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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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When Women Have a Seat and a Voice at the Table
August 11, 2020

Now that Joe Biden has telegraphed his pick for vice president, Kamala Harris, let’s give credit to the woman who stepped out first: Victoria Claflin Woodhull. In 1872, before women had the right to vote, Woodhull ran for president against Ulysses S. Grant. Since then, according to Rutgers University, at least 31 women have made serious bids to be president or vice president of the United States. Six of those women ran twice. You know how many have won. Now, at this historic moment, I’m thinking a lot about women and power.

Re-imagining Shabbat
July 31, 2020

Zoom Shabbat minyan has done little for me. I’ve tried it repeatedly. But I find praying or learning via Zoom more work-like than spirit-filled. So for pandemic Shabbat enrichment, I regularly access Reconstructing Judaism’s Virtual Shabbat Box (VSB). Every Thursday, with contactless delivery, the VSB arrives in my inbox. I click to find a variety of ways to engage while sitting on my sofa. Essays, videos, poetry, podcasts are weekly offered in the VSB and a welcomed part of my re-imagined Shabbat experience.

Against Annexation
July 10, 2020

We strongly support Senator Chris Van Hollen’s proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which stipulates that US security assistance to Israel cannot be used to implement unilateral annexation in the West Bank.

Support Project Rozana
July 6, 2020

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are encouraging congregations and individuals to support this life-saving fund-raising effort organized by Project Rozana, a well-respected international non-profit organization that is leading a project supported by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to purchase badly needed ventilators for West Bank and Gaza hospitals in light of the current COVID-19 spike in the region, which threatens to overwhelm Palestinian hospital ICUs.

Principles for a Full Year of Love and Caring
July 1, 2020

The calendar says the school year should end. However, many Jewish educators, witnessing the effects of the pandemic on their students, and now civic unrest, are challenging the calendar’s norms. Instead of closing down the year, they are asking, “How might we continue to engage our students through the summer?”

Cross-Movement Resource Guide Published on Re-Opening Synagogue Buildings
June 30, 2020

This past month, a working group made up of staff at the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements collaborated, with major support from the Secure Community Network, on putting together a “Guide to the Considerations about Re-Opening Synagogue Buildings.” The document offers synagogues some guidance and suggested methodical steps for decision-making and implementation of re-opening plans.

Reconstructing Judaism is Not Free to Desist
June 19, 2020

Reconstructing Judaism is fully committed to building an anti-racist Jewish community. We state firmly and unequivocally that Black Lives Matter, and that working tirelessly to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter is a Jewish value. As leaders of Reconstructing Judaism, the central organization of the Reconstructionist movement, we commit ourselves to the Community Obligations articulated by Not Free to Desist.

Over 600 Jewish Clergy Call on the Israeli Government to Abandon Plans for Annexing the West Bank
June 18, 2020

More than 600 rabbis, cantors and seminary students from across the country — including many Reconstructionist rabbis and rabbinic students — have signed on to a public letter warning that the Israeli government’s threatened unilateral annexation in the West Bank “would be a catastrophic mistake…violate human rights, weaken democracy, and make Israelis and Palestinians less secure.”

Ten American Jewish Organizations Send Letter to Gantz, Ashkenazi Opposing Annexation
June 17, 2020

Members of the Progressive Israel Network penned the following letter to Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi opposing annexation.

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.

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.