February 28, 2011

Jewish Reconstructionist Movement to Unite

Posted in Judaism at 7:17 am by chavalah

Undoubtedly my favorite religious news of the last month is that the tenants of my childhood denomination, The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, are going to unite.

Solidifying the bonds between the rabbis coming out of seminary and the larger Reconstructionist community will help to make the goals of the denomination more possible. Beyond working to strengthen services and child/adult education in the synagogue, Recon is moving into political and spiritual outreach to address unaffiliated Jews and larger societal issues. With the other three major Jewish denominations having structure that takes their leadership outside of the synagogue and into the world at large, I am excited about this step.

You can read more about this unification right here.

This comes at a time when progressive Jewish movements seem to be under a bit of strain. In Israel, the Rabbinate is tightening the restrictions on what counts as a Jewish conversion that even the Orthodox in Diaspora are starting to protest. JTA’s Sue Fishkoff investigated how the Reform Movement in other parts of diaspora is not so lenient when it comes to accepting Jews of patrilineal descent. And speaking of Reform Judaism in America, the movement recently came under the smoldering gaze of pundit Glenn Beck, who likened it to radical Islam. (He later apologized.)

So the fact that the Reconstructionist Movement, which sees Judaism as an “evolving tradition” and opens its arms to gays, interfaith families and others, fills me with a bit of hope. The Judaism I love and believe in is a tradition that fosters inclusivity and open-mindedness over divisiveness and a closing of the doors.

In that vein, I am excited to announce that I will be heading back to my childhood synagogue of Beit Tikvah on March 26 for an event sponsored by Jews in All Hues, to talk openly about growing up in dual-heritage families. I hope to see those of you in the Baltimore area there!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] As indicated, I spent last Shabbat at my childhood synagogue, convening with other dual-faith Jews and sharing experiences. […]


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