20 March, 2003


Kaufmann Kohler and the Rise of Reform Judaism in America

By David Steinberg


Home page http://www.houseofdavid.ca/


1. The Eternal Challenge of Judaism

2. The Nature of Traditional Judaism

3.  Israel and the Nations

4. Emancipation

5. Reform Judaism

6. Kaufmann Kohler

7. Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaism Contrasted


Table 1- Contrasting Categories of Jewish and Christian Cultures

Table 2 - Range of Jewish Responses to the Challenge of Western Culture


Select Bibliography



In this talk I will discuss the origin of Reform Judaism in its historical setting.  Kaufmann Kohler’s importance within this context lies in the fact that he was instrumental in transplanting and leading radical Reform Judaism in America.


1. The Eternal Challenge of Judaism

In a very ancient poem in the torah there is a verse which sums up the task of each Jew and all Jews in every age who whish to see themselves as links in the eternal chain of Jewish tradition rather than as cul de sacs originating from that chain.

“Moses charged us with the Teaching (Hebrew Torah)

As the heritage of the congregation of Jacob.”

Deuteronomy 33:4

It is clear from the verse that the Torah is traced back to Moses and it is implied that it must be maintained as a vital element in each generation for a heritage must both be offered by each generation to the next, and be accepted, and hence acceptable, to each new generation.  This in turn implies development and change to meet new needs. Naturally, at points of great, and especially sudden, cultural change the need for development of the tradition is greatest.  However, at such times the way in which the tradition should change is least clear.  Such great periods of change have been a regular feature of Jewish history.egs. –

a)      The decline and fall of the Kingdom of Judah see;

b)      The Seleucid persecution and the challenge of Hellenization:

c)      The late Second Temple period and the building of Rabbinic Judaism on its ashes see:

d)      The abrupt end of Roman policies of tolerance toward Judaism when the Empire Christianized in the fourth century see; and,

e)     The challenge of Greek philosophy in Islamic dress in the Middle Ages see

The problem of adjustment is most acute when the change is from an ambient culture that is hospitable to Jewish presuppositions, modes of thought and categories to a culture, such as those of Ancient Greece and modern Europe, to which these are foreign or incompatible

Reform Judaism, also called Progressive or Liberal Judaism represented a radical and honest attempt, led by rabbis of great honesty, erudition and faith, to come to grips with this situation.  These men were very much products of 19th century German thought and, partially as a result of this, some of their attitudes now appear dated.  Of the leaders of Reform Judaism, Kaufmann Kohler was one of the most brilliant, radical and honest.  Kohler was blessed with a deep faith in the God of Israel and a determination to develop and pass on “the heritage of Jacob”.


2. The Nature of Traditional Judaism

The principles which were a constant part of Judaism from its inception to 1800 CE were:

1)         Monotheism – that there is one all-powerful god who is ethical;

2)         Providence - That God is interested in the welfare of individuals and nations;

3)         Divine Mystery – That the human mind is simply incapable of conceiving or perceiving the real nature of God;

4)         Revelation – God has shown elements of his nature to man;

5)         God can be approached, if never fully understood, through prayer and the study of Torah with the latter considered a higher form of worship since it consists of “thinking God’s thoughts after him”;

6)         Covenant – That god has made a covenant with Israel by which Israel has undertaken to follow a regimen which is pleasing to God in which the ethical and ritual elements are intimately bound together.  This regimen is called in the abstract Torah (teaching, guidance).  In its practical, doable form, it is called Halakha (walking).  In principle, Halakha instructs the Jew on how to behave in every life situation.  Thus, in every situation, the Jew is faced with a choice between following the prescription of Halakha, and pleasing god, or to disregard it and thus contravening the covenant and rebelling against God – i.e. sinning;

7)         No Secular Sphere – from (6) above, it follows that Judaism (like Islam) does not comprehend a secular sphere i.e. every act is, in theory, religious;

8)         Statements of Theological Beliefs – A number of theologically inclined scholars have produced such statements the most important being that of Maimonides which has been widely accepted in traditional Judaism .  Nevertheless, it is true that Judaism, unlike Christianity and Islam, has generally shied away from such dogmatic statements probably based on two considerations:

a.         Dogmas tend to remake God in man’s limited mental image; and,

b.         Behavior is more important, and more visible, than beliefs.


