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Reconstruction­ism

Reconstructionists approach Judaism — and life — with deep reverence for the past and a passion to relate it to the present. In a rapidly changing world, Reconstructionist communities share and create new ways of being Jewish to connect us to the divine and ensure our lives are filled with purpose.

  • We view Judaism as the evolving civilization of the Jewish people in an ongoing relationship with God. Our shared culture — rituals, traditions and practices — reflect over 3,000 years of that evolution, and we continue to share and shape it today.

  • We break down the walls that divide us — demonstrating what it means to be Jewish today — standing up for justice and creating a better world for all.

  • We experience — and discover — God through our daily acts of ritual, creative expression and humanity, which leads to individual spiritual fulfillment.

  • We have originated many of the core innovations within American Judaism and lead efforts to make our community even more forward-thinking, inclusive and relevant.

  • We are committed to democratic practice in Jewish life and believe that people hold the right — and obligation — to reconstruct Judaism in order for it to remain relevant in our lives.

Let’s Journey Together - Rebranded

Belonging

The idea of Jewish peoplehood is central to Reconstructionism. Jews share binding ties that cut across differing practice, beliefs, and national boundaries, binding us together through a common history and shared destiny.

Believing

Reconstructionists hold diverse ideas about God, but we share an emphasis on Godliness—those hopes, beliefs, and values within us that impel us to work for a better world, that give us strength and solace in times of need, that challenge us to grow, and that deepen our joy in moments of celebration. Recognizing that all descriptions of God are metaphor, our prayerbooks offer images of God that go far beyond "king of the universe."

Resources on Reconstructionism

News and Blogs

Let's Journey Together

In an essay that appeared in Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., makes the case that Reconstructionist Judaism matters now more than ever.

News

God in Metaphor: A Guide for the Perplexed

Rabbi Toba Spitzer explores the obstacles to prayer posed by stale language about God, and suggests new language that may ease our way in finding connection.

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Session 5: Questions and Answers

Audience questions and answers at Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

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Session 4: The Need to Wrestle with Difficult Issues

Rabbi Shira Stutman on Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

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Session 3: The Need to Reconstruct Judaism Itself

Rabbi Michael Strassfeld on Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

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Session 2: Redeveloping Congregational Identity So That Being Part Of The Congregation Makes Meaning

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann on Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

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Session 1: The Need for Progressive Jewish Communities to Reconstruct Themselves in This Era

Rabbi Sid Schwarz introducing Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

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News and Blogs

What Does a Thriving Synagogue Look Like?

Synagogues are a means, not an end in themselves. But thriving synagogues contribute to Judaism’s goal: to create healthy individuals, thriving communities, flourishing Jewish life, interconnected human life and a sustainable planet.

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News and Blogs

Reconstructing Pluralism through Conversation

Pluralism is dead. Long live pluralism.

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News and Blogs

In Praise of Movements

Two November events loom as I write this column: the mid-term elections on November 6, and the first Reconstructionist movement-wide convention in a decade, a week later.  The first admittedly will have far more impact on the world than the latter, but they are linked in my mind for one important reason: movements matter.

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News and Blogs

Evolve: Sowing the Seeds of Constructive Evolution

Reconstructing Judaism has just rolled out Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations with the intention of hosting difficult, groundbreaking conversations that are nevertheless mutually respectful and supportive. We invite you to visit Evolve and to join the conversations!

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The Founding of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

A history of the beginnings of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

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News and Blogs

Gathering Together

As we continue to develop new ways to build community across time and distance, we must also continue to find ways to “be there” for one another.

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News and Blogs

Drawing Comfort from Community

Belonging connects us to something larger than our own individual experience. I belong to the Jewish people because claiming this connection enters me into a millennia-old conversation and joins me into community both vertical—all those who came before me and all those who follow—and horizontal—the Jews of today, in all our diversity.

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News and Blogs

Reconstructionist Communities Make Disability Inclusion a Top Priority

With a welcoming ethos and a drive to break down barriers, Reconstructionist congregations and havurot have been part of a revolution that’s taken place in the public awareness of the importance of disability inclusion and related services.

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