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Letter of Concern Regarding Human Rights in Burma



Reconstructing Judaism is among 46 organizations signing onto a letter of concern by Human Rights Watch about Burma’s human rights record, addressed to the US House and Senate Armed Services Committees. 

Statement on Nashville and Toronto


For those of us in North America, what words are adequate to this week’s domestic horrors happening in close succession and dominating headlines: the murder by gun of four people in Nashville and the murder with a van of ten and injury of countless others in Toronto? What actions can we take?

Our hearts break for everyone affected by these heinous acts. We are inspired by those people who acted to stop the perpetrators and who rushed to help the injured. As Reconstructionists, we understand them to be bringing the divine precepts of justice and healing to life. And our Reconstructionist orientation urges us to marry any religious sentiment to action. We can act in the realm of gemilut hasadim (acts of lovingkindness) by providing care or support for people affected by these or related acts. We can act in the realm of tikkun olam (social justice) by working on a structural level on any of the complex issues surrounding these actions. We cry. We comfort each other. We pray. And we act to repair this broken world.

Open Letter on Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act



In the face of unconscionable atrocities against the Rohingya people by the Burmese military, RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities joined a broad coalition of organizations from across the Jewish community to press for the immediate passage of the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017.

Statement on Fire at URJ Camp Newman


Last week, amidst the tragic loss of life and widespread devastation from the ongoing wildfires in Northern California, we learned the heartbreaking news that much of URJ Camp Newman was destroyed by the fires. Together with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, all of us at Camp Havaya and Havaya Arts send our love and support as the community now works to rebuild. We know that the core of any good camp is not about the place but about the people, and there is no question that our friends in Santa Rosa are #NewmanStrong.

We are proud to be part of their extended family as, together, we strive to build meaningful Jewish communities and experiences. The Psalmist wrote: “those who sow in tears will reap in joy.” We look forward to the time when, with tears of joy, we can celebrate Camp Newman’s return to health and strength.

Petition Against Fascism


Logos of RRC and RRA

We share with you now an important effort across the Jewish community that the institutions of the Reconstructionist movement have signed onto. Below please find a link to a petition to the elected leadership of our country to take steps to stop the spread of fascism. Please share this petition with the members of your community. We are always proud to be the “voice” of Reconstructionist Judaism at leadership tables. At this time, we are asking you to help us to amplify our voice through the signatures of our members.

Please click here to sign the petition, and share this link widely: http://bit.ly/2xbGh5A

This petition emerges out of last weekend’s disturbing events in Charlottesville, as well as the response to them. Rabbi Jake Rubin (RRC ‘09) has been a steadfast leader in Charlottesville throughout this difficult summer as the executive director of the University of Virginia Hillel. Rabbis Mordechai Liebling (RRC ‘85) and Malkah Binah Klein (RRC ‘04) represented the Reconstructionist movement as part of a rabbinic contingent organized by T’ruah: The Rabbinic for Human Rights and that joined with the interfaith clergy caucus. You can read their reflections here:

*    http://forward.com/scribe/379853/fighting-what-the-nazis-fear/
*    https://www.thrivingspirit.org/blog-1/2017/8/14/witness-from-charlottesville

Both the RRC/JRC and the RRA have issued statements condemning the events of last weekend and calling for a rejection of these abhorrent ideologies at the highest levels of our political system. Please feel free to share these statements as well. They can be found here:

*    The RRA’s statement: http://therra.org/
*    RRC/JRC Statement: https://jewishrecon.org/news/charlottesville-response

We will continue to seek out opportunities to share the Reconstructionist perspective in North American conversations and to create ways for our members and communities to amplify your impact.

Wishing you all Shabbat shalom.

David Roberts
Chair, Board of Governors
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities 

Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D.
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities 

Rabbi Seth Goldstein
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman
Executive Director
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Public Square

Statement on Terror Attack at Entrance to Temple Mount


RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association express our condemnation of today’s terror attack at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. We mourn the loss of the lives of the two Israeli Border Police officers who were shot and killed, Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Hael Sathawi and Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shanan. May their memories be a blessing and may all who mourn find comfort.

We are concerned about the potential for an attack in such a sensitive place as the Temple Mount area to lead to an explosive fresh cycle of violence, and we hope that all political and religious leaders in the region will do their utmost to counsel against such violence.

This attack comes at the end of a week that has seen both signs of hope and terrible suffering. Israel and the Palestinian Authority reached an important agreement on water sharing, and Israeli and Palestinian firefighters held a joint training exercise. Meanwhile, Gaza’s 2 million residents have gone another week with only a few hours of electrical power a day, during a scorching heat wave, as a result of a dispute between PA President Abbas and Hamas, and the Israeli government’s decision to agree to Abbas’ request that power be reduced.

We call on American officials in the region to offer immediate assistance to help prevent today’s attack from sparking a wave of violent reprisals, and to hasten efforts to resolve the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

May all in need of comfort receive it, and may all who work for a more peaceful and just future be strengthened in their efforts.

Public Statements, Israel

Statement on June 14 Shooting


We are deeply shocked by the shooting that targeted members of Congress and others, and we’re praying for a complete and swift recovery for those injured. Based on reports, were it not for the work of Capitol Police officers, the casualties could have been far more numerous and we applaud the actions of all who saved lives. Though the motivations of the shooter are not yet known, this violent act represents a further breakdown in our political culture. Those who seek office in service of their country should not have to fear for their lives. No one should. We fear that guns and bullets are replacing speech and debate, and we know that all those who believe in democracy and human dignity will not allow that to happen. Our fractured society continues to be in need of healing, and we ask that all do their part to bring people closer together.

Statement on Terrorist Attacks


RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are shocked and aggrieved by today’s terrorist attack on a bus carrying a group of Egyptian Coptic Christians to visit the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, south of Cairo. Masked gunmen killed at least 28 worshipers, including children, and wounded at least 20 more people. As of this moment no group has claimed responsibility, but this attack follows a series of recent attacks on the Coptic Christian community in Egypt. In a week that has seen terrorist attacks in Manchester, England and now Egypt, we hold in heart all those who have been killed, injured, and traumatized, as well as all who are now in mourning. We join with the many government officials and religious leaders of all faiths around the world who have expressed outrage, condemnation, and grief. We pray for the strength and commitment to work for a world in which the sacredness of every human life is upheld as our shared human concern. May their memories, one and all, be a blessing.

Statement on Petach Tikvah Open Market Terrorist Attack


Logos of RRC and RRA

RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association condemn today's terrorist attack in an open market in Petach Tikvah that wounded six people. Police report that a 19-year-old Palestinian man from the West Bank used a firearm and a knife in the attack, and they made an arrest at the scene. We are relieved that as of current news reports there were no fatalities, and we stand in solidarity with the injured, the traumatized, and the first responders who acted quickly to save lives. There is no justification for terrorist attacks. May those in need of healing receive a refuah shleymah  - a complete healing - and may all who seek positive change and a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians be strengthened to continue the hard work of non-violent social change.

Public Statements, Israel

Statement on Terrorist Attack in Quebec


We at RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities grieve for the victims of yesterday’s terrorist attack on worshipers at the Grande Mosquée de Québec. We stand in solidarity with people who are Muslim in Canada and around the world to mourn this horrific loss and to end violence and terrorism. An attack on one holy space is an attack on the sanctity of all holy spaces.


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