Orthodox, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Judaism

Modern Jewish denominations emerge over time.

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An offshoot of Conservative Judaism in the USA is Reconstructionism, which, as its name implies, seeks to structure afresh Jewish life so as to embrace other aspects of Judaism as well as the religious. In the expression of its founder, Mordecai Kaplan, Judaism is not only a religion but a religious civilization. Reconstructionism generally has a naturalistic view of religion itself in which God is not a Person but the “power that makes for salvation.”

If Judaism is thought of as a triad consisting of God, Israel, and Torah, than it can be said that contemporary Reform places the emphasis on God, Orthodoxy on the Torah, and Conservative Judaism on peoplehood, though all three movements affirm all three and it is largely a question of where emphasis is to be placed.

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Rabbi Louis Jacobs

Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.