Reconstructing Judaism: Strategic Plan 2021-2026
Full Strategic Plan
The complete version of the strategic plan is available in PDF format here:
A printable PDF version of the Executive Summary is available at this link:
On March 14, 2021, the board of governors of Reconstructing Judaism unanimously adopted a new five-year strategic plan. The plan was created by a 14-member steering committee, including members of the board, senior staff, rabbis, members of affiliated communities and a representative from Havaya Summer Programs, with the help of Third Plateau, a social impact strategic firm. The plan incorporates insights from short-term scenario planning, shaped by an additional, overlapping committee that also included board members, staff, rabbis and community members. The planning process included surveys, focus groups, interviews and secondary research. The final plan draws on core Reconstructionist commitments and helps to articulate new expressions of them.
This plan recognizes that while yearning for connection and meaning is perpetual, the ways in which individuals and communities are seeking to fulfill those needs are changing rapidly and so we must continue to evolve. The pandemic may have accelerated these changes, but they are not a product of the pandemic. We believe that because Reconstructionism embraces change and recognizes the continuing imperative of evolution as an animating force in Jewish life, the Reconstructionist movement is uniquely suited to lead in this moment. The plan embraces Reconstructionism as an approach that invites individuals to bring their full selves into community and that pushes Jewish communities to evolve. It advances Reconstructionism as an approach that promotes healing, both individual and collective, and lays a path for Reconstructing Judaism as an organization to put forward tested strategies and new innovations to strengthen communities, foster new platforms for engagement, and promote justice and renewal.
The plan begins with a new articulation of Reconstructing Judaism’s mission:
Reconstructing Judaism cultivates, provokes, and inspires a deeply rooted, boldly relevant and co-created Judaism that provides individuals and communities with tools to lead lives of meaning and joy.
We enact this mission in the service of a newly articulated vision:
Diverse, connected and engaged Judaism that meaningfully contributes to a just and compassionate world.
We pursue this work while seeking to reach and influence the interconnected sectors of individuals, communities and the world, and know that we are succeeding when we—rabbis and lay people, humans and the divine—co-create an evolving Judaism that “works” for many more Jews and the people who love us. The graphic below articulates our “theory of change,” or how we think we are achieving our mission and bringing our vision to life.
The plan focuses on five key goals, equal in importance, which will be implemented over the next five years. Three goals focus on key components of our programmatic work. They reaffirm abiding strategies and also introduce new areas of focus and attention, especially around engaging individuals and helping them find spiritual community. Two are more centralized and will pervade the work of the other three goals and the entire organization. The work and ethos of Camp Havaya are infused throughout the plan.
These goals are:
- Engage, cultivate and strengthen diverse communities that align with Reconstructionist values. We create and nurture congregations and communities that strive to be intentional, inclusive and justice-seeking and that serve Reconstructionists along with other Jews and seekers who are drawn to our vision and ideas.
- Develop, support and market platforms for individuals to connect with one another, find community and co-create their Jewish lives. We are committed to building and sustaining platforms, both online and in-person, that provide meaningful content and resources and also foster interconnection, mutual obligation and interaction in service of deepening Jewish identity and practice.
- Invest in the future of Reconstructionist rabbinical education. We believe that Reconstructionist rabbis are powerful forces for change in the world. By continuing to invest in the distinctiveness of Reconstructionist rabbinical training, we are educating future rabbis to meet the needs of diverse communities and constituents and to offer Jewish wisdom to the world.
- Join and lead Jewish efforts to dismantle systemic racism, and to advance racial diversity, equity and inclusion within the Reconstructionist movement. We commit to diversifying our movement at all levels, to enacting powerful and transformative allyship, and to leveraging our power and the richness of our traditions to lead the fight for racial justice in partnership with other values-aligned organizations. While acknowledging the intersectionality of different axes of exclusion and recognizing the continued need to sustain our historic commitments and to seize opportunities to support and institutionalize a culture of inclusion across our movement, particularly with regard to disability inclusion, this plan focuses significantly on race in response to the urgency of this time.
- Build a sustainable organization. Reconstructing Judaism faces serious challenges in our funding model. In order to position ourselves for success and vitality in the long-term, we must strengthen our finances by expanding our base of support and improving our fundraising, bolster our branding and external communications, and streamline and redesign our internal operations. These changes will enable us to deliver on our mission and goals at the highest levels.
In addition to these goals, the plan outlines strategies and tactics to achieve our goals, including significant attention to our major web properties, Ritualwell and Evolve, and to promoting respectful and constructive engagement around challenging issues, including our abiding commitment to Israel. Over the next several weeks and months, Reconstructing Judaism will be working on setting priorities and developing a work plan for implementation over the next several years. We look forward to partnering with the broader Reconstructionist community in the work ahead.