Reconstructionist Judaism originated as a cutting edge call to change and innovation in the Jewish community. Our fundamental commitment to adaptation remains central to our mission. In August 2015, we opened a dialogue on that legacy of engaging with, and sometimes pushing, established boundaries. What opportunities and challenges arise from being on the cutting edge? How has that approach shaped the Reconstructionist and broader Jewish communities, as the 21st century unfolds before us?
Our conversation began with three articles from esteemed Reconstructionist rabbis with diverse experiences in the Jewish community…
- Rabbi Deborah Waxman reviewed the movement’s tradition of challenge to the Jewish status quo and weighs how best to carry this tradition forward.
- Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben described the vital role of the Reconstructionist spirit of innovation in the growth and vitality of his thousand-household congregational community.
- Rabbi Josh Bolton reflected on the gifts Reconstructionism offers the Jewish world while asking challenging questions about the future of denominationalism.
Following weeks explored innovation’s connection to:
Inclusion and Welcoming
- Jodi Bromberg, CEO of InterfaithFamily, shared her thoughts on the complexity of contemporary identity.
- Rabbi Shira Stutman described her innovative approach to welcoming at Sixth & I in Episode One of our Dialogue podcast.
- Rabbi Jill Jacobs, director of T’ruah, described the intersection between prayer and protest in her social justice work.
- Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, chair of COEJL and rabbi of Adat Shalom, reflected on the Jewish roots of his climate change activism, and his appreciation for the emotional resistance that often accompanies confronting change, in Episode Two of our Dialogue podcast.
Building the Jewish future
- Rabbi Sid Schwarz recounted his career’s work: creating new Jewish institutions that look to the future.
- Aurora Mendelsohn, who grew up in a Reconstructionist community, shared how that background has shaped her own Jewish life, and reflects on the challenges and opportunities facing new generations of committed progressive Jews, in Episode Three of our Dialogue podcast.
Our Dialogue podcast is now live on iTunes and other podcast apps – find out how to listen and subscribe!