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RELATED RESOURCES: JEWISH
Reform Judaism is a branch of Judaism characterized by the tendency to view Jewish law - Halakha - and tradition as non-binding, treating them instead as useful guides informed and moderated by modern insights and rational thought. Reform Judaism holds to ethical monotheism, generally stressing universal ethics over religious law and permitting diverse views on the nature of God, but standards of belief are kept flexible to allow for individual interpretations and changes in understanding over time. The Reform movement in Judaism began in the early 19th century as Jews acquired greater freedoms to participate in the societies in which they lived. Reformers used Enlightenment values to ease Jewish integration into European and American societies. Reform Judaism is now the largest branch of Judaism in North America and is part of the larger global denomination known as Progressive Judaism, which also includes Reform and Liberal Judaism in the UK as well as Progressive Judaism in Israel, each with its own variations.