News Professionals | Reconstructing Judaism

News Professionals

Our Communications team is pleased to help news professionals find – on deadline – reliable information about our organization, and experts on the Reconstructionist movement and the larger Jewish world.We can also connect reporters with experts on a wide range of topics that impact Jewish and religious life in North America, Europe and Israel. And we will work to do that on an individual journalist’s deadline.

Reconstructing Judaism at a glance: Reconstructing Judaism is the central organization of the Reconstructionist movement, the world’s third largest branch of non-Orthodox Judaism. It is the hub of nearly 100 affiliated Reconstructionist congregations and havurot in the United States, Canada and beyond. It manages the sole accredited  Reconstructionist rabbinical seminary, and staffs teams dedicated to supporting its nearly 100 affiliates, fostering experimental new expressions of communal Judaism and providing thought leadership on temporal and spiritual issues relevant to today’s Jewish community. It also operates a small publishing house.  It is closely linked to Havaya Summer Programs, which operates two Reconstructionist summer camps, Camp Havaya in Penn. and Havaya Arts in Calif.

Media Contact: Bryan Schwartzman
BSchwartzman@ReconstructingJudaism.org
215.576.0800 ext. 121

Members of the press should reach out to Bryan Schwartzman for questions about our organization, its policies and positions, or to connect with an expert source. Below is an alphabetical list of potential sources affiliated with our organization and movement.

 

Rabbi Joel Alpert
Director of Reconstructing Judaism Placement Office
Areas of Expertise: Rabbinic job market; rabbinic placement process; rabbinic transitions process

 

Barbara E. Breitman, MSW, LCSW
Adjunct Instructor, Director of Training for Spiritual Direction Program
Areas of Expertise: Jewish spiritual direction; Jewish pastoral counseling; psychology and religion; spiritual and Jewish dimensions of psychotherapy

 

 

Photo of Reena Sigman Friedman
Reena Sigman Friedman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History
Areas of Expertise: Modern Jewish history; American Jewish history; and Jewish women’s history

 

Lois R. Giovacchini
Advancement Officer
Areas of Expertise: Trends in Jewish philanthropy

 

 

Rabbi Maurice Harris
Associate Director of Affiliate Support
Areas of Expertise: Interfaith families; the Reconstructionist movement and Israel

 

Rabbi Linda Holtzman
Adjunct Associate Professor of Practical Rabbinics; Rabbinic Formation Specialist
Areas of Expertise: Traditional and Reconstructionist Jewish practice; Jewish approaches to death, mourning and burial; rabbinic training; Judaism and social justice; immigrant rights

 

Joel Hecker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Jewish Mysticism
Areas of Expertise: Jewish mysticism; Kabbalah; the history of Jewish magic

 

S. Tamar Kamionkowski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Bible
Areas of Expertise: Hebrew Bible; feminist approaches to biblical studies; Jewish biblical theology; the Ten Commandments; biblical origins of Jewish holidays; Mesopotamian mythology; prophetic literature; pedagogy; rabbinical-school education; rabbinical-school curriculum

 

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Ph.D.
Director, Multifaith Studies and Initiatives, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Areas of Expertise: Interfaith relations in America; Muslim-Jewish relations in America; Jewish-Christian dialogue; civic dialogue; parenting and spirituality; theology; campus environment

 

Rabbi Annie Lewis
Director of Rabbinic Formation
Areas of Expertise: Rabbinic formation; Judaism and storytelling; social-justice activism; Judaism and gender

 

Rabbi Sarra Lev, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature
Areas of Expertise: Rabbinic literature; gender studies; intersex in ancient texts; pedagogy

 

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
Director, Social Justice Organizing Program
Areas of Expertise: Judaism and social justice; congregational systems; leadership training; the role of the rabbi; Judaism and socially responsible investing; Jewish views on money and consumption

 

Rabbi Vivie Mayer
Director, Mekhinah Year Program and Bet Midrash
Areas of Expertise: Creative innovation in traditional Jewish practice (Hassidism, Mussar, Renewal); variety of Jewish spiritual paths and practices; sacred chanting

 

Rabbi Amber Powers
Executive Vice President
Areas of Expertise: Nonprofit management and supervision; financial leadership; inclusion and diversity

 

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik
Executive Director, Camp Havaya
Areas of Expertise: Trends in Jewish camping; working to make Jewish spaces safe and inclusive, particularly for Jews of color and LGTBQ, transgender and non-conforming youth

 

Rabbi Jacob Staub, Ph.D.
Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality; Director, Jewish Spiritual Direction Program
Areas of Expertise: Medieval Jewish philosophy; medieval Jewish history; biblical commentaries; Jewish spiritual direction; Jewish meditation and contemplative practices; Reconstructionist Judaism; queering Jewish studies

 

Elsie Stern, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Areas of Expertise: Hebrew Bible; history of biblical interpretation; Bible in Jewish culture; ancient Israelite and early Jewish civilization; Judaism and social justice; rabbinic development

 

Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus and Senior Consultant, Center for Jewish Ethics
Areas of Expertise: Jewish ethics, including bioethics, speech and Internet ethics; family and sexual ethics; organizational and business ethics; clergy ethics; contemporary American Jewish trends; organizations and the role of the rabbi and liturgy; rabbinic training

 

Rabbi Mira Wasserman, Ph.D.
Director of Center for Jewish Ethics, Assistant Professor of Rabbinic Literature
Areas of Expertise: Rabbinic literature; Jewish ethics; social justice; the #MeToo movement

 

Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D.
President
Primary spokesperson for Reconstructing Judaism
Areas of Expertise: American Jewish history; 20th-century American Jewish life and post-war Jewish experience; the Reconstructionist movement, life and thought of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan; the role of religion in contemporary society; women as religious leaders; LGBTQ perspectives; spiritual practices; podcasting and utilizing mass media to communicate a religious message

 

Cyd Weissman
Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Impact
Areas of Expertise: Social entrepreneurship; trends in Jewish education; innovation in Jewish life