The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s graduating class of 2023/5783 marked the profound moment of transition by creating a beautiful ritual that incorporates the birkat kohanim, the priestly blessing. It is one of the oldest and most powerful blessings of the Jewish tradition. For more about RRC’s Class of 2023/5783, visit http://www.rrc.edu/graduation-2023
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When Rabbi Alex Weissman applied to rabbinical school in 2011, he estimates that there were just a handful of rabbis working at social-justice organizations. Fast-forward a dozen years and that number now exceeds several dozen — too many for Weissman to name.
Why the dramatic shift? Many advocacy organizations now recognize the role that clergy can play in helping activists maintain spiritual and emotional health. (Burnout is all too common among people trying to fix a broken world.) Additionally, many progressive organizations have sought to reclaim the moral, prophetic voice, refusing to surrender the religious label to political and cultural conservatives, says Weissman.
Shira Singelenberg is a native of Bethesda, Md. She said she grew up in an environment that fostered curiosity and questioning and one in which Shabbat dinner was a revered and memorable time. She received her BA degree from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, where she majored in history with a minor in medieval and early studies.