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In an essay that appeared in Philadelphia's Jewish Exponent, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., makes the case that Reconstructionist Judaism matters now more than ever.

Rabbi Toba Spitzer explores the obstacles to prayer posed by stale language about God, and suggests new language that may ease our way in finding connection.

In a brief video, Seth Rosen talks about the role Reconstructing Judaism plays in supporting and connecting Reconstructionist communities, and amplifying our collective Reconstructionist voice. Seth Rosen is chair of the board of governors of Reconstructing Judaism.

On the opening night of the Reconstructing Judaism conference in November of 2018, an extraordinary panel of rabbis reflected on a crucial question: how do we reconstruct Jewish communities in this time and place, to meet tomorrow's challenges? We've divided up the conversation into five sessions, and supplied material for reflection and discussion. We hope you'll find this conversation as thought-provoking as we did. 

Audience questions and answers at Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

Rabbi Shira Stutman on Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

Rabbi Michael Strassfeld on Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann on Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

Rabbi Sid Schwarz introducing Reconstructing Jewish Communities panel

Synagogues are a means, not an end in themselves. But thriving synagogues contribute to Judaism's goal: to create healthy individuals, thriving communities, flourishing Jewish life, interconnected human life and a sustainable planet.

Pluralism is dead. Long live pluralism.

Two November events loom as I write this column: the mid-term elections on November 6, and the first Reconstructionist movement-wide convention in a decade, a week later.  The first admittedly will have far more impact on the world than the latter, but they are linked in my mind for one important reason: movements matter.

Reconstructionism

Reconstructing Judaism has just rolled out Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations with the intention of hosting difficult, groundbreaking conversations that are nevertheless mutually respectful and supportive. We invite you to visit Evolve and to join the conversations!

A history of the beginnings of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

As we continue to develop new ways to build community across time and distance, we must also continue to find ways to “be there” for one another.

Belonging connects us to something larger than our own individual experience. I belong to the Jewish people because claiming this connection enters me into a millennia-old conversation and joins me into community both vertical—all those who came before me and all those who follow—and horizontal—the Jews of today, in all our diversity.

With a welcoming ethos and a drive to break down barriers, Reconstructionist congregations and havurot have been part of a revolution that’s taken place in the public awareness of the importance of disability inclusion and related services.

The small Italian village of Serrastretta has a hidden past: among its population are many families of anusim, hidden Jews whose ancestors were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Inquisition. Now, many locals are exploring their roots, thanks to new Reconstructionist affiliate Sinagoga Ner Tamid del Sud. 

Judaism as an "evolving civilization" has been a Reconstructionist catchphrase for decades. But as board chair Seth Rosen writes, a deeper understanding of evolutionary biology gives fresh insight on the path ahead.

Why belong to the Jewish people? Why belong to a synagogue? Why belong to the Reconstructionist movement? These are some of the most important questions that I am asked and that I, along with all of us at Reconstructing Judaism, strive to answer powerfully and convincingly.

Though we count time Jewishly, by any consideration the secular year 2018 is an exciting year for the Reconstructionist movement.

The story of Temple Emmanuel's ongoing exploration of Reconstructionist liturgy, and the rich conversations the process has opened up.

Serving Jewish prisoners in state prison, rabbinic students find new perspectives on freedom and responsibility.

 In our final conversation with Rabbi Deborah Waxman, we looked at new Reconstructionist approaches to God and the language of the divine.

Our third Reconstructing for Tomorrow conversation with Rabbi Deborah Waxman focused on unpacking the ideological and practical differences between the Reconstructionist and Reform movements.

In our second session of Reconstructing for Tomorrow, we were led in a discussion about the spiritual and tangible ways we can integrate ecological values into our Jewish lives.

In our third session with author Abigail Pogrebin, we talked about taking an "Elijah moment" at our Passover celebrations: enacting change in the world in an effective and fulfilling way.

Our first session of Reconstructing for Tomorrow, led by Rabbi Deborah Waxman, began the difficult and exciting task of grappling with the history of the Reconstructionist movement and the questions of Jewish peoplehood in the future.

In an insightful interview, Rabbi Toba Spitzer (RRC '97) reflects on what motivated her to attend RRC, what it was like to enter the rabbinate as a lesbian, and how much has changed in two decades. She also reflects on what individuals and communities can do to combat social inequality.

This audio program, recorded in 1998, offers an overview of the structure, development and religious meanings of the haggadah and the Passover seder.

Who belongs in a Reconstructionist community? Maybe you.

Reconstructionism, Membership
D'VAR TORAH
Genesis 6:9-11:32

During disasters and their aftermaths, many people wonder about God’s role in their suffering. This lesson seeks to explore God’s role in tragedy from a Jewish Reconstructionist perspective. This lesson is intended for children ages 8-12.

How does a non-supernatural notion of God fit together with the practice of prayer? Rabbi Jacob Staub explores their intersection. 

Paul Piwnicki, a Polish-born, German-raised scientist and Jew-by-choice, credits Reconstructionist thought with helping him develop a personal theology and practice. Piwnicki’s story highlights the influence of Reconstructionist ideas and thinkers, even in countries lacking Reconstructionist congregations.

Reconstructionism

The question is an old and venerable one: If God is good, and God is all-knowing, and God is all-powerful, then why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? Rabbi Jacob Staub explores this longstanding question. 

Theology, Reconstructionism

Rabbi Deborah Waxman reflects on finding spiritual equilibrium in a time of shifting sands.

This distance learning conference call explores the dynamics of worship and the human impulse to pray, some of the deep structures of Jewish prayer services, and specifically Reconstructionist liturgy.

The author reflects on the way Mordecai Kaplan's philosophy  helped him see Jewish ritual as spiritually meaningful and, at the same time, intellectually honest.

Reconstructionism, Holidays

Interview with Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., about the issues addressed in the new Guide to Jewish Practice

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