Reconstructionism: Belonging | Reconstructing Judaism

Reconstructionist Judaism


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. At the same time, Reconstructionists reject the traditional notion of Jews as the Chosen People: we take pride in our distinctiveness and sense of vocation at the same time as we affirm the dignity and potential sanctity of all faiths and peoples. 


    Jewish Peoplehood

    What does "Jewish Peoplehood" mean, and how has the notion changed over time? These resources explore a range of perspectives on the centrality of Jewish peoplehood in Reconstructionist Judaism.

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    Further resources on embracing the stranger within.


    A Stranger in Two Communities: Second-Generation American and Jewish Convert

    The lines of “inside” and “outside” are not always clear, as a second-generation American and Jewish convert attests. 


    Educating Future Jews: Jewish-Americans or American Jews?

    Should children receiving conflicting, non-Jewish, religious education be allowed to enroll in a synagogue school? This question is at core about the differences between how the individual is seen by the community, his status, and how the individual sees herself, her identity


    Ruth, The First Convert: A Model of Welcome

    The story of Ruth, read on Shavuot, provides a powerful model for welcoming newcomers to the Jewish people. 


    The Life of Reconstructionist Educators in the Digital Age

    This short article reflects on the challenges and opportunities presented by digital technology in Reconstructionist education. 


    Exploration of God Beliefs: A Teen Program

    This pilot program for Jewish teen education provides several activities for exploring and sharing beliefs about God. 


    A Child's Biography of Mordecai Kaplan

    This short biography of Mordecai Kaplan is written for children from 5th to 9th grade.


    Kaplanian Report Card: An Evaluation Tool for Jewish Education

    This evaluation tool provides a rubric for assessing the contemporary state of Jewish education


    New Faces of Peoplehood: Two Educational Reflections from the conference “Wrestling with Jewish Peoplehood”

    This resource on Jewish peoplehood provides tools for Jewish educators, including early childhood educators, to reflect and teach on issues of Jewish identity and peoplehood.


    For The Sake Of The World

    Rabbi Toba Spitzer grapples wtih the traditional notion of Jewish chosenness, arguing that our Torah is integral to the maintenance and perfection of this world—even as we acknowledge that other people’s teachings, other people’s truths, are also a path to redemption. It matters that  Judaism survives—not just for our own sake, but because it’s good for the world, and because we have unique work to do.


    "Peoplehood" Reconsidered

    Reconstructionism has long held the notion of Jewish Peoplehood as a central organizing principle. But does it mean the same thing that it used to? How can “Peoplehood” itself be reconstructed to remain relevant today? 


    Jewish Peoplehood: Philosophies of Jewish Engagement in the 21st Century

    What is Jewish peoplehood, and how is it relevant today? Rabbi James Greene assembled this collection of texts to explore these questions.


    Jewish Peoplehood: Educational Resources

    Rabbi Jeffrey Schein has created this suite of educational resources on Jewish peoplehood, under the auspices of the Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood.


    Reconstructing Yiddishkeit

    Weiner ponders the “authenticity” of past generations and looks to Reconstructionist community as the place where the various strains of Judaism’s past can come together.


    Judaism as a Generation: Kaplan, Levi-Strauss, and Why I Believe in the Jewish Future

    Glanzberg-Krainin explores how Reconstructionist Judaism draws on diverse traditions to create a relevant contemporary Judaism.