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.
Armin Langer, a rabbinical student in his final year at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, has been selected to participate in J Street’s Seminary Student Fellowship for the 2021-22 academic year.
Sharon Kleinbaum, RRC ’90, rabbi of New York City LGBTQ synagogue, picked to rejoin US religious freedom commission
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, who has led New York City’s Congregation Beth Simchat Torah since 1992, is one of President Joe Biden’s choices to join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
I’m grateful to be a tech native since that has vastly improved my ability to do my work via Zoom and phone this year, but in some ways it feels like this first year will have been the warm up to my proper entry into the West End community.
Goldstein chose to affiliate with the Reconstructionist Judaism movement and enroll in its seminary, because she felt it was “the only school for me because it is aligned with my values as a human being. Its policy on interfaith relations, Jewish blood lines, attitudes towards inclusivity and diversity – it made me feel that this is the school where I belong.”
Geronimus chose to pursue rabbinic studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinic College because of its combined focus on Jewish history, culture, and spirituality. As a longtime spiritual seeker with an academic orientation, she found the rabbinic program that would work for her. She particularly appreciated the RRC’s emphasis on practical rabbinics.
For Cleveland native Rabbi Rachel Davidson, the road to chaplaincy is leading right back to Cleveland as a chaplain resident at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center near University Circle. “When I had the calling to the rabbinate, I felt specifically really pulled to becoming a health care chaplain,” Davidson told the Cleveland Jewish News June 21. “To become a chaplain, you need training after seminary, so I’m starting that next level of training.”
Rabbi Mikey Hess Webber has served as Columbia Jewish Congregation’s rabbinic intern for nearly a year and is now about to become the congregation’s new rabbi and spiritual leader, but she has yet to meet her new congregation face to face.