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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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Counting Every Vote
November 9, 2020

Many American Jews considering voting to be a mitzvah, a commandment. It is essential that every vote is counted so that every voice is heard and so that our full-throated democracy can flourish.

In 2020, Reconstructionist Communities Prove More Vital (and Adaptive) Than Ever
October 29, 2020

2020 has been a year defined by pandemic, economic collapse, protests for racial justice, political disarray and, in the case of much of the West Coast, catastrophic fires. Yet Jewish life went on, proving to be both adaptable and vital. Reconstructionist congregations have adapted, based on millennia of precedents and an unceasing commitment to community.

Reconstructing Judaism's President Recognized as LGBT Icon
October 12, 2020

Reconstructing Judaism’s president, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., has been hailed as an LGBT Icon as part of LGBT History Month. Waxman is the first woman and first lesbian to lead a major Jewish denomination and rabbinical seminary.

Lost and Found: Personal Reflections at the High Holidays
October 1, 2020

Yom Kippur is our people’s day for a grand pause to look back and to look ahead.

As we look back, I am honestly saying, and if you would like, join me in saying:

“Let me be a little sad,” or, if needed, “deeply sad,” for the things we’ve lost during this most unimaginable year.

Reconstructing Judaism Funds Innovative Approach to Serving Unaffiliated in Atlanta
September 25, 2020

Reconstructing Judaism explores and funds innovative ideas for connecting with and serving unengaged and under-engaged populations — in new ways and spaces. Congregation Bet Haverim created “Your Jewish Bridge” in Atlanta, and its founder shares lessons learned after the first year and a half of the project. 

Dreaming Up High Holy Days
September 8, 2020

Rabbi Joshua Lesser (RRC ‘99) has had a front seat to one of the most joyful spots of our tragic time. With a group of Jewish leaders from different movements and perspectives, he helped create a Facebook group called Dreaming Up High Holy Days 2020.

Synagogues and Congregants: A COVID Covenant
September 8, 2020

When COVID-19 hit, synagogues closed their physical doors, pivoting their presence online.  Responding to the tensions and conflicts arising from this challenge, Rabbi Nathan Weiner (RRC ‘16) offers a covenental approach guiding synagogue leaders and congregants to navigate these difficult times with integrity, understanding, and generosity of spirit. 

The Summer We Didn’t Get to Look Away … and Beyond
September 3, 2020

This summer we encountered a growing movement that forces us to stare into the face of racial injustice. For those of us who are accepted as white, it demands that we stop looking away. It requires us to try to imagine what it means to raise a child of color in America and examine how we, despite all of our best intentions, fail in our efforts to include and empower people of color in our civil and religious communities.

Data Breach Notification
August 13, 2020

Dear Reconstructing Judaism Family,

Recently, we were notified by one of our software vendors, Blackbaud, that they experienced a ransomware attack from February 2020 to May 2020.

When Women Have a Seat and a Voice at the Table
August 11, 2020

Now that Joe Biden has telegraphed his pick for vice president, Kamala Harris, let’s give credit to the woman who stepped out first: Victoria Claflin Woodhull. In 1872, before women had the right to vote, Woodhull ran for president against Ulysses S. Grant. Since then, according to Rutgers University, at least 31 women have made serious bids to be president or vice president of the United States. Six of those women ran twice. You know how many have won. Now, at this historic moment, I’m thinking a lot about women and power.

Re-imagining Shabbat
July 31, 2020

Zoom Shabbat minyan has done little for me. I’ve tried it repeatedly. But I find praying or learning via Zoom more work-like than spirit-filled. So for pandemic Shabbat enrichment, I regularly access Reconstructing Judaism’s Virtual Shabbat Box (VSB). Every Thursday, with contactless delivery, the VSB arrives in my inbox. I click to find a variety of ways to engage while sitting on my sofa. Essays, videos, poetry, podcasts are weekly offered in the VSB and a welcomed part of my re-imagined Shabbat experience.

Against Annexation
July 10, 2020

We strongly support Senator Chris Van Hollen’s proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which stipulates that US security assistance to Israel cannot be used to implement unilateral annexation in the West Bank.

Support Project Rozana
July 6, 2020

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are encouraging congregations and individuals to support this life-saving fund-raising effort organized by Project Rozana, a well-respected international non-profit organization that is leading a project supported by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to purchase badly needed ventilators for West Bank and Gaza hospitals in light of the current COVID-19 spike in the region, which threatens to overwhelm Palestinian hospital ICUs.

Principles for a Full Year of Love and Caring
July 1, 2020

The calendar says the school year should end. However, many Jewish educators, witnessing the effects of the pandemic on their students, and now civic unrest, are challenging the calendar’s norms. Instead of closing down the year, they are asking, “How might we continue to engage our students through the summer?”

Cross-Movement Resource Guide Published on Re-Opening Synagogue Buildings
June 30, 2020

This past month, a working group made up of staff at the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements collaborated, with major support from the Secure Community Network, on putting together a “Guide to the Considerations about Re-Opening Synagogue Buildings.” The document offers synagogues some guidance and suggested methodical steps for decision-making and implementation of re-opening plans.

Reconstructing Judaism is Not Free to Desist
June 19, 2020

Reconstructing Judaism is fully committed to building an anti-racist Jewish community. We state firmly and unequivocally that Black Lives Matter, and that working tirelessly to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter is a Jewish value. As leaders of Reconstructing Judaism, the central organization of the Reconstructionist movement, we commit ourselves to the Community Obligations articulated by Not Free to Desist.

Over 600 Jewish Clergy Call on the Israeli Government to Abandon Plans for Annexing the West Bank
June 18, 2020

More than 600 rabbis, cantors and seminary students from across the country — including many Reconstructionist rabbis and rabbinic students — have signed on to a public letter warning that the Israeli government’s threatened unilateral annexation in the West Bank “would be a catastrophic mistake…violate human rights, weaken democracy, and make Israelis and Palestinians less secure.”

Ten American Jewish Organizations Send Letter to Gantz, Ashkenazi Opposing Annexation
June 17, 2020

Members of the Progressive Israel Network penned the following letter to Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi opposing annexation.

Jewish Clergy Letter in Support of Right to Protest
June 12, 2020

Reconstructionist leaders were among 800 Jewish clergy from across the Jewish spectrum signing a letter in support of the fundamental right to peaceful protest.