Code of Practices

44th General Assembly
April 1957
Toronto, Ontario

RECOGNIZING that some within the Union desire a clearly defined statement of beliefs and practices for Reform Judaism;

IT SHOULD BE NOTED that Judaism has historically avoided dogma and the catechism. Because of differences in belief and practice, every congregation in Judaism is properly endowed with full authority to express its congregants' faith in ways that are most meaningful to them.

BE IT FURTHER NOTED that a code of belief or practices devised by the Union would tend to superimpose on every constituents congregation forms which may not be part of its worship in Judaism, and would threaten the historic autonomy of constituent congregation in these and perhaps in other matters.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the essence of Reform Judaism continues to be the freedom of the individual and his congregation to make a knowledgeable choice of the forms and practices which best express their religious beliefs and aspirations; this being the goal and the guide, no code of belief or practices, prepared by the Union, is needed.


The Committee notes that no such code of practices has been proposed to the Assembly, or is to be presented to the Assembly; therefore, considers this resolution unnecessary, and recommends its rejection.


The report of the Committee was laid over until the discussion of the report of the Committee on President's Message. The General Assembly then referred the subject for further study to the Board of Trustees.