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.
My time in the military was busy and transformative. Amidst the stress of active duty life, I found myself having conversations while on watch, or in the chameleon chapel where I connected with people on a personal level. I learned over time that people craved the chance to talk and safely express themselves.
I wanted to foster the environment where my shipmates could feel safe to talk, and through those moments is where I realize
Rabbis are usually the ones stewarding congregants through life cycle events, such as births, deaths, coming of age and marriage, but what happens when a rabbi goes through those same monumental life moments?
Congregation Or Shalom Rabbi Kami Knapp Schechter, who just turned 40, is returning to her synagogue on May 22 after maternity leave, having given birth to twins three months ago.
Two recent grants will help Reconstructing Judaism advance its strategic priorities of pursuing racial justice, investing in rabbinic education and strengthening Jewish communities.
The Wabash Center, which funds higher education in religion and theological studies, awarded $30,000 in new funding to Reconstructing Judaism. With this fiscal support, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College — part of Reconstructing Judaism — will partner with the Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project on integrating the project’s “Dismantling Racism From the Inside Out” curriculum with faculty members.
The rabbi in training at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote just felt “anxious around Torah,” she said. Like the people at synagogue who are afraid to volunteer to lift the Torah during services, she was worried she would drop it and offend God … or something like that.
On the cusp of Black History Month, and as the nation continues to mourn for Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Black man who died after a severe beating by five Black now-former police officers, one small Jewish movement is taking a stand.
Rabbi Alex Weissman remembers walking into the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote for the first time. It was November 2010, and he was a 27-year-old Tufts University graduate who had held a few jobs with community and service-minded organizations, like the Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies & Training in New York City.
This article was originally published in the Jewish Exponent on June 8, 2022.
Reconstructionist Judaism offers a spiritual and communal home to all who seek connection and meaning. And the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College trains diverse and dynamic rabbis who make Jewish experiences accessible to all.Take, for example, Rabbi Adam Cerino Jones. Growing up in an interfaith home, he did not see a place for himself in any Jewish community until a Hillel rabbi convinced him that not only could he lead an authentically Jewish life, but he could also be a rabbi.
Six Years Removed from Policy Shift, Rabbis with Non-Jewish Partners Continue to Embody Reconstructionist Values, Even as Challenges Persist
Rabbis Donna Cephas, Sandra Lawson and Michael Hess Webber each took very different paths to becoming Reconstructionist rabbis. Despite disparate journeys, the three religious leaders have continuously demonstrated dedication, creativity and an ability to inspire others. Their stories share an additional element: their paths to the rabbinate were once blocked because their partners are not Jewish.