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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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Statement on the Spiraling Violence between Israelis and Palestinians
May 14, 2021

The spiraling violence that began in Jerusalem and now includes all of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank is heartbreaking and frightening. We condemn the rocket attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that have targeted civilians, claimed Israeli lives, and terrified children. We also mourn the scores of dead in Gaza, including dozens of children, and we call on Israel’s leaders to remember that their powerful military response can be devastating for families and children there.




Webinar on Jerusalem Crisis and Current Violence
May 11, 2021

Recent days have seen an escalation in violence in Jerusalem, and sadly, violence has been flaring throughout today, Jerusalem Day. With the violent events at Al Aqsa mosque, police crackdowns on Palestinian protesters, the threat of home evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and today’s incendiary Flag March, the city is in a state of crisis. Hamas rockets have fallen on Jerusalem and other parts of Israel and have been met by retaliatory attacks in Gaza. This is a highly volatile and dynamic situation — and we don’t know where it will lead. Members of Reconstructionist communities and rabbis in the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are invited to join in an urgent webinar with leading experts.



Center for Jewish Ethics Awards Whizin Prize to Essay Focusing on Role of Women in Modern Orthodoxy
May 10, 2021

The Center for Jewish Ethics, affiliated with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, has awarded the 2021 Whizin Prize — an essay contest to encourage innovative thinking on contemporary Jewish ethics — to Miriam Attia, a doctoral student in religious ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School.




Grief and Condolences over Tragedy at Lag B'Omer Celebration in Israel
April 30, 2021

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that has taken place at Mount Meron in Israel’s northern region.




‘Love your neighbor as yourself’: How Torah is helping me process Derek Chauvin’s conviction
April 26, 2021

Many people have asked how I feel about the Chavin verdict. Whenever I struggle to find words, I’m grateful for the teachings in the Torah, and this week is no exception.




Accountability is One Step Toward Justice: Response to a Verdict in the Murder of George Floyd
April 22, 2021

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association applaud Tuesday’s guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd as an important step toward basic accountability for racial violence in America. We join our allies around the world in taking a moment to breathe - a basic human right denied to George Floyd and countless others. For far too long, impunity has been the norm for actors of state-sanctioned violence against Black and Brown people, a pillar of the American racial caste system that has its roots in slavery and the lynchings of the Jim Crow era.




Ensuring the Liberation of All People: A Passover Message
March 23, 2021

We’d like to share this video message for Passover 2021 from Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., the president of Reconstructing Judaism.




Statement Condemning Atlanta Attack
March 18, 2021

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association mourn the devastating loss of life Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia. Our hearts are filled with sorrow as we learn of the targeting of Asian American women. We stand with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) members of our Jewish community and with the broader AAPI community in grief and solidarity for those lost




American Values, Religious Voices: A Letter to America's Leadership
March 10, 2021

As part of the American Values, Religious Voices project, Elsie Stern writes to America’s executive and legislative leadership on the 50th day of President Biden’s administration to reflect on what it means to be “in the thick of” sacred work.




Rooted and Relevant: 21st Century Jewish Life
March 5, 2021

In her presentiation, Rooted and Relevant: 21st Century Jewish Life, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., explores how Reconstructionist Judaism can lead the way in the post-COVID world toward a religious revival that meets this century’s new realities. 




A Welcome Israeli Supreme Court Ruling on Non-Orthodox Conversions
March 4, 2021

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association welcome the recently announced landmark ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court to recognize non-Orthodox conversions carried out in Israel for the purposes of matters relating to eligibility for Israeli citizenship. 




American Jewish organizations condemn military rule in Burma, call for U.S. action
February 26, 2021

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association joined with other members of the Jewish Rohingya Justice Network in condemning the military’s coup in Burma (Myanmar), its brutal crackdown on peaceful protests, and the unjust and arbitrary detention and arrest of democratic leaders, activists, and protestors.




'A Beat to Which We All Can Move’: A Call to Jews to Embrace the Pursuit of Racial Justice
February 24, 2021

From its very beginnings, the Jewish story is full of journeys. When it comes to racial justice work, the Reconstructionist movement is in the midst of a profound journey.




Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association join chorus of Jewish voices opposing KKL-JNF plan to purchase West Bank land to expand settlements
February 19, 2021

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association strongly oppose the plan of Keren Kayemet L’Israel / Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) to expand Jewish settlements by purchasing private land in the West Bank. We join our friends and colleagues in the Reform movement, the Masorti (Conservative) movement, Liberal Judaism (UK), the Reform Movement in Israel, the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and many others in the global Jewish community in speaking out against this plan. 




In support of Israeli organizations urging their government to provide immediate access to the COVID-19 vaccination in the West Bank and Gaza
February 5, 2021

We join the call of the many Israeli organizations that are urging their leaders to act quickly and cooperatively with the Palestinian Authority to develop a vaccination plan that will meet the urgent public health needs of everyone living in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Because COVID-19 knows no boundaries, the wellbeing of Palestinians is inextricably connected to that of Israelis.




Call for Nominations to the Reconstructionist Movement’s Two Commissions
February 3, 2021

Nominations are open for the Reconstructionist movement’s Tikkun Olam Commission and Joint Israel Commission.




Reconstructing Judaism Names Rabbi Sandra Lawson Inaugural Director of Racial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
January 20, 2021

Rabbi Sandra Lawson (she/her), a trailblazing leader, will join Reconstructing Judaism as its inaugural Director of Racial Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Working with senior staff, lay leaders, clergy, rabbinical students and Reconstructionist communities, Lawson will help Reconstructing Judaism realize its deeply held aspiration of becoming an anti-racist organization and movement. Lawson is a 2018 Reconstructionist Rabbinical College graduate. 




Progressive Israel Network Groups Oppose Codification of IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, Citing Strong Potential for Misuse
January 12, 2021

As organizations that care deeply about the State of Israel and about the wellbeing of the Jewish people, we are deeply committed to the struggle against antisemitism. We are thus obligated to share our concerns about ways in which the effort to combat antisemitism is being misused and exploited to instead suppress legitimate free speech, criticism of Israeli government actions, and advocacy for Palestinian rights. In particular, the effort to enshrine in domestic law and institutional policy the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, with its accompanying “contemporary examples,” risks wrongly equating what may be legitimate activities with antisemitism. 




We Must Work to Ensure that the January 6th Insurrection Will Not Disrupt American Democracy
January 7, 2021

We must act now in defense of democracy and in support of a vibrant, principled America that values all voices and that protects all minorities. We must insist that perpetrators of this insurrection — from those who instigated to those who acted — be held accountable. We must work to ensure that the Biden administration works with Congress to enact meaningful reforms in support of racial justice and voting rights, and to combat the white nationalist movement. American democracy is a great, unfolding experiment that requires attention and effort. Let us renew our commitment to the work of furthering it.




Jews, Race, and Religion: An Online Lecture Series
January 5, 2021

Jewish experience offers a valuable entryway into the study of race. Jewish identities and experience complicate conceptions that are overly simplistic or that lack nuance. Jewish history illuminates both the difficulty and the imperative of grappling with race and racism. To deepen our understanding of race, we have organized a series of online talks that will bring leading scholars of race, religion and Jewish life to a broad public.




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