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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q18.1.5 TOC Q18.2.1 >

Question 18.1.6:
How big is Reform Judaism?


According to the 1993-1994 yearbook of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, there are 853 member congregations, with a total "member unit" membership of 302,193 member units. The term "member units" refers to the unit that joins a synagogue: a family, a single individual, a gay couple. There are also numerous congregations that are Reform but are not affiliated with UAHC. Some of these are quite large (such as Steven S. Wise Congregation in Los Angeles, with over 2,000 member units). The breakdown, according to the yearbook, is as follows:

        Region                          Congregations           Members

        Canada                          22                        8,252

        Great Lakes                     57                       22,785

        Mid Atlantic                    62                       20,289

        Midwest                         65                       23,401

        New Jersey/W. Hudson            58                       20,829

        New York                        94                       36,122

        Northeast                       78                       26,605

        Northeast Lakes                 69                       23,660

        Northern California             40                       15,137

        Pacific Northwest               18                        5,002

        Pacific Southwest               73                       32,257

        Pennsylvania                    55                       19,721

        Southeast                       85                       28,397

        Southwest                       77                       19,736

        TOTAL                          853                      302,193

To give an idea of trends, in 1982-1983, the congregational membership was 269,406--that's 12% growth over ten years. There were 773 member congregations in 1982-1983, giving 10% growth in the number of Reform congregations.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>