Dr. Schechter wanted the movement to implement certain key ideas: a) K'lal Yisrael (the whole of the Jewish community); b) a Jewry based on the North American experience; c) a Jewry related to modern living; d) a Jewry devoted to Torah, with education a major priority; and e) a Jewry normatively halachic.
Conservative Judaism maintains that the truths found in Jewish scriptures and other Jewish writings come from G-d, but were transmitted by humans and contain a human compontent. Conservative Judaism generally accepts the binding nature of halakhah, but believes that the Law should change and adapt, absorbing aspects of the predominant culture while remaining true to Judaism's values. The idea of flexibility is deply rooted in Conservative Judaism, and can be found within their own Statement of Principles, Emet ve-Emunah.
Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, identifies and explores seven core values of Conservative Judaism in his monograph, "The Sacred Cluster: The Core Values of Conservative Judaism." According to Schorsch, the core values of Conservative Judaism are:
- The Centrality of Modern Israel
- Hebrew: The Irreplaceable Language of Jewish Expression
- Devotion to the Ideal of Klal Yisrael
- The Defining Role of Torah in the Reshaping of Judaism
- The Study of Torah
- The Governance of Jewish Life by Halakha
- Belief in God
The Conservative Movement in Israel is called the Masorti (Masorti is the Hebrew word for "traditional") Movement. According to the Masorti Movement Web Site, the ideology of the Masorti Movement is based on three primary principles:
- Torah and Mitzvot
- Tolerance and Pluralism