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Bryan Schwartzman

Associate Director for Strategic Communications, Reconstructing Judaism

Bryan Schwartzman utilizes his background in journalism, media relations and development to advance Reconstructing Judaism’s messaging and storytelling. He oversees content for ReconstructingJudaism.org, writes original features, handles media relations, and hosts the podcast Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations.

An award-winning journalist, he spent a decade reporting for the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and has written for a variety of Jewish publications including the Forward and the Jerusalem Post. Prior to joining Reconstructing Judaism, he was the manager of marketing and communications for the Evans Consulting Group, which specializes in guiding nonprofit fundraising campaigns. He also writes short fiction and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Bryan earned his bachelor of arts in English and Journalism at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his master’s degree in modern Jewish studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Headshot of Cyd Weissman

Cyd Weissman: Finding Optimism in the Most Challenging of Times

Cyd, Weissman, Reconstructing Judaism’s vice president for engagement and innovation, was a featured panelist at a high-profile Shavuot program held at the Weitzman Musuem of American Jewish History in Philadelphia and sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

The panel “Only in America: The Evolving Place of Jewish Life and Culture in the United States” kicked off a 12-hour, in-person tikkun-leil Shavuot. The Shavuot custom of staying up all night to study Torah dates back hundreds of years, related to the receiving of Torah at Mount Sinai.

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‘Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out’

When it comes to combating systemic racism, everyone has something to learn.

That’s one reason why faculty members at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College are engaging in a year-long process — one rooted in the Jewish practice of Mussar — to confront anti-Black racism in themselves and the college environment.

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Charlton Heston as Moses, wearing his read cloak spreading his arms as the sky thunders.

Reconstructionist Rabbi Featured in Netflix Moses Docudrama Series

When Rabbi Maurice Harris set out to write a book about Moses, he never could have imagined where that work would lead.

Now, more than a decade later, Harris is heavily featured in the new Netflix docudrama, Testament: The Story of Moses. The show, which dropped on March 27, is among the streaming platform’s first forays into religion programing. The three-part hybrid-documentary series explores Moses’ story from Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives. It intersperses dramatic scenes with actors and interviews with scholars, academics and theologians.

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Rabbis Nicole Fix and Bronwen Mullion on stage, holding microphones, standing in front of a keyboard

The Auerbach Launch Grant: An Invitation to Experiment and Create

Rabbi Nicole Fix (RRC ’23) is using avant-garde musical theater to bring the Talmud to the stage — and sound a warning on the dangers of present-day extremism. Chloe Zelkha, a fourth-year RRC student, is building community for young adults grieving the loss of a parent, partner, sibling or close friend.

While the two projects might at first glance sound dissimilar, they share much in common. Both engage with young Jewish adults who may lack meaningful connections or are underserved by Jewish institutions. And both projects represent a conscious effort to Reconstruct an aspect of Jewish life so that it meets the needs of the moment.

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Lila Corwin Berman offers a wry smile.

Power to Which People? American Jewish Philanthropy & Democracy

Philanthropy and private giving are a vital part of American democracy and deeply ingrained in Jewish communal life. Historian Lila Corwin Berman, Ph.D., has, through her scholarship, shed light on the history of Jewish philanthropy while raising questions about how it is practiced. Who benefits from philanthropy? Who gets to decide how dollars are spent? Do good intentions lead to good results? Does philanthropy advance democracy?

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Rabbi Asher Sofman, wearing glasses, a collared shirt and patterned sweater, poses outside.

Reconstructionist Community Sustained Rabbi Asher Sofman; In New DEI Position, Seeks for Others to Have the Same Gift

From his childhood congregation to Camp Havaya and rabbinical school, Rabbi Asher Sofman found his spiritual home in the Reconstructionist movement. Now the 2023 Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) graduate has joined the Reconstructing Judaism team to help even more people find the same kind of life-affirming, spiritually nourishing community.

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Two women with a child who is blowing out a birthday candle.

Growing Today’s Jewish Families: New Spiritual and Ethical Perspectives

Considering adopting a child? Pursuing parenthood through artificial insemination or surrogacy? Interested in using a Jewish framework to think through the myriad ethical questions each path presents?

Then be sure to register for the upcoming online learning series, “Growing Today’s Jewish Families: New Spiritual and Ethical Perspectives.” The five live sessions, which will be shared on Zoom, begin on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 4:30 p.m. EST, concluding Sunday, March 10, at 4:30 p.m. EST. (See schedule and register here.) The series also includes an array of pre-recorded sessions.

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The front door of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill.

Talking About Israel During Wartime? Here’s One Reconstructionist Model

Members of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill. — one of the movement’s oldest congregations, and one where the conversation about Israel had long proved polarizing — have shown that such respectful engagement is possible, maybe even necessary.

Over the past two months, the congregation has leaned into Reconstructionist values by emphasizing the community’s voice over the rabbi’s and embracing complexity and nuance. Following a process that lasted for about three weeks, entailing thousands of emails, two board meetings and feedback from more than 200 members, the congregation adopted a statement steeped in Jewish values, that declared “All parties must stop the killing to create the conditions for lasting peace.”

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The Reconstructionist Network

Serving as central organization of the Reconstructionist movement

Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

Curating original, Jewish rituals, and convening Jewish creatives

The Reconstructionist Network