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A Guide to Jewish Studies: Denominations

A guide to Jewish Studies created by Allison James '22 and Visiting Librarian Abe Nemon in 2022.

Jewish Denominations

The main religious divide within Judaism is between the orthodox and non-orthodox. Some of the largest denominations within Orthodox Judaism are Modern Orthodox and multiple denominations of Hasidism, while among non-orthodox Jews, the denominations include the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Neo-Hasidic movements. In their own distinct categories are Secular Humanist and Messianic Jews, groups which identify either as culturally or religiously Jewish, but do not adhere to core tenets of the religion.

Orthodox Judaism

General Works

In the Reference Collection

Modern Orthodoxy


Non-Orthodox Movements

General Works

In the Reference Collection

The Reform Movement

The Conservative Movement

Other Groups

Editor's Note: Two groups of people who present problems of categorization are the groups variously called secular Jews -- alternately non-religious, non-practicing, or non-believing Jews -- who hold Judaism to be more a matter of culture or ethnicity than of religious belief, and therefore identify as Jews on those bases; and Messianic Jews, who promote beliefs (such as the existence and divinity of Jesus of Nazareth) traditionally associated with Christianity, and whose claimed status as being a part of Judaism is rejected by virtually all mainstream Jewish denominations.

Secular Humanist

Messianic Jews

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