Reform and Progressive Judaism

Finding books in the Catalog

To find books on Reform Judaism, do a browse subject search in the catalog under: Reform Judaism
You can also combine Reform Judaism in a keyword search with other topics. For example, there isn't one subject heading for "Reform Responsa" but you can do a combination keyword search for the subject "Reform" and the subject "Responsa." Similarly to find liturgy from the Reform movement do a keyword search under the subject "Reform" and the subject "siddur" (or haggadah, mahzor, etc.)

Finding books on the Shelves

Books that are written on the history, beliefs, or customs of Reform Judaism are shelved in the BM 197 section. Books on individual congregations are shelved in BM 225 (arranged by city). Books that discuss the Reform view of any specific topic are generally shelved with other books on that topic.


FAQ's (Frequently asked Questions)

Where is the Reform responsa? and is there an index?
There is not a separate section for Reform responsa, it is shelved with the responsa of all the other streams of Judaism. Books which include works by many authors, or are put out by a committee, are shelved in BM 522 A1. Books written by a single author are shelved in BM 522.xx (where the xx is a code for the first letters of the author's last name). They should appear on the shelf in alphabetical order by the author's last name (or first name, if there is no last name). So, books by Solomon Freehof are in BM 522.36 R, works by Walter Jacob BM 522.5 A, works by the CCAR in BM 522 A1 [note that the call numbers may vary by campus.] There is an incomplete index available online at:

Books of responsa on a specific topic are usually shelved with other books on the topic. You can find them in the catalog by doing keyword searches for the subject "responsa" and subject or anywhere search for the topic, e.g. "aging" or "conversion."

Works about responsa literature are shelved in BM 523.

Where is the journal Reform Judaism? 
BM 197 R3.83 (generally in the folio, or oversized area - ask your local librarian)

Where is the Hebrew Union College Annual?
BM 11 H4

Where is the CCAR Journal?
BM 197 A1C2.2

Where are the Reform prayer books? or Rabbi's manual?

Type liturgy Call number
Siddur (daily prayers) BM 674.34
Mahzor (festival prayers) BM 674.54
Haggadah BM 674.74

Prayer books for just one service (Arvit, Shaharit, etc.) or just one holiday (Sabbath, Rosh HaShanah, etc.) are shelved in the BM 675 section with a code for the name of the service or holiday (Arvit = A7.8, Sabbath=S3, etc.). Reform prayers will have Z6.6-Z6.69 added to the call number after the code for the service.

Rabbi's manuals are shelved in BM 676.

Several early American Reform Jewish prayerbooks are available online.

Are there any handy reference books?
Reform Judaism in America : a biographical dictionary and sourcebook / edited by Kerry M Olitzky, Lance J. Sussman, and Malcolm H. Stern. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1993.

The Reform Judaism Reader : North American Documents / Michael A. Meyer, W. Gunther Plaut. New York, NY : UAHC press, 2001.

Jewish living : a guide to contemporary Reform practice / by Mark Washofsky. New York : UAHC press, 2000.

If you have any further questions about finding information on this, or any other topic, ask your local HUC-JIR librarian or email  us.

Recommended websites

North American Reform Organizations

Central Conference of American Rabbis

The professional organization for Reform rabbis, this site also has opportunities for lifelong learning for anyone.

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

The seminary of the Reform Jewish movement. Find information about the programs, the campuses, the faculty, and much more.

Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives

The center contains archives, manuscripts, nearprint materials, photographs, audio and video tape, microfilm, and genealogical materials on the Jewish experience in the Americas.

Reform Judaism

"This site has been built and designed keeping in mind the needs of Reform Jews, unaffiliated Jews and those wishing to learn more about Reform Judaism. The content has been developed by a wide variety of educators, rabbis, cantors and laypersons who are active participants in Reform Jewish life."

Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism

"For more than 50 years, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (or "the RAC") has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C. As the DC office of the Union for Reform Judaism, the RAC educates and mobilizes the Reform Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on more than 70 different issues, including economic justice, civil rights, religious liberty, Israel and more. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the RAC's advocacy work is completely non-partisan and pursues public policies that reflect the Jewish values of social justice that form the core of our mandate."

Union for Reform Judaism

The URJ (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) has programs for congregations.

World Wide Reform, Progressive, and Liberal Organizations

Israeli Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism

"The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) is the umbrella organization of all the Reform communities and institutions in Israel.  We seek to integrate Jewish tradition with the realities of modern life, and believe in the right of each individual to shape their own Jewish way of life through a process of study and reflection. The Reform movement emphasizes the commandments concerning relations between humans, religious tolerance, and full equality between women and men in the synagogue and in all walks of life."

Union of Jewish Congregations of Latin America and the Caribbean

"The Union strives to preserve the continuity of Judaism in the region, while giving a voice to all the small Jewish communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, that would otherwise stay ignored and isolated, facing by themselves the multiple challenges to survival inherent to  micro communities."

Union of Progressive Judaism (Australia, New Zealand, and Asia)

"The UPJ is the roof body that resources 27 congregations, schools, youth groups and communal organisations across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, serving about one fifth of the region’s affiliated Jewish community. Our role is to support and develop Progressive Judaism in the region so that our congregations and affiliates are best able to maintain and increase their strength and vitality."

Union progressiver Juden in Deutschland

Progessive Judaism in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

World Union for Progressive Judaism

"The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), established in London in 1926, is the international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1,200 congregations with 1.8 million members in more than 50 countries."

Online Reform Texts & Resources

1885 "Pittsburgh Platform"

Declaration of Principles

1937 "Columbus Platform"

The Guiding Principles of Reform Judaism

1976 Reform Judaism : A Centenary Perspective

Reform Judaism : A Centenary Perspective, adopted at San Francisco, 1976

1997 "Miami Platform"

Reform Judaism & Zionism: A Centenary Platform

1999 Statement of Principles

A Statement of Principles for Reform Judaism adopted in Pittsburgh, 1999.

CCAR Responsa

This searchable resource is only available from the HUC campuses

Index to the Reform Responsa

This is an index to the Reform responsa printed up to 1997.

Platforms Adopted by the CCAR

"The CCAR Platforms are broad statements about Reform Judaism adopted by rabbinic action, either in the CCAR, or in 1885, prior to the founding of CCAR, by Reform rabbis who mostly were to become our charter members"