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Joint Israel Commission

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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 mharris@reconstructingjudaism.org

The mandate document which serves as the founding document for the JIC can be found at this link.

Commission Activity

Commission Composition

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
Fred Andes
Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, Rabbinic Co-Chair
Copenhagen, Denmark
Rabbi Rebecca Lillian
Joel Beinin
Havurah Shalom
Portland, Ore., USA
Joel Benin
Marcy Boroff
Mishkan Shalom
Philadelphia, Pa., USA
Marcy Boroff
Rabbi Donna Cephas
New York, NY, USA
Rabbi Donna Cephas
Larry Ginsbury
RRC Student Representative
Rabbi Amita Jarmon
Brattleboro, Vt., USA and Jerusalem, Israel
Dr. S. Tamar Kamionkowski
RRC Faculty Representative
Philadelphia, PA
Photo of Tamar Kamionkowski
Sue Lanser
Congregation Dorshei Tzedek
Newton, Mass., USA
Sue Lanser
Jonathan Markowitz
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Evanston, Ill., USA
Jonathan Markowitz
Oren Pizmony-Levy
SAJ-Judaism that Stands for All
New York, USA
Rabbi Steve Segar
Congregation Kol HaLev
Cleveland, OH, USA
Rabbi Steve Segar
Paul Shapiro
Congregation B’nai Israel
Willimantic, CT, USA
Paul Shapiro
Rabbi Ezra Weinberg
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Rabbi Ezra Weinberg
Amy Weintraub
West End Synagogue, New York, NY, USA
Amy Weintraub
Mark Weitz
Temple Israel
Duluth, MN, USA
Mark Weitz
Rabbi Maurice Harris
Staff for JIC
Rabbi Maurice Harris

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