Progressive Judaism (Germany)

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Progressive Judaism in Germany is a community reborn from the ashes of the Shoah. It currently has over 20 communities across Germany, belonging to the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany and endorsing the beliefs and practices of Progressive Judaism.[1]

Historical development[edit]

German Progressive (Liberal) Judaism traces its roots back to the early 19th century German reform movement. During this period, the reformers (Hamburg Temple) did not call for a separate organizational movement. They convened synods but did not formally establish independent denomination or rabbinical body.

By the final quarter of the 19th century, the reform process slowed down to the point that younger members of the community accused their reform minded elders of being a "ham-eating orthodoxy".[2] The next generation of reformers coalesced around a new name: "liberal".[3] This time attempts at organization gathered momentum and gained rabbinic support. The movement took the significant step, in 1870, to create a rabbinical seminary and research center known as the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums. In 1898, German liberal rabbis organized into the Union of Liberal Rabbis in Germany. In 1908 the liberal laity organized into the Union for Liberal Judaism in Germany. Within a year had over 5000 lay and rabbinic members belonging to some 200 communities.[4]

After World War II the German liberal community was rebuilt through the efforts of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.[5]


  1. ^ Congregations Worldwide - Europe
  2. ^ Philipson, The Reform Movement in Judaism, p. 386
  3. ^ Philipson, The Reform Movement in Judaism, p. 387
  4. ^ Meyer, Response to Modernity, 210
  5. ^ Meyer, Response to Modernity, 346