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News and Blogs

Below, you’ll find a list of all news and blog posts on the site in reverse chronological order.

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Jewish Clergy Letter in Support of Right to Protest
June 12, 2020

Reconstructionist leaders were among 800 Jewish clergy from across the Jewish spectrum signing a letter in support of the fundamental right to peaceful protest. 




2020 Annual Report
June 8, 2020

In unprecedented times, Reconstructing Judaism stepped up to provide Jewish connections to meaning and community that so many people found they needed. 




Navigating the Coronavirus: Jewish Values to Guide Institutions and Individuals Now
June 4, 2020

At the Center for Jewish Ethics, we have created Jewish Values and the Coronavirus, a guide to help frame values-based decision making in this time of pandemic. This web-based resource collects and curates sources from the Torah and rabbinic texts alongside insights from leading ethical thinkers from across the Jewish world and beyond.




Standing Up for Racial Justice and Against Racial Violence
June 2, 2020

The murder of George Floyd is a blatant display of the systemic racism built into the fabric of American society. To our black and brown siblings: your lives matter. We support non-violent protest to build a more just and equitable world for all people. Let our anger and our love lift us up into a better tomorrow.




Shavuot: Coming Together Across the Globe to Learn Through the Night, In Our Homes
May 28, 2020

The Reconstructionist movement’s Shavuot All Night Learning is a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (an all-night study of Torah in its broadest sense.) It will bring together teachers, performers, learners, students, creatives and seekers across the globe into each other’s homes to celebrate the holiday.




Ways Into Torah: Multiple Spiritual Intelligences
May 27, 2020

On the brink of Shavuot, Rabbi Vivie Mayer shares insights into the concept of multiple intelligences as it applies to receiving Torah.




Annexation Endangers the Security and Democracy of Israel
May 21, 2020

Recontructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are signatories to the following appeal from J-Link, an international network of progressive Jewish organizations from
Israel, the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia.




Whizin Prize Essay Explores the Place of Obligation in Modern Jewish Thought
May 21, 2020


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.  





The False Choice Between Safety and the Economy
May 7, 2020

In its unsigned editorial on May 5, “The False Choice Between Safety and the Economy”, The New York Jewish Week points to the “Reopening Our Institutions” document produced by Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. The editorial highlights the Reconstructionist movement’s values-based approach to questions pertaining to reopening religious institutions, and championed our movement’s focus on pikuakh nefesh (saving lives) above all other concerns.




Guarding and Growing Trust in the Time of Corona
May 7, 2020

Crystal clear to me, now, is that all the coffees, the story sharing and listening, and the showing up, has resulted in the cultivation of a most rare commodity in our society. Trust. 




Reopening Our Institutions
May 1, 2020

Framework for Jewish communities to consider in returning to in-person communal activity




Daf Yomi While Sheltering in Place
April 27, 2020

https://www.sefaria.org/Berakhot.54a.3?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=enRabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Ph.D., reflects on the insights gained from daily Talmud study during the coronavirus pandemic. 




Jewish Particularism & Universalism: An Interview with Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D.
April 23, 2020

In this enriching conversation, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D.  and Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, Ph.D. focus on the things that traditional and Reconstructionist Jews have in common, the challenges that social distancing is posing to community, and ways that Jewish practice can bolster resilience.  




May We All Be Liberated Soon
April 3, 2020

Usually, on Passover, we ask “How is this night different from all other nights?”. This year, many of us are asking, “How does this Passover resemble any we’ve ever experienced?” While social distancing has seemingly changed everything, Passover is still about telling the story of going from oppression to freedom.




Statement from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association on Communal Gatherings during COVID-19 Pandemic
March 26, 2020

Based on our understanding of the science and the advice of experts, we, rabbis of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, strongly come down on the side of pikuach nefesh - preserving lives. Therefore, we are issuing these guidelines in preparation for the upcoming Passover holiday and in awareness of the likelihood of continued concern over disease spread at this time.




When The Threat Is Random, The Jewish Response Is Compassion
March 23, 2020

As a rabbi, my prescription for most every challenge, drawn out of millennia of Jewish wisdom and practice, is community. But what is the Jewish response when the best way to slow down contagion is by “social distancing”?




With synagogues shuttered, Virtual Shabbat Box offers introspection, inspiration
March 20, 2020

In this time of mounting uncertainty, in which the coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting normal life and bringing it to a near standstill,  Reconstructing Judaism is offering a “Virtual Shabbat Box” filled with essays, meditations and other resources that can be downloaded for Shabbat.




COVID-19: Resources for Uncertain Times
March 13, 2020

In this time of mounting uncertainty, in which the COVID-19 coronavirus is disrupting normal life and bringing it to a near-standstill,  we offer you a Virtual Shabbat Box. This Shabbat Box doesn’t contain challah or candles, but rather essays, meditations and other resources for your senses that you can download and digest for Shabbat.




Statement on New Settlement Expansion Announcements
February 27, 2020

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are alarmed by the Netanyahu government’s recent announcement that seeks to expand settlements in a way that would cut through Palestinian population centers and deny contiguity to a future Palestinian state. Previous Republican and Democratic US administrations have rejected similar plans with good reason. We call on the Netanyahu government to cancel these plans, and we call on all American Jewish organizations that support a two-state solution to join in this urgent message. We continue to oppose unilateral territorial annexation on the part of the Israeli government, and we remain committed to a just, democratic, and peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians within a framework of two states for two peoples.




The Impossible Dream? Reconstructionist Rabbi Works to Make Israeli-Palestinian Peace a Reality
February 21, 2020

Rabbi Donna Kirshbaum has never been one to shy away from a challenge. She has operated a dairy farm in the Missouri Ozarks, eked out a living as a classical cellist, enrolled in the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in her 50s and started a new life in Israel in her 60s. Now a member of Israel’s largest grassroots movement, she is pursuing a goal that’s eluded the world for a century: a negotiated political settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians.




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