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  1. Judaism as a Generation

    Readers of Mordecai Kaplan, and those familiar with Reconstructionist thinking, will recognize the playfulness of this essay’s title. Kaplan’s pioneering work, Judaism as a Civilization, challenged American Jews to think creatively and courageously about Jewish life; he wrote about a people bound together not just by shared ritual observance, but by music, art, intellectual engagement, and a joyful sense of purpose. Kaplan’s central argument was that Jewish civilization has never been static, but has always been dynamic.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/judaism-generation-kaplan-levi-strauss-and-why-i-believe-jewish-future

    Posted on: 2016/05/13 - 12:26pm

  2. Rejecting Chosenness in Favor of Distinctiveness

    In what sense and to what extent do Jews still believe ourselves to be “chosen”?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/rejecting-chosenness-favor-distinctiveness

    Posted on: 2016/05/13 - 11:48am

  3. Peoplehood Reconsidered

    “PeoplehoodReconsidered 

    [Originally delivered at the 41st JRF Convention, Plenary Session, November 9, 2006]

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/peoplehood-reconsidered

    Posted on: 2016/11/22 - 9:06am

  4. Peoplehood Study Texts

    What is Jewish peoplehood, and how is it relevant today? Rabbi James Greene assembled this collection of texts to explore these questions.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/jewish-peoplehood-philosophies-jewish-engagement-21st-century

    Posted on: 2016/11/16 - 3:12pm

  5. For the Sake of the World: Toba Spitzer on peoplehood and mission

    Originally delivered at Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, Rosh Hashanah 5764

    Where do we first hear about Rosh Hashanah? In the Torah, in the book of Leviticus, we read:

    Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Israelites, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be for you a day a rest, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of the shofar, a holy assembly. (23:23).

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/sermon/sake-world

    Posted on: 2016/11/29 - 1:38pm

  6. Next Year in Jerusalem?

    Different Meanings

    Each year, around seder tables throughout the world, Jews and our guests end the haggadah with the phrase, “L'shanah haba'ah biyerushalayim — Next Year in Jerusalem.” Like the four children who appear earlier in the haggadah text as paradigms for the ways Jews approach the historical narrative, those who say or hear “Next Year in Jerusalem” do so with many different degrees of self-knowledge or awareness in relationship to the phrase.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/next-year-jerusalem

    Posted on: 2016/04/25 - 2:47pm

  7. Zionism and Communal Covenant

    In 2004, the JRF Israel Policies Task Force issued a report calling for a recommitment to Zionism. This excerpt from that report explores Kaplan's definition of “New Zionism.” It also discusses how a communal covenant could strengthen the relationships among the Reconstructionist community, Israel and the broader Jewish community.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/document/zionism-and-communal-covenant-reconstructionist-approach

    Posted on: 2016/05/05 - 2:47pm

  8. Educating Future Jews: Jewish-Americans or American Jews?

    Should children receiving conflicting, non-Jewish, religious education be allowed to enroll in a synagogue school?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/educating-future-jews-jewish-americans-or-american-jews

    Posted on: 2017/03/29 - 10:34am

  9. Ruth, the First Convert (DT Shavuot)

    We soon celebrate Shavuot, called in our tradition “zman matan Torataynu,” the season of the giving of our Torah. It is a pleasant coincidence that the Torah reading for the Shabbat immediately preceding Shavuot is usually ”BaMidbar” (“In the wilderness”). Rabbinic tradition asserts that the Torah was given in the wilderness to demonstrate that it was not the property of a landed tribe but rather was available to anyone who chose to claim it as theirs.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/ruth-first-convert-model-welcome

    Posted on: 2017/01/31 - 2:42pm

  10. Reconstructing Yiddishkeit

    Among recent attempts to define “Jewish authenticity,” I find one characterization of its absence most intriguing. In an essay titled “The Imaginary Jew” that appeared in The Nation three years ago, literary critic William Deresiewicz analyzed the failure of contemporary Jewish fiction to produce hard-nosed explorations of the present, and noted its tendency to rely instead on whimsical exoticism. This, he claimed, could be contextualized as part of a larger social trend.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/reconstructing-yiddishkeit

    Posted on: 2016/05/13 - 1:05pm

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