Since the first Reconstructionist congregation was founded a century ago, the Reconstructionist movement has served as a laboratory for innovation in Jewish life. B’Yachad: Reconstructing Judaism Together, the upcoming movement-wide convention, will likewise model creative Jewish expression for the present and future, Reconstructing what it means to gather safely, purposefully and joyfully.
From March 23-27, more than 300 people are expected to congregate in suburban Washington, D.C., with more planning to participate online. Participants will delve into the quintessential Reconstructionist questions: how do we Reconstruct Judaism for our time, and how do we build the world we want and need to inhabit. A March 24 series of advocacy programs will explore how progressive Jewish values can shape the public square.
“This is our first ever multi-access convention, and it offers so many opportunities for Reconstructionists around the world, both in-person and virtually, to sing and dance and pray and celebrate together,” said Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., president and CEO of Reconstructing Judaism. “The Reconstructionist story is one of vitality and creativity. B’Yachad will offer compelling models of what Jewish community can look as we continue to build the kind of world we want to inhabit and pass on to future generations.”
The sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Combating systemic racism
- making Jewish communities more welcoming spaces
- Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first bat mitzvah, held March 18, 1922
- Telling our own personal stories in service of social change
- Contemporary approaches to spirituality and theology
- Interfaith relations
- Climate justice
- Conversations about Israel-Palestine
And so much more. To view the full schedule here:
Several noted political and civic leaders will discuss how Jewish values have shaped their public service, including U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger and Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women.
B’Yachad will include virtual appearances by actor Joshua Malina (West Wing, Scandal, Shameless), who, together, with Rabbi Shira Stutman, a Reconstructionist rabbi, hosts the podcast Chutzpod!
The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association will hold its convention concurrently. Convention will also conclude the year-long, Adult B-/Re-Mitzvah program for adults studying for their adult b-mitzvah or recommitting to Judaism.