The monthly newsletter for Reconstructionist Leadership
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New Identity

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

Or Haneshamah, Ottawa's Reconstructionist Community

Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation

Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community

If you have posted content about Reconstructing Judaism to the web, we would very much like to repost your pieces here. Please send the link to your post to Rosa Cohen.

Important Dates

April 15
Chesapeake Day of Learning

April 29
Spring Plenum

June 18
Havaya Arts begins

June 24
Camp Havaya begins

Nov. 15-18
Reconstructionist Convention

Mazel Tov!

We are happy to promote your successes here and on our social media. Email Rosa Cohen for more information.

New Resources

Resource for Affiliates on Our New Name

For your use, we have created an Affiliate Resource Page for our new name. We invite you to use the tools on the page to help communicate about our new name and about your community. You’ll find content we developed for our organization and which we adapted for your use.

Feel free to share any of these resources with your community. Click here to visit the Affiliate Resource Page

eJewish Philanthropy provides valuable articles for Jewish organizations on topics from marketing to community engagement. The following articles may be relevant to your work and the work of the other leaders of your community:

Updates for Your Board

Rooted and Relevant: Reconstructing Judaism in 2018

Before we open convention registration in late April, we’d like jumpstart the conversation around the 2018 Reconstructionist convention in Philadelphia, Penn. On the convention website is a question we’d love for you to share with your community:
How are you reconstructing Judaism?

Convention highlights include:

  • Many options for davening with amazing leaders from around the movement
  • Music and dancing woven throughout Convention
  • Engaging and open-minded Jewish text study
  • Field trips and social justice service opportunities in nearby historic Philadelphia
  • Opportunities for gatherings of affinity groups including RENA members, rabbis, executive directors, congregational presidents, a pick-up choir, musicians, young leadership and Learning Network participants
  • Storytelling
  • Learning network participants gathering off-line
  • Celebrating the rabbinical college’s 50th anniversary with stories, music and of course, cake
  • A Saturday night concert featuring Nefesh Mountain from Bnai Keshet and many other Reconstructionist musicians
  • An in-person meeting of the Plenum
  • Participating in workshops and special events with other Reconstructionists
  • Sharing food and conversation
Early bird convention registration will open in late April. For more information, visit the convention website or contact Jackie Land at

What are Reconstructionists doing?

Are the members of your community receiving the latest movement news? Is your community curious about how Reconstructionists are making a difference? Do your leaders look for new resources and nuggets of wisdom?

If so, encourage your members to subscribe to our email newsletters. Share this link with your community:

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.

2018 Reconstructionist Learning Networks

Reconstructionist Learning Networks connect leaders and members of affiliated Reconstructionist communities with RRC faculty, leading authors, social justice activists and Reconstructing Judaism staff. Network participants meet online to explore the issues that matter most to their community through case studies, texts and real-life challenges.

Networks are free for members and staff of affiliated communities, RRA members, RENA members and direct contributors. New networks starting in April include:

Click here to learn more or to register. For more details, contact Shosh Lovett-Graff or call 215.576.0800, ext. 124.

Camp Havaya (Pennsylvania) is an incredibly diverse and welcoming community where campers are encouraged to discover what being Jewish means to them—no matter who they are or where they come from. We hope you will share the video with your community. Camp Havaya will start on June 24. More information is available at
Havaya Arts (California) is a high-quality arts and summer camp experience. Havaya Arts aims to be a joyful, welcoming and progressive Jewish community where campers grow as intentional artists and human beings. We hope you will share the video with your community. Havaya Arts will start on June 18. More information is available at
Podcasts From Our Studio

We hope you will consider sharing the links to and explanations of these podcasts with your community.

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 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. Judith Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive, joins Rabbi Deborah Waxman to discuss parallels with the #MeToo movement.

Click here to listen.

#Trending Jewish

How does Judaism intersect with contemporary culture and illuminate how people live their lives? Hosts Rachael Burgess and Bryan Schwartzman have a lot of questions, both profound and goofy.

About Episode 11

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.

Public Positions on Current Matters

Reconstructing Judaism endorses and co-sponsors numerous petitions, public letters and statements from aligned organizations and also issues its own public statements on occasion. Here are the statements we have issued and public letters we have signed onto in the last month, either alone or jointly with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association:

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

All of our statements are available at, catalogued by date and by topic.

Upcoming Programs

J Street Conference: A Voice for Today, a Vision for Tomorrow
April 14-17
Washington, D.C.

Join us for a Reconstructionist breakfast meet-up at 8:30am on Sunday, April 15, at the J Street conference on the Israel/Palestine peace process.

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. 

Recon Communities and Leaders 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 Reconstructing Judaism, 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.

Missed an issue of Leadership Brief or Reconstructing Judaism Today

Visit to see the archive of past issues.

How to Reach Us:

Tresa Grauer
Assistant Vice President for Affiliate Support
215.576.0800, ext. 144

Taryn Wyron
Assistant Director of Affiliate Support and Tikkun Olam Specialist
215.576.0800, ext. 107

Rabbi Joel Alpert
Director of Rabbinic Placement
215.576.0800, ext. 304

Jacob Weinberg
Affiliate Support Assistant
215.576.0800, ext. 131


Rabbi Maurice Harris
Associate Director of Affiliate Support
215.576.0800, ext. 118

Cyd Weissman
Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Impact
215.576.0800, ext. 257

Jackie Land
Associate Director of Affiliate Support

Rosa Cohen
E-Newsletter Editor
215.576.0800, ext. 120

Our business hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST; Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. EST

1299 Church Road Wyncote, PA 19095
P: 215.576.0800 | F: 215.576.6143

You are receiving this email because you are listed in our records as a leader of a Reconstructionist community. If this is no longer the case or if you would like to update your contact information, please click here.

This email went to rabbis/spiritual leaders, cantors, presidents, executive directors, education directors, board members, Plenum representatives, and administrators at congregations and havurot affiliated with Reconstructing Judaism. If you would like us to add another member of your leadership to the list, please email

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