Peoplehood and Community

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Diversity and Interconnection

In the 1940s, Reconstructionist leaders coined the term “peoplehood” to capture the diversity of the Jewish people and our experiences across time and place. For Reconstructionists, positive feelings about belonging to the Jewish people are only a start; being Jewish is a means to living a deeply interconnected life and to increasing wisdom and equity in the world.

Choosing Judaism, Doing Jewish

Today, North American Jewish life is shifting from an ethnic moment into a post-ethnic time. North American Jews, especially the non-Orthodox, are rapidly moving away from being a community of descent (that is, defined by biology) to a community of consent.

Jews today have countless opportunities to seek meaning and define their identities. Most people who identify as Jewish today choose to be Jewish, regardless of their parentage or background. We have significantly shifted our attention from being Jewish to encouraging doing Jewish, in any of the diverse ways possible.

Centrality of Community

Even as we support individual pathways, we are equally fierce about affirming the centrality of community. We believe that it is only possible to live fully as a Jew in community. We aim to support each person in finding their individual path to an open and responsive community where they can contribute their gifts and be supported in their wholeness.

We believe that with this inclusive stance, as the Jewish community makes space for individuals in their fullness, the community itself will be continually remade.

The Reconstructionist Network