You cannot be a Jew in a vacuum. Judaism is a ‘group faith,’ which is to say that, in addition do the personal religious experience each of us may have as Jews, we can also share a sense of historic and communal connectedness. We do that by being with other Jews; we do that by appreciating the synagogue as a house of assembly.
—  Gates of Shabbat, CCAR, page 42 of paperback
Reform Conversion program

There is some overlap, but I wanted to share the syllabus provided by my rabbi. This is in addition to this awesome compilation:

Required Texts:

  • To Life! A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking by Harold Kushner
  • Jewish Living: A Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice by Mark Washofsky
  • JPS Hebrew-English Tanahk, Jewish Publication Society
  • Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, & Its Histroy by Joseph Telushkin

Recommended Texts:

  • Mishkan Tefillah,CCAR Press
  • Chosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judiasm and for their Family and Friends by Anita Diamant
  • The Night Trilogy by Elie Wiesel
  • Bedside Torah, Bradley Shavit Arson and Miriyan Glazer
  • The Torah: A Woman’s Commentary,URJ Press 2007

Recommended Movies:

  • Escape from Sobior, 1987
  • Fiddler On the Rood, 1971
  • Schindler’s List, 1993
  • The Ten Commandments, 1956

Other movies, that I personally add:

  • Driving Miss Daisy, 1989
  • This is Where I Leave You, 2014

anonymous asked:

Jewish view on the death penalty?

Hi anon,

Although other movements might differ, the Reform Movement does not approve of the death penalty and calls upon criminal justice reform in the United States and around the world.

Following is a brief history from the Religious Action Center:

Since 1959, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) have formally opposed the death penalty.

The CCAR resolved in 1979 that “both in concept and in practice, Jewish tradition found capital punishment repugnant” and there is no persuasive evidence “that capital punishment serves as a deterrent to crime.”

The URJ notes that: “We believe that there is no crime for which the taking of human life by society is justified, and that it is the obligation of society to evolve other methods in dealing with crime. We appeal to our congregants and to our co-religionists and to all who cherish God’s mercy and love to join in efforts to eliminate this practice [of capital punishment] which lies as a stain upon civilization and our religious conscience.”

In December 1999, at the 65th biennial convention, the URJ passed a resolution entitled Race and the United States Criminal Justice System, which among other things, committed the Reform Jewish Movement to continue its efforts in opposition to the death penalty and to determine whether the “disparate treatment of those sentenced to death is attributable to the race or ethnicity of the defendants or the victims and act to eliminate the disparities, where they exist.”

In regards to matters of legal representation, the URJ calls for reforming the existing system to “ensure that all those accused of capital offenses are afforded competent counsel and that they have adequate funding to ensure that their defenses are fully investigated.”