at JTA.




  1. I just heard Sue Fishkoff (?) speak; she wrote a book about kosher in America. She mentioned how many if not most Reform rabbinical students are keeping kosher. Regrettably, it’s not because it’s a biblical mandate but who knows, maybe they’ll get there; adam nifal c’fi peulosav.

  2. ‘Reform Kashrut’ is indeed an oxymoron. If the Reform Leadership decides what’s acceptable today, they can capriciously change it later. Only if Kashrut is accepted as a Divine dictate – and therefeore immutable – is it Kashrut.

  3. The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the Reform Movement’s school of higher education, where they train their rabbis.

    Its main campus is in Cincinnati, Ohio, and it has a branch in New York City and a branch in Los Angeles.

  4. During the last several decades, many parts of the Reform community, in many ways, have begun to re-embrace many practices of Torah. May HaShem lead them all to do T’shuva Sh’laima B’Karov!

  5. I cant believe how cowardly you guys are – you are so low that you cant even reject a posting without twisting it.

    Remember – more dance floors will be caving in at simachot because of so called jews like you

  6. Why is everyone so negative. If you have a problem with reform, as opposed to non productively blabbering, then fix it. That’s what kiruv is isn’t it?!

  7. The problem with Reform is its very nature. It is like yeneh machla- if something is corrupt at its core, you cannot salvage it. If a person has yeneh machla, the purpose is to eradicate it, not to salvage it or ‘reform it’ (no pun intended). Reform is unreformable. They can either join our side- True Judaism- or they can continue practicing their odd mix of Secular Humanism/Unitarianism mixed with a smattering of Jewish customs. Objectively speaking, the Reform Movement and the Messianic missionary movement are two peas in a pod. They are alien religions with a smattering of Jewish shtick (yarmulkes, a few tefillos thrown into the mix, music, etc.) Reform is Humanist/Unitarian in style, the others are Evangelical.