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 May 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

Stanley Cohn
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Evanston, Ill., USA

Stanley Cohn
Felix Deichmann
Jüdische Gemeinde Michelsberg (Jewish Community of Michelsberg)
Wiesbaden, Germany
Felix Deichmann

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 Michal Woll
Milwaukee, Wisc., USA

Rabbi Michal Woll
Rabbi Maurice Harris
Staff for JIC
Rabbi Maurice Harris

The Reconstructionist Network