I have had the opportunity to pray with conservative men several times both in orthodox and conservative synagogues. Inevitably the conservative men I prayed with wore their tallit like a shawl unlike the orthodox way which has the garment laying such that 2 of the fringes are in front of the person and two are behind. I would like to know if there is a reason according to the conservative movement as to why the tallit is worn in this fashion.


random person I found on the internet

  • 1
    FWIW this is also the minhag of some (Orthodox) German and Western Sephardic communities Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 16:03
  • This is a complicated issue since many halachic authorities hold that the main purpose is for the th talis to cover the body and not head(neck). Another issue is the size of the begged, many times the talis is not the right shiur. I honestly believe that they may not know the halacha,same question can be asked why do many wear their teffilin shel Rosh on the forehead (seen in orthodox shuls as well) ,simple answer, they are unaware of the halacha,unfortunately.
    – sam
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 16:08
  • @joshk and Yemenites, if I’m not mistaken
    – Joel K
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 16:32
  • 1
    Seems like their Talisim are too narrow to wear in any way other than like a shawl.They even refer to them as prayer shawls.
    – Schmerel
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 22:47
  • 5
    Possible duplicate: Origin of Reform/Conservative "scarf" talleisim
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


As pointed out by user Josh K in the comments, this is the way many communities in Western Europe don the tallit.

Since the Reform Movement was born out of Germany in the late 19th Century, they naturally had adopted this style of wearing the tallit. What we now call Conservative Judaism branched out from the German Reform community and therefore generally does it the same way.

Conservative Judaism doesn't have an official stance on how the tallit should be worn though, so nothing is stopping an individual or congregation from choosing to wear the tallit the more "Orthodox" way.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .