For Prospective Affiliates
Direct and Personal Staff Support
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. Each affiliated community has a designated liaison on the Thriving Communities team, and we advise on everything from curriculum development to organizational issues, such as leadership training, marketing and growth. Congregational leaders should contact Vice President for Thriving Communities Tresa Grauer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.576.0800, ext. 144 to discuss their questions.
Connections and Networking Opportunities
Members of nearly 100 affiliates are connected through dedicated listservs for congregational presidents, educators, administrators and social justice leaders. Thriving Communities staff often play the role of matchmaker between rabbis, educators and lay leaders of congregations that are dealing with similar issues. We also offer regular, role-specific online meetings to connect, network, share and problem-solve with congregational leaders across the movement.
Support for your Congregation’s Approach to Jewish Practice and Ritual
Many of our affiliates use the wonderful Reconstructionist prayer book series, Kol Haneshamah. But as an affiliated congregation, you do not have to conform to a particular style of services. Belonging to the Reconstructionist movement means being part of a network of creative, independent, progressive Jewish communities — each one of which expresses its own unique combination of elements and influences. We also love to learn from our affiliates’ different approaches to Jewish life, and to share and amplify different congregations’ insights and practices.
Reasonable and Affordable Movement Dues
We ask affiliated congregations to contribute 1% to 2% of their annual budget in dues. That contribution goes a long way to supporting our communities and our sharable resources.
Our dues structure encourages affiliated congregations and havurot to use a values-based decision-making process in their fiscal planning to help determine their dues to the movement.
The plenum of the Reconstructionist movement embodies the democratic ideals we share for Judaism and clearly distinguishes the Reconstructionist working process from that of other movements. 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 and, as a body, vote on various matters to provide input into the future direction of Reconstructionist Judaism. See additional information on the plenum.
Topical Conversations and Support for Interest Groups
We offer a rich set of online learning options and special programming on shared areas of interest. We also run private listserv forums for congregational presidents, educators, executive directors and social justice leaders.
Havaya Summer Programs
Camp Havaya is our outstanding summer camp located in the Poconos. In our incredibly diverse and accepting community, all kids — no matter their race, sexual orientation, gender identity, family structure or Jewish background — are celebrated. Learn more about Camp Havaya, as well as our Israel summer program for teens.
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 racial justice work as our current focus. See our Racial Justice Commitments here.
Aviv Revolving Loan Fund
The Aviv Revolving Loan Fund supports growth and vitality in the Reconstructionist movement. Aviv means “spring” in Hebrew, and this fund was established through the generosity of anonymous donors to promote fresh, energizing initiatives. Congregations and havurot affiliated with Reconstructing Judaism at any level — Enter, Engage or Invest — can apply for these no-interest loans of up to $20,000.
Up to two loans will be disbursed each year, depending upon availability of funds. Recipient congregations will have up to five years to repay the loans.