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THE UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM A KEY RESOURCE

A

COMMUNITY

IS

TOO

H E AV Y

FOR

ANYONE TO CARRY ALONE. DEUTERONOMY RABBAH

1.10

As a board member of a Reform congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism, you will find it beneficial to learn how to tap into the Union’s extensive resources.

What is the Union for Reform Judaism? The Union was founded in Cincinnati in 1873 by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise “to encourage and aid the organization and development of Jewish congregations; to promote Jewish education and enrich and intensify Jewish life; to maintain Hebrew Union College [and] to foster other activities for the perpetuation and advancement of Judaism.” The Union, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC–JIR), and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) are the “three major pillars” that support the organized structure of American Reform Judaism.

What is the mission of the Union? The mission of the Union is to provide vision, leadership, and programmatic support to Reform Jewish congregations and to perpetuate and advance Reform Judaism. To fulfill its mission, the Union has four major goals:

  • 1.

    To promote the enrichment and growth of Judaism through Reform Jewish congregations.

  • 2.

    To foster the vibrancy of Reform Judaism through Torah (lifelong Jewish education), avodah (worship of God through prayer and observance), and g’milut chasadim (the pursuit of justice, peace, and deeds of loving-kindness).

  • 3.

    To support Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, enabling it to train rabbis, cantors, educators, and other professionals and scholars who are essential to the spiritual and educational life of our religious community.

  • 4.

    To be supportive of the State of Israel and the Jewish people and foster the develop- ment of Liberal Judaism worldwide under the auspices of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

How is the Union supported? The major financial support of the Union (approximately 85%) and HUC–JIR (approximately 50%) is derived from dues paid by member congregations to the Union through the Proportional Dues Program. The Union’s Maintenance of Union Membership (MUM) Committee supervises congregational compliance with an established dues formula that was developed by a committee of Union lay leaders.

18 • UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM

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