by: Ben Simons - Last updated: 2008-05-19
New research by the Movement for Reform Judaism has found that people still consider God to be male. In a survey of 1050 individuals, only 1% considered God to be female while 62% considered God to be male.
The survey, which comes ahead of a new prayer book by the Reform Movement in which God is given gender neutral language, also found that in the age of 18-24, 28% thought God should be referred to as a He.
"Faith movements still have a long way to go to bring themselves into line with modern attitudes on gender," said Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, executive director of the Movement for Reform Judaism. "Faith is still seen as fundamentally discriminatory and still almost exclusively promotes male images of God, with which only a minority any longer identifies."
According to Rabbi Boyd Gelfand, the Reform Movement's new prayer book aims to capture those who feel let down by other movements. "The launch of our new prayer book can play an important role in challenging such thinking and re-engaging those who feel cut off by current attitudes. In terms of actual practice and beliefs, it will make Reform Judaism the natural home for the majority of British Jews."