It is important to note at what points the normative Christian trends of thought, which underlie the cultural patterns in our society, differ from the above principles.

Table 1

Contrasting Categories of Jewish and Christian Cultures


Normative Jewish[1]

Normative Christian


1. Monotheism


The Trinity is uniquely Christian but the basic monotheistic belief is similar.

2. Providence



3. Divine Mystery

Divine Mystery


4. Revelation


The principle of revelation is similar but the question of what constitutes binding divine revelation is different.

5. Study Superior to Prayer

Prayer Superior to Study

Difference in emphasis

6. Covenant

1. Supersessionism[2] - the traditional Christian belief that Christians have replaced Israel as God's Chosen people. In this view, the Jews are no longer considered to be God's Chosen people, since they reject Jesus Christ a New Covenant with the New Israel i.e. the Christians

2. The New Covenant effectively excludes the concept of Halakha.

Major difference in understanding of similar underlying idea.

In effect Judaism is particularistic i.e. the Jews are the Chosen People while Christianity is universalistic in that the Christian Church includes many nations.

7. No Secular Sphere

There is a Secular Sphere


8. Statements of Theological Beliefs frowned upon

Statements of Theological Beliefs central



Some implications :

1)         When faced by a novel situation – the Jew seeks guidance on the halakhic response; the Christian tries to apply abstract ethics.

2)         Locus of Religious Loyalty - for the Jew it is submission to the Halakha; for the Christian it is ascribing to dogmatic formulations;

3)         Place of Religion[3]  – for the Jew the Halakha, as the manifestation of religion, is all embracing; for the Christian religion is limited to ritual, ethics and morals;

4)         Place of Secularity - for the Jew it almost does not exist; for the Christian the secular sphere is the very large residual of everything outside of ritual, ethics and morals

5)         Place of Peoplehood - for the Jew Peoplehood is closely bound up with Judaism; for the Christian a nation, e.g. the French might be described as Christian and be an important part of the national identity but it can, and has been, an important part of many nationalities

I have somewhat belabored this point because these conflicting paradigms, or views of how society should be ordered, are the key problem for Jews who believe in the god of Israel living in modern societies.  Even in Israel, the “secular” majority of the population consider only their Christian-derived categories as legitimate and belabor the rabbis for attempting to work within the traditional categories.


3.  Israel and the Nations

I have dealt separately with the relation to Judaism to its ambiance in the earliest period and in the period of the influence of Greek and Islamic culture.  In general, when dwelling in an alien ambiance, there was a tri-partied pattern:

1)         It was necessary to develop a symbiotic relationship with the dominant culture which did not compromise basic Jewish principles.  This implied fighting against those aspects of assimilation which did conflict with basic Jewish principles;

2)         In none of the ancient, and later medieval, societies could a Jew become a full member of the ambient society without having to give allegiance to a religious system incompatible with Judaism; and,

3)         In each case, conservative religious leaders of later generations accepted as part of Jewish tradition the originally non-Jewish ideas, customs etc. of previous generations.  See

Around the year 1200 a curious change took place in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic cultural areas.  Jews stopped acquiring the new languages of their ambiance and their cultural relationships became less close.  Thus Spanish Jews, who had easily converted from Arabic to Spanish in the course of the reconquista remained speaking Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) when they moved into Slavic, Arabic, Turkish and Romanian milieus. Similarly, Ashkenazi Jews who had given up French dialects and acquired German dialects as they moved east into Germany continued to speak Judeo-German (Yiddish) when the moved on westward into France and the Low countries and Eastward into Slavic areas and the Baltic states.

