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What is Classical Reform? A Personal Response by a Jew by Choice | Guest Blog by Jamison (Yaakov) Painter

What is Classical Reform?  Clearly it is more than a style of worship.  Although the stately sounds of organs and choirs and use of the Union Prayer Book are a

Reliving Sinai: Shavuot and the Tradition of Confirmation in Reform Judaism

  Did you know that…”…..as early as 1817, confirmation reflected the major Reform principle of gender equality by including both girls and boys-becoming the first (very radical) opportunity for an

The Kippah and Reform Judaism | Guest Blog by Kyle Stidham

In Reform Judaism, both men and women can choose to wear or not to wear a kippah (or yarmulke). Our personal choice depends on the meaning each of us attaches to this familiar custom. One of our contributors, Kyle Stidham, writes a very thoughtful and thought-provoking piece about why he stopped wearing a kippah. He looks into Classical Reform history, Jewish ethnicity, his own reasoning, and into his soul tomake his decision. We hope you enjoy this excellent piece on the subject.

The Kippah (and why it’s staying off)

by Kyle Stidham

I post regularly on a Facebook forum dedicated to the discussion of issues relevant to the Society for Classical Reform Judaism. If you don’t already know about the Society, in short, it’s an organization aiming to not just preserve the best that Classical Reform Jewish heritage has to offer, but also to revive those aspects of Classical Reform that many in our larger community have let fall by the wayside.

In late March, I made a post about my struggle with outward expressions of Jewish identity – specifically, my struggle with the timeless Reform question: to Kippah, or not to Kippah? …as I study and involve myself more with our Classical Reform heritage, I find that I have a deeper connection to my Judaism, and to God.

For the last year, I’ve worn a kippah regularly, inside the temple and out. But as I develop more of a relationship with the minhag that I have embraced, I find that my wearing of the kippah has less to do with my faith, and more to do with my culture and ethnicity. But even this isn’t a very clear-cut factor….