What are the differences between Orthodox, Constructionist, Reform, and Conservative Judaism?

What are the differences between Orthodox, Constructionist, Reform, and Conservative Judaism?
Be detailed in your answer, please. Thanks.

Best answer:

Answer by Fireball
orthodox is the most strict…google them

What do you think? Put your answer below.

Be Sociable, Share!

6 Responses to “What are the differences between Orthodox, Constructionist, Reform, and Conservative Judaism?”

  • Catholic Priest says:

    they all the same,..pagan religions

  • Convert Ruth Asher says:

    answer: I will return to this question in a few hours – the differences can be a bit long.

    Short version: Orthodox is the most strict

    Conservative – slightly less. They keep kashrut and wear men and some women wear the kippah at synagogue and prayers

    Reform – less than Conservative – the mitzvot (commandments) are left to the individual to determine who they fit into one’s life (some, of course are firm – worship of G-d and G-d alone). They drive to synagogue on the sabbath and men and some women wear the kippah at synagogue and prayer but it’s optional (most of the Jewish males I know where the kippah)

    # # #

    Priest – without Judaism, you’d be a priest for Zeus.

  • ✡ кαⓨтєє- ι wιll вe lιgнт ✡ says:

    The major are

    There is Modern Orthodox, which is abiding the laws of the Torah while still living in the current, secular world.
    Conservative is deliberately non-fundementalist, less strict, but still upholds many of the laws.
    Reform is the least strict.

    Going off from Orthodox, there are Chassidic groups, who came off from the teachings of Baal Shem Tov, often seen as the ‘father of Hasidim”. He passed it on to the Maggid(Reb. Dov Ber Friedman), and then broke off into many different Hasidic dynasties, such as Chabad, Breslov, Carlebach, etc.
    Chassids usually live in Chassidic comunities, and uphold the laws very strictly. They are more insular than Modern Orthodox Jews.
    Chassidic Judaism is also more ‘mystical’ (I guess), many with their own books about Kabbalah (real Kabbalah, not Madonna + hollywood’s Kabbalah), such as the Tanya (Chabad).

    There is also Reconstructionist Judaism, but I know very little about that, so here’s a link (I know wikipedia is not the most reliable, but it gives the gist): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconstructionist_Judaism

  • Ella says:


    Do your own research. Google and wikipedia should get you there.
    There are plenty of books and articles that attempt to answer your question in a variety of ways, and asking it here is just plain lazy.

  • Kate J says:

    OMG there are, like, VOLUMES describing these differences in detail.

    Go to jewfaq.org…I’m pretty sure there’s something there.

    And, as for the Catholic Priest…OBVIOUSLY never learned what “Pagan” means.

  • Steven שמואל says:

    There are lots. Orthodox is the most traditional, and follows the Halakha fully. It is the direct descendant of the Judaism that Jews have been practicing for millennia. The others were born out of the Haskala, or Reformation. They are less traditional, and don’t follow that Halakha as strongly.

    In order of how traditonal they are, it’s Orthodox > Conservative > Reform. I’m not sure where Reconstructionist falls, b/c they’re sort-of a mix.

    Here’s a long quote from http://www.jewfaq.org/movement.htm#US that explains the differences:
    ” Orthodoxy is actually made up of several different groups. It includes the modern Orthodox, who have largely integrated into modern society while maintaining observance of halakhah (Jewish Law), the Chasidim, who live separately and dress distinctively (commonly, but erroneously, referred to in the media as the “ultra-Orthodox”), and the Yeshivish Orthodox, who are neither Chasidic nor modern. The Orthodox movements are all very similar in belief, and the differences are difficult for anyone who is not Orthodox to understand. They all believe that G-d gave Moses the whole Torah at Mount Sinai. The “whole Torah” includes both the Written Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and the Oral Torah, an oral tradition interpreting and explaining the Written Torah. They believe that the Torah is true, that it has come down to us intact and unchanged. They believe that the Torah contains 613 mitzvot binding upon Jews but not upon non-Jews. This web site is written primarily from the modern Orthodox point of view. The 2000 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS) performed by the Council of Jewish Federations found that 10% of American Jews identify themselves as Orthodox, including 22% of those who belong to a synagogue.

    Reform Judaism does not believe that the Torah was written by G-d. The movement accepts the critical theory of Biblical authorship: that the Bible was written by separate sources and redacted together. Reform Jews do not believe in observance of commandments as such, but they retain much of the values and ethics of Judaism, along with some of the practices and the culture. The original, basic tenets of American Reform Judaism were set down in the Pittsburgh Platform. Many non-observant, nominal, and/or agnostic Jews identify themselves as Reform simply because Reform is the most liberal movement, but that is not really a fair reflection on the movement as a whole. The NJPS found that 35% of American Jews identify themselves as Reform, including 39% of those who belong to a synagogue. There are approximately 900 Reform synagogues in the United States and Canada. For more information about Reform Judaism, see The Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

    Conservative Judaism grew out of the tension between Orthodoxy and Reform. It was formally organized as the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in by Dr. Solomon Schechter in 1913, although its roots in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America stretch back into the 1880s. Conservative Judaism maintains that the truths found in Jewish scriptures and other Jewish writings come from G-d, but were transmitted by humans and contain a human component. Conservative Judaism generally accepts the binding nature of halakhah, but believes that the Law should change and adapt, absorbing aspects of the predominant culture while remaining true to Judaism’s values. In my experience, there is a great deal of variation among Conservative synagogues. Some are indistinguishable from Reform, except that they use more Hebrew; others are practically Orthodox, except that men and women sit together. Most are very traditional in substance, if not always in form. This flexibility is deeply rooted in Conservative Judaism, and can be found within their own Statement of Principles, Emet ve-Emunah. The NJPS found that 26% of American Jews identify themselves as Conservative, including 33% of those who belong to a synagogue. There are approximately 750 Conservative synagogues in the world today.

    Reconstructionist Judaism is theoretically an outgrowth of Conservative, but it doesn’t fit neatly into the traditional/liberal, observant/non-observant continuum that most people use to classify movements of Judaism. Reconstructionists believe that Judaism is an “evolving religious civilization.” They do not believe in a personified deity that is active in history, and they do not believe that G-d chose the Jewish people. From this, you might assume that Reconstructionism is to the left of Reform; yet Reconstructionism lays a much greater stress on Jewish observance than Reform Judaism. Reconstructionists observe the halakhah if they choose to, not because it is a binding Law from G-d, but because it is a valuable cultural remnant. Reconstructionism is a very small movement but seems to get a disproportionate amount of attention, probably because there are a disproportionate number of Reconstructionists serving as rabbis to Jewis

Leave a Reply

Search MikeAdkins.com:
Article Categories
Most Popular Articles