Between 1300-1789, the Jews, with few exceptions (notably Italy, Yemen and India), formed three fairly well defined cultural clusters:

1)         Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews lived in Northern France and Central and Eastern Europe.  This group was culturally and religiously important from about the year 1000 and dominant after 1560;

2)         Ladino-speaking Sephardic Jews who lived in very small numbers in Holland and England and in larger numbers in North Africa, the Balkans and throughout the Ottoman Empire.  The greatest periods of Sephardic influence on Jewish tradition were through the works of:

a.         Arabic speaking Jews, most notably Moses Maimonides, up to the early 13th century;

b.         Spanish speaking kabbalists, most notably Nahmanides and Moses of Leon (author of the Zohar) in the 13th-14th centuries; and,

c.         The Spanish-ladino speaking Kabbalists and halakhists of the 16th century.

3)         Oriental Jews, speaking various dialects of Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian, living in Muslim lands.  In the early Islamic period (seventh to tenth centuries) the great Jewish scholarly centre remained in Baghdad.  However, it faded in importance after the death of Saadia Gaon in 942.

Sephardic Jewish literature, written before 1600, had a profound effect on Oriental and Ashkenazi Jewry – some examples are the Tur, Al-Fasi, Maimonides, Nahmanides, Karo and the Ari who in himself combined Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions.  A few Ashkenazi writers, e.g. Rashi, were widely read by Oriental and Sephardic Jews.  Generally, the cultural impact on the Jewish communities by their ambience was at the level of folk custom etc. rather than the impact of the high literary culture as it had been from the Hellenistic period until the 13th century.


4. Emancipation

The situation outlined above changed drastically with the emancipation of Western and Central European Jews in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Increasingly, Jews could be fully functional members of society and remain religious Jews (E.g. Moses Montefiore in England, Moses Mendelson in Prussia, Samson Raphael Hirsch in Germany).  In addition, a new world of science, liberal thought, secularism and progress opened up before them.  Western scholarship started to force Jews to reconsider their understanding of the origin of Jewish tradition.  Specifically:

           The modern understanding of history forced the recognition that Jewish literature and tradition itself had a history.  This eventually gave birth to the Historical School the intellectual ancestor of Conservative Judaism;

           Higher Criticism of the Torah (Pentateuch i.e. Genesis to Deuteronomy) showed it to be highly improbable that the Torah was a divinely authored document see.  This insight, still not accepted by the Orthodox, undercuts the authority that the old doctrine of verbal revelation (Torah Min haShamayim) lent to Halakhah i.e. if God did not author the Torah why should Jews inconvenience themselves by keeping the Halakhah?  Perhaps some of the Halakhah are traditions that help mould more moral people or a better society (Kaplan’s position) so lets continue only those.  Or let each individual keep only the traditions which he finds meaningful (position of the Reform Movement).

In this new world at least two aspects of traditional Judaism had to go i.e. –

           Magic – In common with virtually all per-modern cultures traditional Judaism included the belief in magic.  This belief was common to both rabbis and ordinary uneducated Jews from the earliest times.  However, the modern scientific world view considered the belief in magic to be ridiculous;

           Am Haaretz i.e. untaught Jews – In closed, traditional Jewish societies, which were the norm before emancipation, uneducated Jews unconsciously absorbed Jewish values and customs from their society.  After emancipation, a Jew either became and educated in Jewish lore and values or de facto became permeated by the values and outlook of the ambient gentile culture.  This non-Jewish acculturation occurred, and occurs, unconsciously through personal interaction with gentiles, literature, mass media, work etc..

The need to eliminate magic and to emphasize Jewish education were bound to be common to any Jewish response to the Enlightenment.  It could be predicted that the contrasting natures of traditional Jewish culture and Western Culture would generate forms of Judaism that would parallel the varieties of religious practices, and secular ideologies that are native to the ambient Western Culture.  Some of these are outlined below.

