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This article discusses the principles and values of Conservative Judaism and provides statistics and an overview of the history of the movement. It is sometimes described as traditional Judaism without fundamentalism. Despite its middle-of-the-road position, Conservative Judaism is independent of both Orthodoxy and Reform. Conservative Judaism, while rejecting both what it sees as the fundamentalism of Orthodoxy and the untraditionalism of Reform, adopts a positive religious position of its own in which Jewish piety can be fully at home in minds open to the best of modern thought.

Conservative Judaism is also known particularly in Israel and the UK by the Hebrew word 'Masorti', which means 'traditional'. Our goal is to become the denomination of choice for the traditional, non-fundamentalist, British Jew. The movement grew strongly in the s and s to become the most popular form of American Judaism, but more recently affiliations have fallen, and it now comes second to Reform Judaism.

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Conservative Judaism allows gradual change in law and practice, but only if the change is in harmony with Jewish tradition. The wish to embrace both tradition and change may seem admirable, but it is a very difficult one to live out since it's hard to develop a clear theology that can provide a consistent path between the two standpoints. The tendency has been to tackle each issue individually, rather than to embark on a global rethink.


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Ismar Schorsch has set down a Sacred Cluster of core values of Conservative Judaism the commentary is editorial, not part of the original :. The Torah is Judaism's most sacred text. It is the record of God's revelation to our people and the root and base of our understanding of how God wants us to live as Jews. This authority is rooted in the fact that Jewish law and teaching express what we understand to be the will of God. Jewish law and teaching are the product of the best human understanding of what that will is.

The founders of Conservative Judaism had no intention of starting a new wing or denomination or party in Judaism.

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They did not even pretend to be modern Judaism. Their purpose and their philosophy were clearly expressed in the name they applied to themselves. They were conservative and their object was to conserve the Jewish traditions. The movement grew out of disputes in the early German Reform movement. The main issues were over whether to use Hebrew or local language in services, and keeping Jewish food laws.

The more traditional reformers felt that Hebrew should be retained for continuity with the past, because it was part of Jewish identity, and because it provided a unifying element for all Jews, wherever they lived. Similar arguments were put forward for keeping kosher.

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The wish of these reformers to 'conserve' key elements of the tradition explains why Conservative Judaism came to be so called. It held its first class in The ideas of the conservative movement were often supported by the many Jewish migrants who came to America in the last decades of the 19th century. These open questions are why the Chronicle news group has spent the last several weeks following campaigns, interviewing candidates, and arguing among ourselves over who best represents the values and policies we want local officials to pursue.

At the very bottom of the ballot are a series of bond and issue propositions which we have also considered at length — we know it's difficult to keep up on all this detail, and we do it for a living.

We hope this helps. Please read our endorsements, consider our arguments, and make your best choices based on your best judgment. It's a very difficult historical and national moment. We need everyone pulling together at the ballot box, for all of us to do what we can to keep the democratic process alive and functioning, and helping to create a common, livable future. Early voting begins Oct. See you at the polls. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press.

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Support the Chronicle. Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin. His political focus — including large donations to Hillary Clinton and other Democratic politicians — has made Mr. Soros a target of criticism from both the Republican establishment and fringe elements of the far right. The conservative website Breitbart, for example, has accused Mr. Gaspard specifically cited Mr.

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He lived in Nazi-occupied Hungary as a boy. In , Mr.

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As his fortune grew, Mr. Soros began funding efforts to promote democracy and human rights, establishing the first Open Society foundation in Hungary in Heisman said. Soros eventually became one of the biggest donors to Democrats, including Mrs.