Power to Which People? American Jewish Philanthropy & Democracy

Lila Corwin Berman

The fellowship is meant to honor of the work of two retired faculty member: Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, RRC ‘85, who started RRC’s social justice organizing program, and Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Ph.D., RRC ‘82, who pioneered the college’s approach to multifaith studies.

As part of the fellowship, Plevan also will be taking part in a March 20 panel discussion, “Democracy and Judaism: Does One Need the Other to Thrive?”, organized by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood and A More Perfect Union: Jewish Partnership for Democracy (register here.) Democracy comes up in many of Plevan’s classes at RRC, particularly a course examining democracy and Jewish sources. He said to expect fall programming in advance of the 2024 elections.

Taken together, the fellowship will explore and champion how Reconstructionism teaches that participatory democracy is vital for religious flourishing.

“For many people, religious pluralism means keeping religion outside of the public realm,” said Plevan. “That wasn’t Kaplan’s view at all. He taught that what a thriving democracy needs is having different kinds of peoples and traditions and ideas contributing to public life.”

Songs for the Jewish Climate Movement

Several Reconstructionist Rabbinical College graduates and others affiliated with the movement are featured in “Rising Tides, Riding Voices: Songs for the Jewish Climate Movement.”

New Grants Keep RRC ‘Boldly Relevant’

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.

‘What It Means to Be Human in an Algorithmized World’

glasses in front of a computer screen with code

Legal scholar, philosopher and policy analyst Nathalie Smuha spends a lot of time thinking, writing and advising about artificial intelligence. Namely, Smuha believes that society’s increasing reliance on algorithms presents pressing legal and moral questions — and governments, corporations and citizens are not paying enough attention.