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Judaism is a modern American-based Judaism|Jewish Jewish based on the ideas of Mordecai Kaplan (1881–1983). The movement views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. What Are The Institutions Of The Movement?] It originated as the radical left branch of Conservative Judaism before it splintered. The movement developed from the late 1920s to 1940s, and it established a rabbinical college in 1968. There is substantial theological diversity within the movement. Halakha is not considered binding, but is treated as a valuable cultural remnant that should be upheld unless there is reason for the contrary. The movement emphasizes positive views towards modernism, and has an approach to Jewish custom which aims toward communal decision making through a process of education and distillation of values from traditional Jewish sources. Origin was developed by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan and his son-in-law, Rabbi Ira Eisenstein over a period of time spanning from the late 1920s to the 1940s. It made its greatest stride in becoming the fourth movement in North American Judaism (Orthodox Conservative and Reform Judaism|Reform being the other three) with the founding of the Rabbinical College in 1968. Judaism is the first major movement of Judaism to originate in North America; the second is the Humanistic Judaism movement founded in 1963 by Rabbi Sherwin Wine. Theology Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan believed that in light of advances in philosophy, science and history as they existed in the 1930s and 1940s, it would be impossible for modern Jews to continue to adhere to many of Judaism's traditional theological claims. Kaplan's Philosophical naturalism| naturalism theology has been seen as a variant of John Dewey's philosophy. Dewey's naturalism combined beliefs with religious terminology in order to construct a religiously satisfying philosophy for those who had lost faith in traditional religion. Kaplan affirmed that God is not personal, and that all descriptions of God are, at best, imperfect metaphors. Kaplan's theology went beyond this to claim that God is the sum of all natural processes that allow man to become Kaplan wrote that "to believe in God means to take for granted that it is man's destiny to rise above the brute and to eliminate all forms of violence and exploitation from human society." Not all of Kaplan's writings on the subject were consistent; his position evolved somewhat over the years, and two distinct theologies can be discerned with a careful reading. The view more popularly associated with Kaplan is strict naturalism, "à la" Dewey, which has been criticized as using religious terminology to mask a if not outright atheistic, position. However, a second strand of Kaplanian theology exists, which makes clear that at times Kaplan believed that God has reality, a real and absolute existence independent of human beliefs. In this latter theology, Kaplan still rejects classical forms of theism and any belief in miracles, but holds to a position that in some ways is Most "Classical" Jews [those following Kaplan] reject traditional forms of theism, though this is by no means universal. Many are Deism|deists; a small number accept views of God, or the concept of a personal God. Though many of Kaplan's followers found his ideas about God compelling, Kaplan's theology, as he explicitly stated, does not represent the only understanding of theology. Theology is not the cornerstone of the movement. Much more central is the idea that Judaism is a civilization, and that the Jewish people must take an active role in ensuring its future by participating in its ongoing evolution. Consequently, a strain of exists which is distinctly non-Kaplanian. In this view, Kaplan's assertions concerning belief and practice are largely rejected, while the tenets of an "evolving religious civilization" are supported. The basis for this approach is that Kaplan spoke for his generation: he also wrote that every generation would need to define itself and its civilization for itself. In the thinking of these what Kaplan said concerning belief and practice is not applicable today. This approach may include a belief in a personal God, acceptance of the concept of "chosenness", a belief in some form of "resurrection" or continued existence of the dead, and the existence of an obligatory form of halakha. In the latter, in particular, there has developed a broader concept of "Halakhah" wherein concepts such as "eco-Kashrut" are incorporated. Jewish law and tradition As in Reform Judaism, Judaism holds that contemporary Western secular morality has precedence over Jewish law and theology. It does not ask that its adherents hold to any particular beliefs, nor does it ask that halakha|Jewish law be accepted as normative. Unlike classical Reform Judaism, holds that a person's default position should be to incorporate Jewish laws and tradition into their lives, unless they have a specific reason to do so.