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Leadership Message

Curious about what's going on at Reconstructing Judaism? Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of Reconstructing Judaism, reflects on our organizational values and upcoming Reconstructionist movement activities. 

Read her message here.

Reconstructionist Voices

Keeping Judaism Alive In Prison

“We say that God is the one who frees. But what does it mean for guys with life sentences?” asks RRC student Jessica Rosenberg, who leads monthly Shabbat services for a Jewish congregation inside the largest maximum-security prison in Pennsylvania. 

Read the article here.

Welcome, Emek Shalom!

We’re thrilled to welcome Emek Shalom, the newest congregation to affiliate with Reconstructing Judaism. Served by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, RRC ’06, and Rabbi Julie Benioff, RRC ’17, Emek Shalom is a strong, independent and warm community in Ashland, Ore. with almost 200 households.

Read the article here.

Archiving #MeToo

Reconstructing Judaism is partnering with the Jewish Women’s Archive to capture and preserve the #MeToo stories of Jewish women. Consider adding yours to this important communal record.

Click here to submit your story

Reconstructionist community leadership blogs about Reconstructing Judaism

We are so very thankful to community leaders for spreading the news about Reconstructing Judaism. Please see the posts below.

If you have posted to your community's blog or website about Reconstructing Judaism, we would very much like to repost here in next month's newsletter. Please send the link to your post to Rosa Cohen at

Innovation and Impact

Register now for new Reconstructionist Learning Networks

Reconstructionist Learning Networks connect people across geography and perspectives to explore the crucial questions of Jewish life that just can’t be Googled. New networks include:

Discover more and register here. For more details, contact Shosh Lovett-Graff at or call 215.576.0800, ext. 124.
From the Podcast Studio
Hashivenu: Jewish Teachings on Resilience

Hashivenu is a podcast about Jewish teachings and practice around resilience. Cultivating resilience, both individually and collectively, is an essential path to personal and communal renewal.

About Episode 9

The Book of Esther contains striking examples of women speaking out against oppression in ways that both empower and imperil them. Are there parallels to the #MeToo movement? Join Judith Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive, in a wide-ranging discussion with Rabbi Deborah Waxman on resilient responses to trying times. Click here to listen.

If you missed the previous episodes, click here to listen to Shabbat, Teshuvah and Forgiveness, Humor, Chanting, Activism, Mindfulness, Ecology and Being Present.

#Trending Jewish: A Jewish Podcast about Everything

How does Judaism intersect with contemporary culture and illuminate how people live their lives? Hosts Rachael Burgess and Bryan Schwartzman don’t profess to have answers, just a host of questions – some profound, some rather goofy.

About Episode 11

Taking a page from the Judaism Unbound podcast, Rachael and Bryan ask the questions: What does Judaism do and what it is for? What does it do for those who don’t feel compelled by God to live life according to Jewish law? Rabbi Maurice Harris, RRC '03, fields these questions and explains why he avoids “outing” himself as a rabbi while he’s a passenger on a commercial flight. Click here to listen.

On the Horizon

Be You, Boldly

Camp Havaya (Pennsylvania) is an incredibly diverse and welcoming community where we encourage kids to discover what being Jewish means to them—no matter who they are or where they come from. Camp Havaya will start on June 24. 

Watch the video, then find out more and register at

Be You, Creatively

Havaya Arts (California) is a high-quality arts and summer-camp experience for kids. We are a joyful, welcoming and progressive Jewish community where campers grow as intentional artists and amazing human beings. Havaya Arts will start on June 18. 

Watch the video, then find out more and register at

Praying After Tragedy

A powerful new prayer by Rabbi Joe Black in response to the Florida school shooting on Feb. 14:

"Our prayers have not stopped the bullets. Our prayers have changed nothing."

Read the prayer here.

Ritual Guides

Are you planning your wedding? Did you recently bring home a new baby? Ever wondered how to mark a milestone?

Let our Ritual Guides assist you in creating a meaningful ritual that will create memories for you and your family for decades to come.

Want to sell your products in the Ritualwell Store?

We welcome proposals from artists and merchants to sell products in the online Ritualwell Store. Products should be aligned with the Ritualwell mission to enhance people’s experience of Jewish ritual. Please contact Ritualwell ( to discuss your product(s). We look forward to hearing from you!

Statements from the Movement

In addition to endorsing and co-sponsoring numerous petitions, public letters and statements from aligned organizations, Reconstructing Judaism issues its own public statements on several issues, either alone or jointly with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association:

Response to Parkland, Florida Shooting
Jewish Support for Dreamers: A Self-Evident Truth

For our previous statements, go to our Public Statements page on

Upcoming Events

Chesapeake Day of Learning
April 15
8:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Adat Shalom
7727 Persimmon Tree Lane
Bethesda, Md.

The program will begin with a choice of services, meditation and yoga followed by a keynote presentation by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, RRC '82, on spiritual practices for the cultivating of character.

In the interactive portion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to work on their own most challenging trait using the Jewish practice of Mussar. The keynote will be followed by a choice of workshops presented by local and Reconstructing Judaism leaders.

The cost for this program is $18 per person. A box lunch will be provided.

Click here to register. For more information, contact Jackie Land at

Spring Plenum
April 29
Virtual meeting

Plenum Representatives, please expect further details from the Affiliate Support Department.

Reconstructionist Convention
Nov. 15-18

This year's convention, titled "Rooted and Relevant: Reconstructing Judaism in 2018," will feature learning, singing, dancing, eating and praying. Early bird registration will open in late April. Check out the convention website for more information and click here to add the event to your calendar. 

Reconstructionists in the News

Jewish Support for Dreamers: A Self-Evident Truth (Times of Israel): Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, executive director of the RRA, and Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of RRC, discuss the sacred value of supporting immigrants.

Attending Synagogue Without Leaving Home (Tablet): Reconstructionist communities Oseh Shalom in Laurel, Md., and Shir Shalom in Buffalo, N.Y., are among a new wave of synagogues using live-streaming to make services more accessible.

In Times Like These - 05 - Curiosity as a Virtue (with Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer) (Claremont Lincoln University): RRC faculty member Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, RRC '82, and Dr. Stephanie Varnon-Hughes discuss the role of curiosity in bulding relationships across differences. 

Signs of change for Shir Hadash (Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle): Shir Hadash, a Reconstructionist community in Milwaukee, now operates in close partnership with its host congregation, Plymouth Church.

AJC Expands Presence in Silicon Valley (American Jewish Committee): Serena Eisenberg, RRC '02, now directs the American Jewish Committee's northern California region.

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P: 215.576.0800 | F: 215.576.6143
Copyright © 2018 Reconstructing Judaism, All rights reserved.

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