Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism, an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive community,
- embraces individual beliefs and customs
- fosters personal and spiritual growth, and
- supports and encourages mitzvoth, tikkun olam, worship, education and social experiences.
Preamble to the Statement of Principles
American Democracy, with its hope for the brightest future people had ever known, inspired a new reformation of our ancient faith. In the new, free society of the United States, one’s equality before law and respect for the dignity of human personality were exalted as inalienable rights. In these guarantees, the founders of Reform Judaism and of this Congregation saw new practical potentialities for removing inequities and injustices in society. To this vision of America, the leaders of Reform Judaism and of this Congregation added the realization that the enduring, permanent values of our faith are its inner strengths, eloquently amplified by the prophets in universal terms and restated in contemporary language through all the generations of Jewish religious experience.
We have organized a congregation to serve the spiritual, educational, religious and social needs of our Congregation as Reform Jews. We warmly welcome all those who wish to join us in this endeavor.
Statement of Principles
As Jews, we consciously emphasize the great Prophetic truth of the Universality of One God and the unity of all humankind. The principle of such a God and such a unity represents universal standards of justice and righteousness as the basis of one person’s conduct to another. In Prophetic Judaism, God is conceived as dwelling within each of us. The most cherished manifestations of Divinity are to be found in the aspiring human spirit, regardless of race, faith or nationality. We therefore believe that our religion must be exemplified in our daily lives by striving, in all human relations, for equality, justice and righteousness, and in the recognition of people’s mutual responsibility to one another in a world of constantly shrinking dimensions.
As Reform Jews today, we recognize that religious ceremonies can dramatize and emotionalize a person’s deepest inner feelings, but they should always enhance our belief in God and the worship of God through righteous and just conduct toward all. Throughout Jewish history, ceremonies and customs have changed from age to age; and, in any one period of time, they have differed from place to place. In consonance with this tradition, we shall keep, observe and adopt practices, customs, liturgy and ceremonies designed to meaningfully symbolize and enhance, in effective and beautiful form, both the great prophetic principles of our Jewish heritage and faith, and our continuing Jewish identity. In the spirit of a vibrant Reform Judaism, we shall ever be challenged to make our religious concepts and practices ever more meaningful and creative. Views of human immortality vary from individual to individual, and we regard the hope of immortality in some form as a natural part of our religion. As Reform Jews, we continually encourage an understanding of God and Judaism through prayer, study of Torah and the historical evolutionary development of our faith.