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Reform movement approves restructuring

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NEW YORK (JTA) — The Reform movement has approved a reorganization plan.

At a special meeting Sunday night, the board of trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism voted to reconfigure the organization and help congregations coping with a bleak economic landscape.

The reorganization is part of a plan announced several weeks ago that will result in the elimination of approximately 60 jobs and a $5 million budget cut. The union also is reducing its dues for member congregations.

“Congregations are the heart and soul of the Reform movement, and we need to do all we can to help them continue to provide a strong spiritual community for their members,” said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the union’s president. “We have therefore adopted an extraordinary plan for extraordinary times.”

The union says it will refocus on three core areas: congregational support, congregational consultation and advancing Reform Judaism. In place of a national network of offices, congregations will now be served by four U.S. regional offices — in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York — as well as an office in Canada.

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