Table 2

Range of Jewish Responses to the Challenge of Western Culture

Nature of Response

Manifestation in Judaism

1. Maximum rejection of Western Civilization including rejection of linguistic assimilation

Lithuanian type yeshivas in USA and Israel and most Hassidim. (N.b. these forms of Judaism have some interesting parallels to Christian Fundamentalism and to isolationist traditional Islam)

2. Bifurcated Life – Live a religious (halakhic) life, and accept traditional Jewish theological beliefs, as if Western Culture did not exist - i.e. reject the results and methods of modern scholarship – while participating in the general culture and economy insofar as such participation does not impact on Jewish practice.

Modern Orthodox who participate in the sciences and arts and speak the languages of their countries of residence. See Heilman and Cohen. . (N.b. Modern Orthodoxy has some interesting parallels to Christian Fundamentalism and some Islamic reform movements)

3. Synthesis - Attempt a synthesis in which modern methods and insights are welcomed into Torah study and recognition of the historic process of the development of the Halakha is utilized to adapt the Halakha to modern conditions.

Conservative Judaism for Conservative beliefs see and The Core Values of Conservative Judaism. The latter statesFor Conservative Jews, the Torah is no less sacred, if less central, than it was for their pre-modern ancestors. I use the word "sacred" advisedly. The Torah is the foundation text of Judaism, the apex of an inverted pyramid of infinite commentary, not because it is divine, but because it is sacred, that is, adopted by the Jewish people as its spiritual font. … The sense of individual obligation, of being commanded, does not derive from divine authorship, but communal consent. The Written Torah, no less than the Oral Torah, reverberates with the divine-human encounter, with "a minimum of revelation and a maximum of interpretation."(4) It is no longer possible to separate the tinder from the spark. What history can attest is that the community of Israel has always huddled in the warmth of the flame.”

(N.b. conservative Judaism has parallels to liberal Christianity)

4. Jewish equivalent of Unitarianism - Reject the concept of a binding Halakha and essentially develop a Jewish Unitarianism

Reform Judaism most clearly as seen in the Pittsburg Platform (see  here for a comparison of the Pittsburg Platform with Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles)

5. Jewish equivalent of Deism. Under the influence of general humanitarian secularism to reject the concept of a supernatural God and to consider the Halakha to be folkways which helped preserve the Jewish people rather than commandments of a personal God.

M. Kaplan and Reconstructionism

6. Jewish equivalent of secular Humanism

Humanistic Judaism

7. Jewish equivalent of 19th Century European Nationalism


8. Jewish equivalent of secular Socialism

Bund, Labor Zionism


5. Reform Judaism see also

As was indicated earlier, Reform Judaism was an attempt to meet the challenge of Western Culture by reforming and reconstituting Judaism to make it congruent with the 19th century historically conscious perception of what a religion should be.  Its essence was a highly rationalistic ethical monotheism accepting divine ethics as binding and ritual law as non-binding.  It differed from Unitarianism mainly in seeking its inspiration from the prophets and rabbis instead of from Jesus and in the retention of some Jewish forms in the services.

The Reform Movement was started by German Jewish laymen who wanted, within the bounds of Halakha, to make their services correspond to those in their Christian ambiance.  Thus they wanted –

·        Decorum in services;

·        Shorter services

·        Organ music

·        German language sermons

·        Some prayers said in German.

After this early stage (c. 1810-1840) the leadership of the Reform Movement was assumed by rabbis.

A good outline of the historical development of Reform is given in the Encyclopedia Judaica –

“The participation of rabbis in the Reform movement from the 1840s on led to the crystallization of two different theoretical positions associated with the names of Abraham Geiger and Samuel Holdheim respectively. On the basis of his scientific research, Geiger had reached the conclusion that Judaism is a constantly evolving organism. Biblical Judaism was not identical with classical rabbinic Judaism. Similarly, the modern age calls for further evolution in consonance with the changed circumstances. The role played by tradition enabled Judaism to adapt itself constantly. Geiger, for whom tradition and change were synonymous, valued tradition highly, and saw in it the inherent justification of Reform. The modern rabbis are entitled to adapt medieval Judaism, as the early rabbis had the right to adapt biblical Judaism. Geiger was also one of the very few Jews of his day who studied the Bible from a critical point of view. He found traces of evolution within the Bible itself. Yet, for Geiger, change in Judaism had always been organic, never revolutionary. The modern changes must develop out of the past, and not represent a revolutionary break with it. Since Judaism as a whole is involved in the process of change, Reform Judaism must not give itself a sectarian appearance. Thus, while radical in his views, Geiger remained basically traditional in liturgy and in practice. For him, monotheism and the moral law are the constant elements of Judaism. Ceremonies have the function of expressing those ideas. Yet they are of value only as long as they fulfill that function. They are, therefore, Judaism's changing element. The nature of the Jewish people, too, is subject to change. Though once a nation, it was one no longer. The messianic hope is to be interpreted in universal terms rather than in terms of national restoration. Geiger's theory became basic to all future formulations of Reform doctrine, particularly of that aspect known as "Progressive Revelation." In the light of that doctrine, Reform Judaism was later able to affirm God's participation in the formation of the Talmud, and, accepting the findings of biblical criticism, it was willing to admit human participation in the production of the Bible….

“In his recognition of the need for Reform, Holdheim was in agreement with Geiger; but he differed from him both in the theoretical justification and in the practical steps to be taken. For Holdheim, Reform is revolutionary, not evolutionary. The Bible, revealed by God, has a twofold content: the eternally valid religious elements and the temporally bound components of the constitution of the ancient Hebrew commonwealth. The latter came to an end when the Temple and the State were destroyed in 70 CE. Thereafter, only the religious elements (monotheism and morality) had validity. Everything connected with the Temple and State is to be considered abolished. Holdheim put practically the whole "ceremonial law" into this category. He criticized rabbinic Judaism for operating on the assumption that the old "constitution" is still valid and ascribed, at best, a relative validity to rabbinic Judaism, stating "In the Talmudic age, the Talmud was right. In my age, I am right." According to one opinion in the Talmud, "ceremonial law" will be abolished in the messianic age. Holdheim saw in the Emancipation of the Jews the dawn of the messianic era of universal brotherhood, calling for the abolition of ceremonial barriers to that brotherhood….

“In Europe, acceptance of Holdheim's radicalism was confined to the Berlin Reformgemeinde, which Holdheim served as rabbi, and to a short-lived radical group in Hungary. But in America, Holdheim's ideas fell on more fertile soil. Here, too, there was a division between moderate and radical Reform, the former championed by Isaac M. Wise, and the latter by David Einhorn. Yet, by 1885 the radical position had become dominant in American Reform Judaism. It was expressed in the "Pittsburgh Platform," which contained statements such as the following:

“We recognize in the Mosaic legislation a system of training the Jewish people for its mission during its national life in Palestine, and today we accept as binding only its moral laws, and maintain only such ceremonies as elevate and sanctify our lives, but reject all such as are not adapted to the views and habits of modern civilization .... We hold that all such Mosaic and rabbinical laws as regulate diet, priestly purity, and dress originated in ages and under the influence of ideas entirely foreign to our present mental and spiritual state .... Their observance in our days is apt rather to obstruct than to further modern spiritual elevation .... We recognize, in the modern era of universal culture of heart and intellect, the approaching of the realization of Israel's great messianic hope for the establishment of the kingdom of truth, justice, and peace among all men. We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state .... We reassert the doctrine of Judaism that the soul is immortal, founding this belief on the divine nature of the human spirit, which forever finds bliss in righteousness and misery in wickedness. We reject as ideas not rooted in Judaism, the beliefs both in bodily resurrection and in Gehenna and Eden... as abodes for everlasting punishment and reward.[4]

