Who We Are
The Canadian Council for Reform Judaism (the CCRJ) is the umbrella organization for the Reform Movement in Canada. More than 30,000 Canadians are affiliated 25 Reform congregations across Canada who are also members of the North American Reform Movement which has at its core the 850-congregation strong Union of Reform Judaism, or URJ. The Reform Movement of Canada also includes affiliate organizations, Camp George, the URJ and the only Reform Jewish camp in Canada and Leo Baeck, our Reform Jewish day school.
The Canadian Reform Movement offers:
- Opportunities to be involved in social action and social justice. We don't merely talk the talk: we walk the walk! Examples of our activism are everywhere. We have taken a leadership role in responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. More than half of Canada's Reform congregations have been involved in private sponsorships of families and raising half a million dollars to support this effort. We have also been involved in numerous programming initiatives to help with reconciliation awareness with our First Nations communities.
- A range of congregations across the country. The Reform movement is all about our congregations -- older congregations like Toronto's Holy Blossom, one of the largest in North America and Kolot Mayim in Victoria, the oldest congregation in Canada and one of the smallest. Congregations that have their own practices and cultures that fit within their communities. By working together collaboratively at the congregational level and between congregations, we work to make stronger congregations, engage our youth, pursue social justice and engage in what we call audacious hospitality.
- Membership in professional associations and employee pension programs for its clergy, educators, and other professionals.
- A reform Jewish overnight camp that is part of a network of Reform Jewish camps across North America;
- A network of temple youth groups for Jewish teenagers in grades six through 12;
- Travel, study, and work programs in Israel for Jewish teenagers and young adults; and
- National, regional, and local leadership development conferences and events for teens and adults.
Our congregations, partners and affiliate organizations are listed below.
Canadian Reform Congregations
URJ Camp George
Since 1999 Camp George, the only Canadian Camp in the Reform Movement, has served thousands of campers and has played a significant role in strengthening the Reform Jewish movement in Canada. At Camp George, Jewish youth from all over Canada and the United States participate in a unique camping experience that blends the best of Reform camping with the historic traditions of Ontario camping. Within this community, participants forge life-long friendships and experience a truly transformative Jewish experience. Camp George offers campers, ranging in age from 7-16, opportunities to learn new skills, meet new friends, and develop their own Jewish identity. Camp offers a wide array of activities that focus on recreation, fun, cooperation and skill building. Our creative arts program, magnificent waterfront, state-of-the-art Ropes Challenge Course, and various athletic facilities serve as backdrops for teaching, creating, growing and exploring – allowing us to meet the needs of every camper. A summer at Camp George is a summer like none other! Currently, there are 16 URJ camps throughout North America that serve more than 8000 campers each summer.
CCRJ Affiliates & Partners
ARZA CANADA’s mandate is to connect with Reform communities throughout Canada, foster connections with and strengthen ties to the Reform Movement in Israel, and work to realize the vision of a democratic and Jewish State of Israel. It is an affiliate of the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism and a member of the Canadian Zionist Federation, serving as the voice of Canadian Reform Zionists.
The Leo Baeck Day School
The Leo Baeck Day School is the largest Reform Jewish Day School and the first Jewish School in Canada to be authorized by The International Baccalaureate Organization. Choosing Leo Baeck, an IB World School, means choosing a school that seeks to nurture and challenge each child, spiritually, intellectually, physically and artistically. In preschool children learn to get along with peers while developing early literacy and numeracy. In Elementary, the day is divided into thirds: one third English Language Arts/Social Studies, one third Math/Science, and one third Hebrew Language Arts. French (begins in SK) Music, Art, Drama, Computers, & Physical Education enhance our curriculum. Middle School includes an advisor program, block scheduling & opportunities for students to practice self-governance & philanthropy. Students engage in community service projects and participate in sports events, music groups & celebrations.
NFTY - The Reform Youth Movement
NFTY is a movement that builds strong, welcoming, inspired communities through teen-powered engagement. Together, we pursue tikkun olam, personal growth, youth empowerment, and deep connections, all rooted in Reform Judaism.
Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel. Learn more at URJ.org.
Women of Reform Judaism
Women of Reform Judaism is the women's affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, the central body of Reform Judaism in North America. Established in 1913, WRJ now represents more than 65,000 women in nearly 500 women's groups in North America and around the world.
Canadian Friends of the World Union for Progressive Judaism
The World Union for Progressive Judaism is the voice of Reform Judaism around the world. Its focus is on helping to develop and sustain the Reform Movement in Israel, the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe and Latin America. A primary partner in Israel is the Israel Religious Action Centre (IRAC), which is the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel, IRAC was founded in 1987 with the goals of advancing pluralism in Israeli society and defending the freedoms of conscience, faith and religion. Today IRAC is the preeminent civil and human rights organization in Israel focusing on the issues of religion and state and is the leading Jewish organization that advocates on behalf of a broadly inclusive Israeli democracy, infusing social justice advocacy with the spiritual energy and humane worldview of Progressive Judaism.
CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis)
The CCAR, founded in 1889, is the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America. It projects a powerful voice in the religious life of the American and international Jewish communities. The CCAR’s unique contribution to a continued vibrant Jewish community and Reform Movement lies in its work fostering excellence in Reform Rabbis; enhancing unity and connectedness among Reform Jews; applying Jewish values to a contemporary life; and, creating a compelling and accessible Judaism for today and the future.
Reform Rabbis of Canada
The Reform Rabbis of Canada work together across the 25 Reform Congregations across Canada. To find a rabbi in your community, please refer to the listing above.
Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto (RRGT)
The Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto (RRGT), work together across the Greater Toronto Area to provide quality services, programs and connections for all Jews in the area. In addition to serving the members of our constituent synagogues, we provide outreach to non-members, seekers, and learners. We can help you learn how to contact a mohel for your son's bris, start the process of conversion to Judaism, plan for your wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, or other lifecycle events. We also provide counseling to all those who are in need.
American Conference of Cantors
The ACC is the professional organization of over 465 invested and/or certified cantors. Responsible for raising the professional standards of synagogue musicians, the ACC offers continuing education programs in conjunction with HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music and professional development opportunities for its members.
Programs and Services Provided by the Reform Movement
Reform Mikvah of Greater Toronto
The Reform Mikvah of Greater Toronto is the only mikvah serving the needs of the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and other liberal Jewish communities in our city. In light of the controversy around non-Orthodox mikvaot in Israel, we thought it important to bring to light the vibrancy of our beautiful mikvah, located within the North Campus of the Leo Baeck Day School. For more information, contact Alexa Shatsky, Administrator at RMGT@ccrj.ca
Reform Mohalim of Greater Toronto
Brit milah is the ceremony in which a newborn Jewish baby boy is brought into the covenant through the ritual of circumcision on the eighth day of life. The circumcision is done by an individual called a mohel. The Reform Mohalim of Greater Toronto consists of a group of physicians who have been certified to perform brit milah by the Brit Milah Board of Reform Judaism. The mohalim practice independently, in collaboration with the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto. Although many of our families are members of Reform, Reconstructionist, or Conservative congregations, approximately half are unaffiliated Jews. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get (Jewish Divorce)
The Reform Rabbis of Canada provide Gittin (divorces) for individuals who have completed civil divorce proceedings. The Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto require a Get in order to perform a subsequent wedding. For more information please contact email@example.com.
Introduction to Jewish Life
Introduction to Jewish Life is an intensive course of study for individuals and couple who want to explore Judaism in depth. Students will learn about God, Torah, prayer, beliefs, Jewish Holidays, life-cycle events, history, basic Hebrew and much more. Over the course of the approximately 30 weeks of study, students will experience Jewish life, acquire Jewish life skills and participate in congregational life.
The course is run by the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto whose members teach in the program and mentor individual students. All course participants must be sponsored by a member of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto. Introduction to Jewish Life is a prerequisite for individuals who wish to convert under the auspices of the Reform Bet Din (religious court).
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org