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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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Participants in a recent Reconstructionist pilgrimage for Jews of African descent visit the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Ala, which retells American history from chattel slavery to mass incarceration. The museum also honors those who have resisted systematic racism and white supremacy.

Jewish Exponent: Reconstructing Judaism Grows Opportunities for Black and Jewish Community-building

The pilgrimage is part of Reconstructing Judaism’s intention to build community for Black Jews both within the organization and in the greater Jewish community. On Feb. 9, the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History hosted “Deconstructing Racism to Reconstruct Judaism: The Story of a Pilgrimage Down South,” a panel outlining the event’s significance.

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Participants in a recent Reconstructionist pilgrimage for Jews of African descent visit the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Ala, which retells American history from chattel slavery to mass incarceration. The museum also honors those who have resisted systematic racism and white supremacy.

Reconstructionist Movement Calls for Reparations and Teshuvah

The Reconstructionist movement has adopted a Resolution on Reparations, making a commitment to “supporting and advocating for institutional, local and federal legislation and policies that specifically address the need for reparations.”

The resolution is a call for communal and national teshuvah, an opportunity for repentance, utilizing a Jewish framework to speak with moral authority on an issue of profound importance to American society and global efforts for justice.

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Artwork by Marjorie Attingol Salvodon

Artists in Pursuit of Repairing the World

Reconstructioning Judaism commissioned two Black Jewish artists affiliated with the movement — Ayeola Omolara Kaplan and Marjorie Attingol Salvodon — to respond to last year’s Movement Wide Day of Learning on Reparations.

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National Endowment for the Humanities Funds the Center for Jewish Ethics for Groundbreaking, Project on Race, Racism and American Judaism

The Center for Jewish Ethics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has received a transformative grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund cross-disciplinary research into race, racism and the American Jewish experience. The center’s aims have an impact far beyond the academy by developing educational materials and programs for youth, individual adult learners, and communities. 
The one-year, $199,850 grant will enable the Levin-Lieber Program in Jewish Ethics to establish and run a new initiative tentatively called “Race, Religion and American Judaism: Cross-Disciplinary Research, Public Scholarship and Curriculum Development.”

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Jewish Organizational Letter on U.S. Special Envoy

We, the undersigned 21 national Jewish organizations, including the four streams of American Judaism, write to urge you to swiftly fill the position of U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism by considering the current nominee. Filling this position is a high priority for our organizations and of utmost importance in fighting growing antisemitism and hate worldwide.

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Jewish Rohingya Justice Network Applauds Introduction of The Bipartisan, Bicameral Burma Act

The Jewish Rohingya Justice Network applauds House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs Asia-Pacific Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) for their leadership in introducing the Burma Unified through Rigorous Military Accountability Act of 2021 or the BURMA Act. This legislation comes at a critical moment for all of the people of Burma, including the Rohingya people, and we call on every member of Congress to support this bill’s passage without delay.

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The Reconstructionist Network