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Statement of Principles

UJR - AmLat

UJR-AmLat

UJR-AmLat

What does Latin American Reformist Judaism Believe

The central principle of progressive Judaism can be summarized in the actions based on the practice of our written and oral tradition, the codes and texts of the Torah interpreted by rabbis and their plurality of responses that transform the practice of the generosity and strengthening of the community, which allows autonomy of its members in a responsible way, always guided by the progressive and reformist religious practice.

Tikún Olam – Improve the World

The Judaism that we practice is based on the history and rules dictated by the Torah. This means living by a moral and ethical code that teaches us how to live, how to believe, work, rest, eat, celebrate and much more. Progressive Judaism includes all these practices and traditions, contributing with meaning and relevance to contemporary life, emphasizing on Tikun Olam (repair / improve the world), the belief that through justice, respect for human being dignity, respect for the environment and animals, we become God´s partners in the permanent creation of a better world.

Pluralism

Respecting the local tradition and preserving the autonomy of each community is one of the principles of pluralism that allows each community to make decisions according to their reality. In a plural environment, different decisions must be respected, without any imposition by the UJR-AmLat. We keep prayers and rituals very similar to those of other Jewish currents, but each community can adjust its practices to what is most significant to it; in hebrew or in the local language; with shorter or longer services; with music and musical instruments; including non-traditional but adequate texts; establishing appropriate schedules; and others.

Community

To be part of a community is to open the individual hand for a common good. In the progressive community, the rabbi becomes a source of knowledge for the learning of Judaism and the Torah instead of an authority, building a democratic and modern community.

Zionism

Progressive Judaism supports the Zionist Platform and the existence of the State of Israel. We understand that there is a diversity of opinions regarding the State of Israel and its government and, as progressives, we support the right of Israel to have its representation in the world and to support the progressive and reformist organizations and initiatives in Israel. Progressive Jews are encouraged to participate actively in local zionist organizations and contribute financially to the State of Israel.

Personal responsibility

Progressive Judaism believes in the divine origin of the Torah and it is our responsibility - as individuals and as a group - to use its teachings to live life fully, according to the challenges of each modern generation. The Halajá (Jewish law) is not a set of laws frozen in time defined by the Jews in antiquity. Our laws are part of a process that that requires constant evaluation and that is influenced by the present and the world that surraund us. Each one is responsible for establishing a Jewish practice that reflects their understanding of what God expects of him. This means that Progressive Judaism emphasizes study, which requires that each person dedicate himself to the understanding of sacred traditions and texts. Every human being is responsible for their decisions, and being Jewish means taking on a day-to-day basis the responsibility of incorporating Jewish values ​​that reflect one's personal understanding of the Torah. It is not enough to understand what the texts say, we must have a critical sense of what we have learned and put learning into practice.

Equality

All human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and therefore should be treated with the same respect and dignity. Men and women have the same rights and duties regarding to the community. In our communities we encourage members to sit down together and participate actively in services in a joint and respectful manner. Progressive Judaism believes that being equal includes receiving in our communities; (I) to people of any sexual orientation; (II) people with disabilities; (III) various Jewish expressions; (IV) non-Jews (as observers, but with limited participation in religious activities), among others.

Ambilineality

Our understanding of Jewish history in the contemporary world is that children of a Jewish mother or father can have Jewish identity because today, influence and education come from both parents. However, maternity or paternity is not enough, since the non-Jewish part of the family must agree to offer an exclusively Jewish education to the children. This may mean that the non-Jewish part participates in a course of Judaism as a candidate for conversion. Children of couples in which only one of them is Jewish can be accepted into the community as Jews if they are educated in a Jewish environment and have received the education that qualifies them for making a conscious decision about the choice of religion. The child who approaches his Bar or Bat Mitzvah must confirm his choice by Judaism through immersion in the mikveh or an aliyah to the Torah. In our conversion action it is essential to preserve the principles of belonging to Klal Israel, the adoption of practices accepted by the progressive Jewish movement and by the State of Israel.