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Reconstructionist Set to Gather, In-person and Virtually to Highlight the Present and Imagine the Future


Since the first Reconstructionist congregation was founded a century ago, the Reconstructionist movement has served as a laboratory for innovation in Jewish life. B’Yachad: Reconstructing Judaism Together, the upcoming movement-wide convention, will likewise model creative Jewish expression for the present and future, Reconstructing what it means to gather safely, purposefully and joyfully. 

From March 23-27, more than 300 people are expected to congregate in suburban Washington, D.C., with more planning to participate online.  Participants will delve into the quintessential Reconstructionist questions: how do we Reconstruct Judaism for our time, and how do we build the world we want and need to inhabit. A March 24 series of advocacy programs will explore how progressive Jewish values can shape the public square.  

“This is our first ever multi-access convention, and it offers so many opportunities for Reconstructionists around the world, both in-person and virtually, to sing and dance and pray and celebrate together,” said Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., president and CEO of Reconstructing Judaism. “The Reconstructionist story is one of vitality and creativity. B’Yachad will offer compelling models of what Jewish community can look as we continue to build the kind of world we want to inhabit and pass on to future generations.” 

The sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including:  

  • Combating systemic racism  
  • making Jewish communities more welcoming spaces 
  • Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first bat mitzvah, held March 18, 1922 
  • Telling our own personal stories in service of social change 
  • Contemporary approaches to spirituality and theology 
  • Interfaith relations 
  • Climate justice 
  • Conversations about Israel-Palestine 

And so much more. To view the full schedule here:  

Several noted political and civic leaders will discuss how Jewish values have shaped their public service, including U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger and Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women. 

B’Yachad will include virtual appearances by actor Joshua Malina (West Wing, Scandal, Shameless), who, together, with Rabbi Shira Stutman, a Reconstructionist rabbi, hosts the podcast Chutzpod!  

The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association will hold its convention concurrently. Convention will also conclude the year-long, Adult B-/Re-Mitzvah program for adults studying for their adult b-mitzvah or recommitting to Judaism.  

Jewish, Just Green Recovery Letter



  • Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are proud to have joined with other Jewish organizations from around the country to call on Congress to pass a just, green COVID stimulus. Our community is still hurting from the economic effects of COVID, and it is important that we take this opportunity to rebuild in a way that make society sustainable and work for everyone. 

Request To The United Nations To Call For A Global Ban On Fracking



Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association joined over 400 signatories to a letter to the UN Secretary General calling for a ban on fracking.

Letter in Support of OFF (Off Fossil Fuels) Act



RRC/JRC signed onto a letter urging members of Congress to support HR-3671, “Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act.”

Public Letter on Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord


To leaders within the American Jewish Community:

Dear Friends,

We are Jews, organizational leaders and rabbis, teachers and students who work passionately towards a bright American Jewish future. 

We are also human beings who care deeply about all life. 

And from this integrated Jewish and universal perspective, we are shocked by our President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. 

This decision stands against common sense. Across the whole world, governments, corporations, non-profits, religious communities, and families and individuals are doing the hard work of slowly, slowly trying to wean ourselves away our own unhelpful behaviors and our fossil-fuel based economy, toward a brighter future that better protects our planet and all its inhabitants.

The Climate Accord is a voluntary framework, signed by every country in the world except for Syria and Nicaragua. The signing was one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in human history. The withdrawal of the United States is tragic, and deeply problematic.  As Jews living in a free society, we know the power of a shared framework which, even without legislative sanction, has a huge influence on the world. That’s what the Torah is; that’s why the Jewish people for twenty centuries have been on the right side of critical issues; and that’s why it is so critical that the Jewish community now stand up not merely to advocate for the Paris Climate Accord, but also to help implement it.

As Jews, we are also proud of our long history of economic innovation and entrepreneurship, so we are baffled by the false premise that withdrawing from the Paris Accords somehow prioritizes American jobs; on the contrary, our 21st century economy is driven by new energy technologies, our solar sector already far surpasses coal, and our nation’s economic interests are far better served by investments in this new energy economy than by the denial of climate science. Withdrawing from the Accord will weaken our economy – and threaten vulnerable populations both here at home and across the world.

In the face of this destructive decision, we applaud the leadership of mayors, governors, and businesses across the country who are taking responsibility for working towards the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.  The US federal government is a vital actor when it comes to fighting climate change, but there is much that we can do ourselves, as institutions and individuals. Our children’s future demands that we do all we can. 

Today, therefore, we call upon all Jewish federations, JCCs, synagogues, camps, day-schools, Jewish organizations, leaders, businesses, and community members to identify ways in which we, the organized and powerful American Jewish community, can and must respond to this climate crisis.  There could not be more urgency at this moment, and our moral courage and bold leadership is needed on a national and global scale.  

Here are some of the things that you can do:

  • Commit yourself and your organization to the Paris goals, as Hazon, Pearlstone and a growing number of Jewish organizations have done. Amongst other things, that means reducing your carbon emissions by about a quarter (26 to 28%) over the next seven years. 
  • Make sure your institution has a Green Team, to develop a multi-year process to work on sustainability. More than three dozen organizations have so far joined the Hazon Seal of Sustainability, and we invite you and your institution to join the Seal.
  • Encourage your people – members, participants, staff, kids – to take some steps to live more lightly – ride your bike, or eat less meat, or eat more local produce. And if you can switch to solar or wind power, do so.

We are committed to working with interested parties within and beyond the Jewish community on this critical issue that will define our generation’s legacy. 

In the Mishna, Hillel teaches us, In a place where there are no people, stand up as a human being.” In the face of Presidential indifference, we stand together, united in our commitment to a sustainable future.

Signed (note: this list of signatories is incomplete)

  • Judith Belasco, Hody Nemes, Nigel Savage (Hazon)
  • Jakir Manela, Joan Plisko, Sara Shalva (Pearlstone)
  • Adam Berman (Urban Adamah)
  • Ruth Messinger (AJWS Global Ambassador)
  • Rabbi Deborah Waxman (Reconstructionist Rabbinic College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities)
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