Ethics and Values | Page 2 | Reconstructing Judaism
LEARN

Ethics and Values

Ethics and Values

Jewish tradition is imbued with values that bear on every important decision we face. What are my obligations to my community? How should I handle charitable giving in a world overwhelmed by human need?  How do I navigate decisions on issues ranging from sexual ethics and gender identity to end-of-life decisions? The Reconstructionist movement has developed an approach to Jewish values-based decision-making for those Jews who do not see themselves as bound by halakha (traditional Jewish law), but want to live lives of integrity and spiritual meaning. 

More on Ethics and Values

Truth, Deception, and Interpersonal Relationships

Study sheet and leader’s notes on the Jewish sources, ethics and interpersonal consequences of lying and truth-telling.

Document

The Torah Process: How Jews Make Decisions

Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz explores the role of text study in Reconstructionist congregations’ decision-making process, with several case studies. This article is excerpted from the Guide to Jewish Practice

Article

Attitudes, Beliefs and Values Shaping Jewish Practice

A list of traditional and contemporary values shaping the process of Values-Based Decision Making. This article is excerpted from the Guide to Jewish Practice

Article

Values-Based Decision Making

Values-based decision making (VBDM) provides a way for individuals and groups to think through and express their policies, procedures and behavior, informed by Jewish values and contemporary insights. It has been used within the Reconstructionist movement for more than 20 years and is most recently embodied in A Guide to Jewish Practice.

Article

Raising Future Decision Makers: Ten Keys to Ethical Choices in Everyday Life

Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D. is a nationally recognized expert in the field of moral education and has written extensively on that topic. In this recording of a community teaching call, he discusses raising ethical children of character and share ten keys to leading your children to ethical choices in everyday life:

Spoken Audio
News and Blogs

Spirituality and Mental Health

Rabbi Jacob Staub, Ph.D., explains why spirituality can be such an important aspect of mental health. 

News

Where Prayer Meets Justice

To Rabbi Jill Jacobs of T’ruah, rich vibrant Judaism demands breaking down the boundaries between prayer and justice. 

Article

The Role of Text Study in Congregational Values-Based Decision Making

Overview of the centrality of Jewish texts in congregational conversations around Jewish values

Article

A Jewish Approach to Discipline

Jewish values and practical strategies for improving classroom discipline in supplemental religious schools

Article

Parsing the Meeting of Jacob and Esau

Text study and discussion questions on the reunion of Jacob and Esau after decades of separation

Article

A Guide to Talking about Israel in your Congregation

Rabbi Toba Spitzer shares detailed guidelines and best practices on communal discussions around Israel.

Article

Understanding Transgender Issues in Jewish Ethics

Drawing on the surprisingly sophisticated classical Jewish perspective on sex and gender, Rabbi David Teutch advocates for celebration and inclusion of transgender people as a fundamental issue of justice.

Article

The Intricacies of Consent

An act of consent lies at the heart of the whole rabbinic Jewish enterprise. The rabbis understood the covenant at Sinai to be the foundational moment of the ongoing relationship between God and the Jewish people. In order for the covenant to be valid, Israel must have agreed to it.

Article
  •