For Your Community's Newsletter: Latest Updates for Editors | Reconstructing Judaism


News To Share

Latest Updates from Reconstructing Judaism

Convention Update

Rooted and Relevant: Reconstructing Judaism in 2018

We look forward to seeing you at Convention on November 15-18 in Philadelphia. Please share the following links with your community:

As a leader of our movement, you can help ensure a successful Convention by:

  • Encouraging members of your community to register at
  • Designating a Convention liaison from your community.
  • Providing a community contact who is responsible for music. Please send us the name and contact information for the person to whom we can direct all music resources.

For more information, visit or contact Jackie Land at

The Forward Synagogue Survey: Be Included

The Forward is compiling a list of American synagogues that will include size, service length, women’s roles, accessibility, dress code, and more.

To be included, fill out this survey or pass it on to another leader in your community.

For more information, read the article here.

RRC Graduation 2018

Congratulations to the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s class of 2018!

Graduation will be held at 2:30pm on Sunday, June 10, at Old York Road Temple - Beth Am in Abington, Pa.

To RSVP, email

Archiving #MeToo

Reconstructing Judaism is partnering with the Jewish Women’s Archive to capture and preserve the #MeToo stories of Jewish women. Consider adding yours to this important communal record.

Click here to submit your story.

Plenum Update

The Plenum held its bi-annual meeting on Sunday, April 29. Highlights include:

  • Forty-six congregations were represented during the call, the highest level of participation in the last two years.
  • This was the first full Plenum meeting led by its new chair, Ed Baum (West End Synagogue, N.Y.).
  • The Plenum voted overwhelmingly to approve a proposal that will allow work to go forward towards the establishment of a new Tikkun Olam commission, to be comprised of a combination of lay leaders and rabbis from across the movement.
  • A newly established working group of the Plenum, called the Opt-In Group, reported on the work they’ve done over the past four months. They’re exploring issues such as the internal governance structure of the Plenum and the Plenum’s role within the larger organizational structures of the movement.

The full Plenum will meet again in person at Convention in November 2018, and possibly before that time in an online format.

Tikkun Olam Email List

Would you like to learn about social justice campaigns happening across the movement and help bring more justice into the world?

Email our Tikkun Olam Specialist, Taryn Wyron, to add your name to our new Tikkun Olam email list.

Fair Trade: Partnering for Justice

In collaboration with Fair Trade Judaica, Reconstructing Judaism has created educational resources about fair trade, focusing on the core Jewish values of human dignity and sanctity of the earth. We welcome you to share these resources with your communities as a springboard to discussions with congregants of all ages.

Israel at 70

Read Israel at 70: State of Hope, Conflict, and Possibilities by Rabbi Maurice Harris on behalf of Reconstructing Judaism.

To commemorate Israel’s 70th anniversary this year, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights created a Talmud page. Four female Jewish leaders, including Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of Reconstructing Judaism, described their love, criticism, hopes and dreams for Israel through the lens of four lines from the Tanakh.

Feel free to use this resource with your community as a Yom Ha’atzma’ut activity or at any time of year. 

Additional Resources

eJewish Philanthropy provides valuable articles for Jewish organizations on topics from marketing to community engagement. The following articles may be relevant to your work and the work of the other leaders of your community:


Upcoming Programs

RRC Graduation
2:30pm, June 10
Old York Road Temple - Beth Am, Abington, Pa.

Congratulations to the newest cohort of Reconstructionist rabbis! Join us in honoring their achievements. To RSVP, email

Jews of Color Convening 2018
June 17-20
Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp
Copake, N.Y.

The 2nd national Jews of Color Convening is a rare opportunity for Jews of Color to gain skills in workshops conducted by leading experts, forge important networking and build nationwide connections to increase leadership, equity and opportunity for Jews of Color throughout the Jewish community. Scholarship opportunities are available. For more information, visit the Facebook page or sign up for the email list.

Reconstructionist Convention
Nov. 15-18

This year’s convention, titled “Rooted and Relevant: Reconstructing Judaism in 2018,” will feature learning, singing, dancing, eating and praying. Early bird registration will open in late April. Check out the convention website for more information and click here to add the event to your calendar.

Public Positions on Current Matters

Reconstructing Judaism endorses and co-sponsors numerous petitions, public letters and statements from aligned organizations and also issues its own public statements on occasion. Here are the statements we have issued and public letters we have signed onto in the last month, either alone or jointly with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association:

A Message of Condolence

All of our statements are available at, catalogued by date and by topic.




Camp Havaya (Pennsylvania) is an incredibly diverse and welcoming community where campers are encouraged to discover what being Jewish means to them—no matter who they are or where they come from. We hope you will share the video with your community. Camp Havaya will start on June 24. More information is available at


Havaya Arts (California) is a high-quality arts and summer camp experience. Havaya Arts aims to be a joyful, welcoming and progressive Jewish community where campers grow as intentional artists and human beings. We hope you will share the video with your community. Havaya Arts will start on June 18. More information is available at





Podcasts From Our Studio

RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities built a professional podcast studio to launch two podcast series: Hashivenu and #Trending Jewish. We hope you will consider sharing the links to and explanations of these podcasts with your community.

Hashivenu: Jewish Teachings on Resilience

Hashivenu is a podcast about Jewish teachings and practice around resilience. Cultivating resilience, both individually and collectively, is an essential path to personal renewal.

#Trending Jewish

How does Judaism intersect with contemporary culture and illuminate how people live their lives? Hosts Rachael Burgess and Bryan Schwartzman have a lot of questions, both profound and goofy.

Our New Name

The organization formerly known as Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities recently adopted a new name and organizational identity: Reconstructing Judaism.

Over the past year, we received input from more than 1,000 rabbis, congregational leaders and members, which helped us to shape this new identity. Now that we’ve reached this point, we are excited to continue this engagement with you and your community.

Our goal is to represent you well, to build and deepen the relationship between Reconstructing Judaism and your community, and to advance a Reconstructionist approach to Judaism.

For your benefit, our communications team developed documents and resources that we hope you find helpful as you engage your communities around our new identity. They are available at this link: Our New Name: Affiliate Resource Page

Click here to read more about our new identity or watch our video: 

watch our video




Updates for your Board

What are Reconstructionists doing?

Are the members of your community receiving the latest movement news? Is your community curious about how Reconstructionists are making a difference? Do your leaders look for new resources and nuggets of wisdom?

If so, encourage your members to subscribe to our email newsletters. Share this link with your community:



Mazel Tov!

We are happy to share your community’s milestones, achievements and successes. Email Rosa Cohen at to be included in the next Leadership Brief.



How to Reach Us

Tresa Grauer, Assistant Vice President for Affiliate; 215.576.0800, ext. 144

Taryn WyronAssistant Director of Affiliate Support and Tikkun Olam Specialist;; 215.576.0800, ext. 107

Rabbi Joel AlpertDirector of Rabbinic; 215.576.0800, ext. 304

Jacob WeinbergAffiliate Support Assistant;; 215.576.0800, ext. 13

Rabbi Maurice HarrisAssociate Director of Affiliate Support;; 215.576.0800, ext. 118

Cyd WeissmanAssistant Vice President for Innovation and; 215.576.0800, ext. 257

Jackie LandAssociate Director of Affiliate; 302.500.0863

Rosa CohenEditor of Leadership Brief and Reconstructionism Today;; 215.576.0800, ext. 120


Our business hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST; Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. EST