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News and Blogs

Below, you’ll find a list of all news and blog posts on the site in reverse chronological order.

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Response to Buffalo Shooting
May 16, 2022

As leaders of Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, we cry out in grief and pain at the senseless deaths of 11 people in Buffalo and Laguna Woods this past weekend. After we express our sorrow and our solidarity, we recommit to bringing to life a reality that counters the hatred and violence espoused by the shooter in Buffalo. We understand that the twisted rationale for this and other terroristic attacks on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), Jews, Muslims and Asians—attacks on our very existence and the existence of people we hold dear—is born out of fear. We will not succumb to violence inspired by those fears by shrinking away. The most powerful response we can offer is to continue working to create a society that maximizes the humanity and interdependence of all people, and teaching and modeling these precepts and practices in compelling ways. We do this by fighting to dismantle systemic racism. We do this by showing up as powerful coalition partners. And more than anything, we do this by deeply embracing Jewish wisdom and practice and demonstrating, in our words and our actions, the core Jewish teaching that all humans are created betzelem Elohim, in the image of the Divine. We remember that we are commanded  to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and we act on the recognition that each person is filled with a holy spark and inextricably interconnected with the whole of creation.

The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and Reconstructing Judaism affirm their strong commitment to reproductive justice and abortion rights in light of leaked SCOTUS draft.
May 3, 2022

The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and Reconstructing Judaism are deeply dismayed to learn of the leaked draft opinion of the Supreme Court indicating that Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision guaranteeing the right to an abortion, will be overturned imminently.

A mid-Passover message during a time of pain in Israel and Palestine
April 20, 2022

Three sacred seasons are overlapping - Passover, Ramadan, and Easter - days of holiness that celebrate liberation, humility, compassion, and rebirth. We dearly wish that we could be marking this confluence of holy days with celebrations of steady and courageous steps forward towards peace, justice, and co-existence in Israel and Palestine.

Or Zarua a Spiritual Home for Boomers
April 20, 2022

Or Zarua, a suburban-Philadelphia community serving baby boomers, was started with funding from Reconstructing Judaism’s Auerbach Entrepreneurial Grant Program.

Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Israel
April 8, 2022

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are horrified and saddened by yesterday’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, and by the recent attacks against Israelis in Beersheva, B’nei Brak, and Hadera.

How one trailblazing rabbi is fighting racism in the Reconstructionist movement
April 7, 2022

This article originally appeared in the Forward. Sign up here to get the Forward's free email newsletters delivered to your inbox.

The Reconstructionist Movement Comes Together in New Hinei Mah Tov Video
April 7, 2022

As part of our recent convention, B’yachad: Reconstructing Judaism Together, we shared this video of a new setting for Hinei Mah Tov by RRC student Solomon Hoffman. It features over 150 Reconstructionists representing 40 of our communities from across North America and beyond. The participants reflect the spectrum of our movement—lay leaders, Rabbis, Cantors, students, teachers, children, elders, musicians, singers, dancers, artists—all sharing in this collective project.

B’Yachad: Reconstructing Judaism Together: ‘A Taste of the World We Hope to Build’
April 6, 2022

Koach Baruch Frazier began with a blessing. 

"Elohai neshamah shenatata bi tehorah hi", chanted Frazier: “My God, the soul that you have placed within me is pure.”

Reconstructing Judaism Joins More than 375 Interfaith Groups Urging Biden to Expedite Refugee Efforts
March 22, 2022

Following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s March 16 speech to Congress, more than 375 Jewish and other faith-based groups and organizations urged President Joe Biden to take immediate steps to welcome refugees from Ukraine. Jewish Federations of North America spearheaded the letter, sent March 18.

Reconstructing Gatherings for a Hybrid World
March 17, 2022

In this piece, which originally appeared in The Times of Israel, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., outlines the goals and hopes of B'Yachad: Reconstructing Judaism Together, the movement convention. 

Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA)
March 8, 2022

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association joined more than 130 other faith and civil rights organizations on a letter urging the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA),  which would create a new tool for safeguarding access to high-quality abortion care and securing constitutional rights by protecting patients and providers from dangerous political interference. While the bill did not garner enough votes needed to pass this time around, we are proud to have stood with this coalition for reproductive justice and will continue to do so in the weeks, months, and years ahead. 

Reconstructionist Set to Gather, In-person and Virtually to Highlight the Present and Imagine the Future
March 4, 2022

Reconstructionists gather for a movement convention, B’Yachad: Reconstructing Judaism Together.

Twin Milestones Mark a Century of Reconstructionist Innovation
March 3, 2022

By the standards of geology, 100 years is a nanosecond. Yet stretching farther than most human lives, a century tests the limits of human perspective. In 1922, thanks to the ratification of the 19th amendment, American women had just gained universal suffrage (though it would be decades before many women of color could exercise that right in practice). Also that year, the first radio was installed in the Harding White House, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated, and construction began on New York’s Yankee Stadium.

In solidarity with Ukraine
February 25, 2022

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association join countless nations and faith communities around the world in condemning the unprovoked and brutal Russian military invasion of Ukraine. 

Reconstructionist congregations are part of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), which is also home to ten Ukrainian synagogues. We hold them, the entire Ukrainian Jewish community, and all the people of Ukraine in our hearts. 

Six Years Removed from Policy Shift, Rabbis with Non-Jewish Partners Continue to Embody Reconstructionist Values, Even as Challenges Persist
February 9, 2022

Rabbis Donna Cephas, Sandra Lawson and Michael Hess Webber each took very different paths to becoming Reconstructionist rabbis. Despite disparate journeys, the three religious leaders have continuously demonstrated dedication, creativity and an ability to inspire others. Their stories share an additional element: their paths to the rabbinate were once blocked because their partners are not Jewish.

Responding to Amnesty International’s report on Israel and the charge of apartheid
February 7, 2022

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association have issued the following statement in response to the recent Amnesty International report:

Apartheid is one of the most shocking words in the English language, conjuring images of the brutal and racist South African regime that decades of struggle brought to an end in 1994. Last week, Amnesty International became the latest human rights organization to accuse Israel of the crime of apartheid. Amnesty’s report follows reports by Human Rights Watch and by the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, both of which level the same charge. Over the past several days, we have taken the time needed to study Amnesty’s 280-page report and develop our response.

Choosing Life: A Reconstructionist Response to Events in Colleyville, Texas.
January 16, 2022

Reconstructing Judaism offers prayers, and positive action steps, following an 11-hour hostage standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. 

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association join letter urging US Senate to fund Iron Dome replenishment
January 13, 2022

Today, Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association along with 10 other national Jewish organizations urged the Senate to quickly approve funding for the replenishment of Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system. While the House overwhelmingly voted, on a bipartisan basis, to fund its replenishment last year, the legislation has stalled in the Senate.

Reconstructing Judaism joins Progressive Israel Network to welcome indefinite postponement of settlement construction in E-1 Area
January 11, 2022

The Progressive Israel Network (PIN) welcomes the news that the Israeli government will not be building Jewish settlements in the E-1 for the near future. We applaud the Biden Administration’s efforts to prevent such construction, and urge them to continue to push back against settlement expansion more broadly.

Reconstructionists Featured at Society for Jewish Ethics Conference
January 4, 2022

The Reconstructionist movement is being well represented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society of Jewish Ethics, taking place Jan. 6-9 over Zoom. In fact, in terms of the number of presenters —at least three — the movement will have a greater presence at this year’s virtual gathering than at any time since the first conference was held in 2003.