Early Reform saw Israel as a people with a religious mission to teach ethics and bring on the Messianic Age. In recent years, American Reform Judaism has divided into 3 camps:

1)     Traditional ethical-monotheistic reform on the 19th century pattern;

2)     A group seeking to reincorporate more Jewish tradition and ritual that had been dropped by early Reform.  These “right wing” Reform Jews sometimes are hard to distinguish from “left wing” Conservative Jews; and,

3)     A third group which is avowedly secularist and humanist.  Their approach tends to merge with that of some Reconstructionists.


6. Kaufmann Kohler

Kaufmann Kohler was born in 1843 in Fuerth Bavaria, a city known for its Jewish culture.   His father was a dedicated Talmudic scholar and his mother was of rabbinic descent.  At five years old his father started to teach him Chumash.  From the age of six he studied both Jewish and Western subjects.  The greatest influence on his life was the founder of Modern Orthodoxy Samson Raphael Hirsch of Frankfurt-am-Main.  Kaufmann Kohler never ceased to consider Hirsch as his friend and great teacher even though Kaufmann Kohler’s eventual religious views, even more extreme than those of Holdheim, would have been an anathema to Hirsch.

Kohler studied with Hirsch for a year and a half while he was attending gymnasium (academic high school) during which time he could have been described as a Modern Orthodox yeshiva bachur illustrating Hirsch’s principle of Torah im Derekh Eretz i.e. the integration of traditional Judaism with secular education (equated with German literature and culture).  Kohler then went on to study at the universities of Munich and Berlin.  While there his orthodox faith was undermined by the results of modern biblical scholarship.  Courses in Arabic convinced him that Hebrew was simply a Semitic language and not, as the orthodox believed, the original language of man.  In Berlin he fell under the influence of Hermann Steinthal, who founded the science of racial psychology.  In Kohler’s eyes, Steinthal’s mythological and ethnological ideas reframed the life and Law of Moses, the Bible, and theology within the context of myth and fable.

Greatly distressed by the undermining of his faith, Kohler wrote “I passed days and weeks of indescribably woe and despondency; the heavens seemed to fall down on me.”  He then traveled to Frankfurt to lay his doubts and scruples before his revered teacher Samson Raphael Hirsch.  However, instead of having them resolved, he received the remarkable answer – “My dear Kohler, he who wants to journey around the world must also pass through the torrid zone; proceed and you will come back safely.”  He proceeded, but never returned to orthodoxy.  Formerly a follower of Hirsch, he now moved over into the Geiger camp.

Needless to say, the fundamental theological questions tormenting Kohler could not be addressed by the early aesthetic reforms which he described as “… putting the venerable matron in a more attractive attire borrowed from the church….”

Kohler’s doctoral dissertation Der Sagen Jacobs was written under the inspiration of Steinthal and submitted to the University of Erlangen in 1867.   It was so radical that it eliminated the possibility of Kohler attaining a German rabbinical post.  In the dissertation, Kohler attacked religious conservatism writing “Is it not imperative that children be taught nothing in the name of religion, which in the next years would be contradicted by the teachers of natural science?”  He also wrote, “The alpha and omega of Judaism is not the Law, but the eternal moral idea.”  Applying the principle of historical development to the Pentateuch, he found the key to the solution of the conflict between religion and science and the promise of a sounder and more satisfying religious life.  Evolution was the key concept of his new view of Judaism, to which he resorted throughout his career.

After the publication of his thesis, he was offered the pulpit of Congregation Beth El (Detroit) on the strength of a warm recommendation by Geiger. 

Upon arriving in New York, Kohler was taken under the wing of David Einhorn whose friend, follower, and eventually son-in-law, he became.

