A Plurality of Denominations

“Within Judaism… Orthodoxy, Conservatism, Reform, and Reconstructionism are regularly portrayed as the four Jewish denominations. Those who think in these terms see such a description as just that: neutrally descriptive. But it contains a momentous hidden premise. It imports pluralism into Judaism. And this itself is an accommodation to secularisation. Orthodoxy does not, and cannot, make this accommodation. It recognises pluralism along many axes. It recognises at least some other faiths as valid religious options for non-Jews. It recognises, within Judaism itself, different halachic traditions: Ashkenazi and Sephardi, for example, or Hasidic or Mitnagdic. Beyond halachah, it legitimates a vast variety of religious approaches: rationalist and mystical, intellectual and emotional, nationalist and universalist, pietist and pragmatic. But it does not recognise the legitimacy of interpretations of Judaism that abandon fundamental beliefs or halachic authority. It does not validate, in the modern sense, a plurality of denominations. It does not see itself as one version of Judaism among others.”

One People, p. 31