Inclusion | Reconstructing Judaism
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Inclusion

We welcome all into our communities regardless of ability, age, race, sexual orientation, family status or level of knowledge. Because we see ourselves as embodying a spark of the divine (b’tzelem Elohim, cf. Genesis 1:26), we understand that every person has infinite worth; therefore, no human being should be treated merely as an object, and we should always attempt to see the humanity in those we encounter.

Resources on inclusion can be found below. In addition, please see our page of public positions and endorsements.

Resources on Inclusion

News and Blogs

Let's Journey Together

In an essay that appeared in Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., makes the case that Reconstructionist Judaism matters now more than ever.

News
News and Blogs

Striving Towards Racial Justice in our Jewish Communities

Reflections on the recent Jewish Social Justice roundtable meeting on racial justice and equity.

News

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Further resources on embracing the stranger within.

Article

A Stranger in Two Communities: Second-Generation American and Jewish Convert

The lines of “inside” and “outside” are not always clear, as a second-generation American and Jewish convert attests. 

Article

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Further resources on embracing the stranger face-to-face

Article

Hagar the Stranger

To love the stranger represents an outrageous leap out of the typical moral economy, in which we do kindnesses and expect to be repaid in kind. In loving the stranger, we transcend self-interest.

Sermon

Strange Thoughts: A New Take on Loving the Stranger

To truly live justly, we need to move out of our comfort zones and embrace unfamiliar ideas and habits of mind. 

Article

Addressing Race as a Jewish Community

As a time to take responsibility for communal wrongs, Yom Kippur calls us to learn about and grapple with issues of race in America.

Sermon

Responding to Disability

To become a truly inclusive commnuity, we need to make room for conversation about our personal responses to people with disabilities, and how each of us can overcome anxiety or concern and move into friendship and understanding.

Article

Jewish Values and People With Disabilities: Appreciating the Variety of Life

This compilation of quotes from various text sources conveys Jewish values regarding people with special needs.

Document

A  Passover Blessing for People of Many Backgrounds Who Journey with Us

This is a short Passover reading that expresses appreciation for people of backgrounds and identities other than Judaism. It would work well in a community seder, as well as home seders. 

Article

The Midwives of Exodus: An Interfaith Text Study

An easily-accessible text study about the ethnic ambiguity that the Torah presents us with regarding the midwives who refused to obey Pharaoh's orders. 

Document

Text Study on the Creation Story: The Nature of the First Human

In the first two chapters of the Torah, we find two different accounts of the creation of humanity. In this text study, Rabbi Maurice Harris explores the tension between these two stories, and presents a teaching from Midrash Bereishit Rabbah that presents food for thought about gender, essentialism, and the nature of humanity. 

Document

“Straight-Welcoming?!” – Creating an Inclusive Community

Lesser describes the evolution of an LGBT synagogue and dissects the meaning of inclusive community.

Article

Judaism in Three Dimensions

Jodi Bromberg advocates moving beyond simplistic labels to appreciate our rich and diverse Jewish community in all of its complexity.

Article