More on Ethics and Values
Reconstructionists Featured at Society for Jewish Ethics Conference
The Reconstructionist movement is being well represented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society of Jewish Ethics, taking place Jan. 6-9 over Zoom. In fact, in terms of the number of presenters —at least three — the movement will have a greater presence at this year’s virtual gathering than at any time since the first conference was held in 2003.
National Endowment for the Humanities Funds the Center for Jewish Ethics for Groundbreaking, Project on Race, Racism and American Judaism
The Center for Jewish Ethics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has received a transformative grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund cross-disciplinary research into race, racism and the American Jewish experience. The center’s aims have an impact far beyond the academy by developing educational materials and programs for youth, individual adult learners, and communities.
The one-year, $199,850 grant will enable the Levin-Lieber Program in Jewish Ethics to establish and run a new initiative tentatively called “Race, Religion and American Judaism: Cross-Disciplinary Research, Public Scholarship and Curriculum Development.”
"Being Abba": A Civilization Text Study on Fatherhood
In this text study, Rabbi James Greene examines the evolution of Jewish ideas of fatherhood over time, with an eye toward contemporary responsibilities of Jewish fathering.
Responding to antisemitism by growing community, deepening commitments and building coalitions
On Sunday Oct. 28, 2018 — one day after the deadliest day in American Jewish history — I mourned with members of Congregation Dor Hadash. The Pittsburgh Reconstructionist congregation met in the Tree of Life building and had lost one of its own, Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz (z”l). Another member, Dan Leger, clung to life. Virtually every member of the congregation had gathered in solidarity. People were understandably raw, numb and devastated. Yet, in their commitment to mutual support, I was reminded of the awesome power of Jewish community to cultivate resilience in the face of pain and threat, including violent antisemitism.
In these polarized times, discourse over how best to confront antisemitism has often been visceral and sometimes taken on hyperbolic tones. At Reconstructing Judaism, we believe there are several steps toward a vigorous and constructive fight against rising antisemitism.
Reconstructing Judaism Over the Next Five Years
by Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., and Seth Rosen
Whizin Prize Essay Explores the Place of Obligation in Modern Jewish Thought
The Center for Jewish Ethics, affiliated with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, sponsors an annual essay contest to encourage innovative thinking on contemporary Jewish ethics. This year’s Whizin Prize has been awarded to an essay by Daniel Mackler, titled “Phenomenology of Hiyuv Out of the Sources of Ethics: Joseph Soloveitchik and Mara Benjamin.” The essay is a scholarly exploration of the religious experience of obligation, bringing together a traditional and a feminist perspective.
Reconstructionist Affiliates, Rabbis Push for More Just Immigration System
Rooted in the Jewish textual tradition and lived experience, Reconstructionist communities are aiding immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers through direct service, education and advocacy.
How Your Community Can Help Immigrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Looking for ways your community can get involved in immigration issues, directly assist a family, or advocate for systematic change? This resource offer a number of concrete steps your community can take.
Jewish Values & The Ethical Now: Following in Rabbi David Teutsch’s Path
The Center for Jewish Ethics’ conference in March 2019 highlighted voices from across the Jewish world, yet the proceedings embodied the Reconstructionist approach to conversation. Presenters and attendees examined issues from many sides, exchanging perspectives with deep respect for one another and Jewish tradition.
Facing Death, Rabbinical Student Teaches Others About Living Life
Emet Tauber, a rabbinical student facing terminal illness, devoted his last days to supporting causes and institutions that he values — including affordable and accessible rabbinic education.
Jewish Ethics, #MeToo, and Crowd-Sourced Responsa
In 5778, the hashtags #TimesUp #MeToo #GamAni sparked a broad communal conversation about abuses of power on the part of individuals and institutions, within and beyond the Jewish community. The year brought revelations of misconduct among celebrities and government officials, and in Jewish schools, organizations, and synagogues. Now, powerful people who abuse their power are being held accountable, and this is a development that is welcome and long overdue. That doesn’t mean it is easy.
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!
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.
The Poor People’s Campaign, a National Call for Moral Revival
The RRA recently became a partner of the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). In the last two weeks the PPC has coordinated rallies and acts of civil disobedience in over 30 state capitals, including the participation of over 15 RRA members.
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.