The Joint Israel Commission (JIC) is comprised of 11 lay people, five rabbis, one RRC faculty member, and one RRC student. The JIC reports to the boards of the two organizational arms of the movement – Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA). Fred Andes of Shir Hadash (Wheeling, Ill., USA) and Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, an RRA rabbi who lives and works primarily in Copenhagen, Denmark, co-chair the JIC.
JIC members live all over the world. They represent a wide range of politics, personal experiences, and connections with Israeli society. One of their goals is to carry on civil and respectful discussion and debate even on difficult topics. The JIC also seeks to develop resources for Reconstructionist communities and rabbis that help them engage Israel discussions constructively and bring Reconstructionist values to bear on these matters.
For more information about the JIC, or to share feedback on Israel-related matters involving the Reconstructionist movement with the JIC, please contact Rabbi Maurice Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mandate document which serves as the founding document for the JIC can be found at this link.
- Antisemitism and Israel-related Speech: a Resource Guide for Reconstructionist Communities
- A Brief History of Annexation: A JIC Resource for Study and Discussions
- Two States and Beyond: A JIC Resource for Study and Discussions
- Shutafut Launch Event Video (June 29, 2021)
- Shutafut Organization Showcase 1
- Shutafut Organization Showcase 2
- The Impossible Dream? Reconstructionist Rabbi Works to Make Israeli-Palestinian Peace a Reality (February 2020)
- Joint Israel Commission Meets at Convention (December 2018)
There is an annual call for nominations every spring for open lay member seats on the JIC. Nominees who are approved by the Board of Governors of Reconstructing Judaism then go on to serve a 3-year term beginning the following fall. Rabbinic members are voted on by the Board of the RRA and do not have specific term lengths. The RRC student and faculty representatives are approved by their respective bodies once a year. Rabbi Maurice Harris staffs the JIC.
The JIC began its work in 2018. Its inaugural co-chairs were Richard Freedman of Bnai Keshet (Montclair, N.J., USA) and Rabbi Megan Doherty, Executive Director of Oberlin College Hillel.
Commission Members as of September 2022
|Fred Andes, Lay Co-Chair|
Congregation Shir Hadash
Wheeling, Ill., USA
|Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, Rabbinic Co-Chair|
Portland, Ore., USA
Philadelphia, Pa., USA
|Rabbi Donna Cephas|
New York, NY, USA
RRC Student Representative
|Rabbi Amita Jarmon|
Brattleboro, Vt., USA and Jerusalem, Israel
|Dr. S. Tamar Kamionkowski|
RRC Faculty Representative
Congregation Dorshei Tzedek
Newton, Mass., USA
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Evanston, Ill., USA
SAJ-Judaism that Stands for All
New York, USA
|Rabbi Steve Segar|
Congregation Kol HaLev
Cleveland, OH, USA
Congregation B’nai Israel
Willimantic, CT, USA
|Rabbi Ezra Weinberg|
Philadelphia, PA, USA
West End Synagogue, New York, NY, USA
Duluth, MN, USA
|Rabbi Maurice Harris|
Staff for JIC