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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
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
Julia Malaga Congregation Beth Hatikvah Summit, N.J., USA
Julia Malaga
Jonathan Markowitz Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Evanston, Ill., USA
Jonathan Markowitz
Aliza Schwartz Rabbinical Student Representative Jerusalem, Israel
Aliza Schwartz
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 Michal Woll Milwaukee, Wisc., USA
Rabbi Michal Woll
Rabbi Maurice Harris Staff for JIC
Rabbi Maurice Harris

The Reconstructionist Network