Programs and Services for Affiliates | Reconstructing Judaism

Programs and Services for Affiliates

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Expert Perspective

Affiliated congregations and havurot can draw on the expertise of the Reconstructionist movement, whether through staff and faculty of Reconstructing Judaism or networks of our congregational leaders. We can advise on everything from curriculum development to organizational issues such as leadership training, marketing, and growth. Congregational leaders should contact Director of Affiliate Support Tresa Grauer at tgrauer@rrc.edu or 215.576.0800, ext. 144 to discuss their questions.

Movement Plenum

The plenum of the Reconstructionist movement embodies the democratic ideals we share for Judaism. This group of representatives from each affiliated congregation and havurah discusses pressing issues—both those internal to the movement and those that grow out of our relationship to the world. Plenum members share perspectives on conversations that take place in their respective communities, covering topics such as how to preserve a sense of connection while a congregation grows. The plenum votes on various matters and has input into the future direction of Reconstructionist Judaism.

Plenum members enjoy ongoing communications using a private email listserv and hold twice-yearly business meetings in a virtual format, such as a web-based meeting or conference call. This democratic body clearly distinguishes the Reconstructionist working process from that of other movements. It will continue to play a pivotal role in the growth and influence of Reconstructionist Judaism. Additional information on the plenum is available at ReconstructingJudaism.org/plenum

Aviv Revolving Loan Fund for Growth of the Reconstructionist Movement

The Aviv Revolving Loan Fund supports new initiatives by Reconstructionist affiliates. Aviv means “spring” in Hebrew, and this fund was established through the generosity of anonymous donors to promote growth opportunities by offering fiscal assistance and tangible expertise. Communities affiliated with the Reconstructionist movement at any level—Enter, Engage or Invest—can apply.

Aviv Loans are interest-free, up to $20,000 each, with a three-year term; up to two loans will be disbursed each year. For more information and to apply, please visit ReconstructingJudaism.org/AvivLoans.

Topical Conversations and Support for Interest Groups

We offer a rich set of distance learning options via our Learning Networks. You can find out more about our networks and sign up to participate at  this link.

We also run private listserv forums for congregational presidents, educators, and executive directors. 

Special Programming

Based on the responses we received when we surveyed congregations by geographical location, we are organizing special programs in coordination with affiliated congregations. Recent area events have included a long-weekend learning retreat, a two-day program on New Ideas in Reconstructionist Thought and Practice, two Days of Learning around themes of Reconstructionism and tikkun olam, and a travelling scholar program.

Tikkun Olam and Other Organizational Affiliations in the Wider Community

Reconstructing Judaism represents the movement in tikkun olam efforts and in other broad-based community coalitions. Our Tikkun Olam Commission—which includes rabbis and lay representatives from our affiliates—has selected the wealth gap as our current focus. We will add a strong Jewish voice to efforts to reverse the widening discrepancy between rich and poor in North America.

Having a movement-wide focus allows us to make a greater impact in an area that we hold as a high priority. You can read more about the Tikkun Olam Commission and the wealth gap focus on our website here.

We continue to maintain other tikkun olam alliances, and the Commission evaluates new possibilities on an ongoing basis. Currently we are partners with the following groups:

 

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