Reconstructing Judaism: Spotlights | Reconstructing Judaism

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Reconstructing Judaism: Spotlights

Reconstructing Judaism is much more than the name of our organization. It’s an ongoing process lived out every day in communities around the world. We continue to spotlight ways that our affiliated communities and individuals are reconstructing elements of Judaism, infusing them with new relevancy, purpose and meaning. Do you have a spotlight? Let us know!

 

Reconstructing Jewish Identity: Conversion as Reclaiming 

The small sourthern Italian village of Serrastretta has a hidden past: Among its population are many families of anusim, hidden Jews whose ancestors were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Inquisition. Now, many locals are exploring their roots, thanks to new Reconstructionist affiliate Sinagoga Ner Tamid del Sud. While many seem satisfied to understand the origins of mysterious family customs and learn about their ancestral heritage, some choose to fully embrace Judaism through conversion. Through a unique document of “Reclaiming Jewish Status,” this community has reconstructed standard conversion as a reclaiming of stolen Jewishness.

Read more here.

 

Reconstructing Yahrtzeit: New Variations on a Familiar Ritual Add Meaning to Mourning

For centuries, it has been Jewish practice to commemorate the yahrzeit – the anniversary of the death of a loved one – by reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish in synagogue. As with any ritual, this custom can become a rote recitation. In this moving piece from Ritualwell, Ed Towbin of B’nai Havurah in Denver recounts the ways that he and his congregation have reconstructed the observance of yahrzeit, bringing “a new vitality to the sacred practice of remembering.”

Read more on Ritualwell.