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In this text study, Rabbi James Greene examines the evolution of Jewish ideas of fatherhood over time, with an eye toward contemporary responsibilities of Jewish fathering.

D'VAR TORAH
Numbers 7:1-8:4

A text study on the evolution of Hanukkah. What is the miracle, and what is the light?

Hanukkah, Textual Sources
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Numbers 7:1-8:4

Sources, ancient and modern, on the nature of the light of Hanukkah

Hanukkah, Textual Sources

Monthly, single-page Jewish text handouts intended for short, 10-minute Reconstructionist Torah study at the beginning of board meetings.

A Year With Mordecai Kaplan: Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D. is a deeply rooted and boldly relevant Torah commentary. For each week's reading, Rabbi Reuben weaves together traditional commentary, a nugget of Mordecai Kaplan's thought, and a vivid personal insight that illuminates the connection between the two. This powerful and accessible work invites us to engage with Torah, Kaplan and contemporary human experience in ways that are nourishing, optimistic and inspiring.

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.

 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.

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Genesis 18:1-22:24

In this Community Teaching call from January 2017, Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso teaches on artists and biblical text as seen through literature, visual art and music.

Rabbi Maurice Harris examines the Torah's treatment of Moses’ up-close encounters with God.

Theology, Textual Sources

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.

In our second session with author Abigail Pogrebin, we talked about "embracing the other" in our holiday celebrations and reinterpreting the Hannukah story to embrace this idea.

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 our first session with author Abigail Pogrebin, we began with a question: How can we make the holidays 'urgent' in today's busy world. We shared observations about the Judaism practiced by our Hebrew schools, families, and synagogue communities.

Monthly, single-page Jewish text handouts intended for short, 10-minute Reconstructionist Torah study at the beginning of board meetings.

D'VAR TORAH
Exodus 19:1-20:23

Rabbi David Gedzelman explores the Book of Ruth with an eye toward structures of covenantal openness, societal protection and compassion towards the other.

Hebrew text of the services found in the Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Veḥagim prayer book.
This compilation of quotes from various text sources conveys Jewish values regarding people with special needs.
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Exodus 13:17-17:16
  In this text study for Parashat Beshalakh, Rabbi Toba Spitzer examines the fate of the Egyptians at the Red Sea and our tradition's ethical sensitivity to their plight.

These materials explore Jewish models of resistance to oppression. 

This Reconstructionist curriculum on wealth inequality was written for the movement's Tikkun Olam commission in the winter of 5777 (2016-2017).
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Genesis 41:1-44:17

Rabbi Jacob Staub discusses Parashat Miketz with Shmuel Rosner of the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.

Textual Sources, Videos
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Exodus 10:1-13:16

In this short talk, Rabbi Lester Bronstein brings 18th and 19th-century Hasidic thought into dialogue with contemporary Reconstructionist theology.

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Exodus 13:17-17:16

This selection of midrashim on the crossing of the Red Sea provides a window into the tradition's ethical concerns surrounding this well-known story.

Textual Sources, Pesakh
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Genesis 12:1-17:27
This text study, prepared by Rabbi Nina Mandel, contains pairs of passages examining biblical and contemporary notions of what “Promised Land” means, and how it has been interpreted by Jewish thinkers over the millennia.
Textual Sources, Israel

Yigdal, one of the most beloved of the medieval piyyutim (liturgical poems) summarizes the thirteen principles of the Jewish faith as formulated by Moses Maimonides (RaMBaM; late 12th century C.E.). Reconstructionists often proudly assert that when we pray with a Reconstructionist siddur, we feel that we can 'say what we mean and mean what we say,' because our liturgical language reflects Reconstructionist theology. How might a Reconstructionist interpret the words of Yigdal in this way?

This printable resource pairs selected quotes from Solomon Northup's autobiographical memoir, "12 Years a Slave," with quotes from the Exodus and other Jewish texts.
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Exodus 1:1-6:1

An easily-accessible text study about the ethnic ambiguity that the Torah presents us with regarding the midwives who refused to obey Pharaoh's orders. 

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Genesis 1:1-6:8
In the first two chapters of the Torah, we find two different accounts of the creation of humanity. In this text study, Rabbi Maurice Harris explores the tension between these two stories, and presents a teaching from Midrash Bereishit Rabbah that presents food for thought about gender, essentialism, and the nature of humanity. 
D'VAR TORAH
Exodus 30:11-34:35

A study sheet on the two sets of tablets in the Sinai/Golden Calf story.

Shavuot, Shavuot, Textual Sources
Study sheet and leader's notes on the Jewish sources, ethics and interpersonal consequences of lying and truth-telling.
D'VAR TORAH
Exodus 27:20-30:10
Rabbi Toba Spitzer explores texts related to the Eternal Light and its symbolism.
Textual Sources
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Exodus 27:20-30:10

The Torah commands us to "wipe out the memory of Amalek...do not forget!" (Deut. 25) But is Amalek an external enemy—or something inside us?

Textual Sources, Purim
D'VAR TORAH
Exodus 27:20-30:10

The Torah commands us to "wipe out the memory of Amalek...do not forget!" (Deut. 25) What exactly does "Amalek" represent, and what might it mean to remember (or blot out) that memory? 

Textual Sources, Purim
D'VAR TORAH
Leviticus 25:1-26:2

A civil-rights era song proclaimed, "No easy walk to freedom." In this text study based on Parashat Behukotay, we examine what it means to "walk upright."

Textual Sources
Study sheet on the different interpretations of "sin" throughout Jewish history.
Textual Sources, High Holidays
D'VAR TORAH
Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20
Study sheet on the relationship between Parashat Nitzavim and themes of teshuvah.
D'VAR TORAH
Genesis 1:1-6:8
A text study from the midrashic literature on the creation of humanity
Textual Sources
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