The Progressive Jewish outlook on the world focuses primarily on people. We believe that every human being is created in the image of God, b’tzelem Elohim. This means that our distinctive qualities, talents and attitudes are in themselves expressions of the Divine act of creation. Consequently, each human being should be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of gender, colour, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. It also means that there should be total equality for men and women in all aspects of religious life.
Progressive Judaism acknowledges the autonomy of every Jew: each person’s freedom to use their Godgiven intellectual and spiritual faculties in order to arrive at a personal understanding and appreciation of God’s expectations. We are in constant dialogue with the world as well as with the sources of Jewish tradition. Progressive Jews learn the same Torah and draw on the same traditions and customs as other Jews, with added awareness of and responsiveness to the world at large. We also recognise the knowledge that has emerged from non-Jewish sources.
By acknowledging religious diversity we draw together Jews who feel comfortable living their Judaism in diverse ways, and who see pluralism and egalitarianism as significant religious values. Progressive Judaism contains a powerful expectation that decisions about how to behave will include many factors, including some from within the Jewish tradition and from the wider world in which we live.