In America, with no formal communal structures to hold them back, radical reformers, such as Einhorn, could go as far as their congregations would allow them in reforming Jewish liturgy and practice.  This was a lesson Kohler took to heart.

From 1871-1879 Kohler was rabbi of the Sinai Congregation in Chicago.  There he preached sermons on biblical criticism, folklore and evolution and traced the historical development of Judaism.  His most radical departure was to advocate Sunday Sabbath services.  From about 1890 he started to become more conservative.  For example, he denounced the idea of moving the Sabbath to Sunday as “a patricide”.

In America Kohler made many scholarly contributions. Two of the most noteworthy were:

·        The book Jewish Theology Systematically and Historically Considered 1918; and,

·        His herculean efforts in support of the Jewish Encyclopedia.  He was the Encyclopedia’s editor for philosophy and theology writing personally 288 articles!

Kohler opposed political, but not practical, Zionism on two grounds:

·        It would provide anti-Semites with the opportunity to claim that Jews were not behaving as loyal citizens of their countries; and,

·        He stated that “The spiritual and religious mission of the Jew would never be fulfilled by the creation of a Jewish state.”

It should be noted that many Hassidic, orthodox and secular (e.g. Bundist) groups also opposed Zionism at this time while many of the most important Zionist leaders were Reform rabbis – e.g. A. H. Silver and J, Magnes.  Indeed, perhaps the first staunchly Zionist rabbinical academy founded was the Reform Jewish Institute of Religion founded by Stephen Wise in 1922.

From 1885 until his death in 1926, Kohler was generally the most influential spokesman for Reform Judaism in America.  He was president of the Reform Hebrew Union College 1903-1921.  Kohler was also the scholar most instrumental in issuing the Union Prayer Book which was used in American Reform congregations 1894-1975.  Finally, the Pittsburg Platform was written by Kohler and adopted by the Reform movement in 1885.  It represents the essence of Kohler’s beliefs.


7. Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaism Contrasted






Select Bibliography

Heilman, Samuel C.and Cohen, Steven M., Cosmopolitans & Parochials: Modern Orthodox Jews in America, University of Chicago Press

Jacob, Walter (ed.), The Changing world of Reform Judaism: the Pittsburgh Platform in retrospect: papers presented on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Platform, February, 1985 and The proceedings of 1885, Rodef Shalom Congregation, 1985.

Koehler, K, Jewish Theology Systematically and Historically Considered, MacMillan Co. 1918

Martin, Bernard, Contemporary Reform Jewish Thought, CCAR-Quadrangle, 1968

Neusner, J. (ed), Understanding American Judaism; Volume 2 – Sectors of American Judaism: Reform, Orthodoxy, Conservatism and Reconstructionism, Ktav 1975

Petuchowski, J. J., article Reform Judaism in Encyclopedia Judaica (Keter 1972) vol. 14 cols. 23-28.

Temkin, S. D., article Kohler, Kaufmann in Encyclopedia Judaica (Keter 1972) vol. 10 cols. 11421143.

[1] For all of these except (8) Islam would be the same as Judaism.

[2] “Christians' understanding of themselves as replacing Judaism in the affections of God, the Holy One. Mary Boys points to the etymology of the term supersessionism, which names the many tenets of this ideology, noting that it derives from the Latin verb supersedere, "to sit upon."(4) Boys identifies eight tenets that define supersessionism: (1) revelation in J-esus supersedes the revelation to Israel; (2) the New Testament fulfills the Old Testament; (3) the church replaces the Jews as God's people; (4) Judaism is obsolete, its covenant abrogated; (5) postexilic Judaism was legalistic; (6) the Jews did not heed the warning of the prophets; (7) the Jews did not understand the prophecies about J-esus; (8) the Jews were "Christ killers"  http://www.chayas.com/antijew.htm

[3] N.b. In the Bible, there was no word for the western concept of religion.  In Modern Hebrew the originally Persian word dat is used.

[4] http://www.uahc.org/living/letuslearn/rj.shtml