Reconstructionism: Belonging | Reconstructing Judaism

Reconstructionist Judaism

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. 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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    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!

    News
    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.

    News

    Reclaiming Judaism After Centuries Underground

    The small Italian village of Serrastretta has a hidden past: among its population are many families of anusim, hidden Jews whose ancestors were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Inquisition. Now, many locals are exploring their roots, thanks to new Reconstructionist affiliate Sinagoga Ner Tamid del Sud. While many are satisfied to understand the origins of mysterious family customs and learn about their ancestral heritage, some choose to fully embrace Judaism through conversion. Through a unique document of “Reclaiming Jewish Status”, this community has reconstructed standard conversion as a reclaiming of stolen Jewishness.

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    News and Blogs

    Why Belong?

    Why belong to the Jewish people? Why belong to a synagogue? Why belong to the Reconstructionist movement? These are some of the most important questions that I am asked and that I, along with all of us at Reconstructing Judaism, strive to answer powerfully and convincingly.

    News

    To Read More...

    Further resources on embracing the stranger within.

    Article

    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. 

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    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

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    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. 

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    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. 

    Document

    Exploration of God Beliefs: A Teen Program

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

    Document

    A Child's Biography of Mordecai Kaplan

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

    Document

    Kaplanian Report Card: An Evaluation Tool for Jewish Education

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

    Document

    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.

    Document

    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.

    Sermon