In a dynamic new feature on the JRF website, Reconstructionist rabbis from across our movement were invited to share their High Holiday sermons on a diverse array of topics. Excerpts of the talks are posted on the site along with links to read the entire sermon.
Experience Sermonfest! at http://jrf.org/sermonfest.
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation is once again enthusiastically joining Jewish communities, organizations and individuals from around the world in celebrating a month of social action and Jewish unity. The Hebrew month of Heshvan – which generally falls in October through November– has been again declared Jewish Social Action Month (JSAM). read more »
An engrossing, wrenching and tender documentary film, Praying with Lior, is debuting around the world and receiving rave reviews and was the highest grossing independent film its first weekend in New York.
The film tells the story of Lior Liebling, a member of congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia, whom his community calls "the little rebbe." Lior has Down syndrome, and has spent his life praying with utter abandon. As Lior approaches bar mitzvah, the movie poses difficult questions such as What is disability? And who really talks to God?
Read the New York Times story about the film and
an interview with director Ilana Trachtman on the NY Jewish Film Festival blog.
What are your shul’s Christmas-day traditions? For the past few years, the members of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia, Washington, have gathered for a fun-filled Christmas-day Jewish movie night. Their premiere event in 2004, which featured a showing of Fiddler on the Roof, included a sing-along, costume contest, and a potluck, as well as the now-traditional food and blanket drive benefitting the Olympia Food Bank and other local organizations that support the community.
Congregation Bet Am Shalom in Whiteplains, NY, joins the Westchester Darfur Coalition and Jewish World Watch (JWW) in providing and education for children fleeing genocide in Darfur. JWW's Backpack Project will enable children in the Oure Cassoni refugee camp in Chad to attend schools run by the International Rescue Committee. Filled with shoes, books, school supplies, soap and toothpaste (all obtained as locally as possible), the backpack allows each child to make the most of school under the most difficult of circumstances.
Each year the staff of The Forward chooses 50 individuals who are “making a difference in the way American Jews view the world and themselves” and embody “the spirit of Jewish action as it is emerging in America.” The list for 2007 includes four Reconstructionists who are making their mark in the areas of community, spiritual leadership, and ideas and activism:
Rabbi Steve Gutow, Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Ruth Messinger; Executive Director of the American Jewish World Service
Rabbi Toba Spitzer, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and rabbi at JRF affiliate Dorshei Tzedek in Newton, Massachusetts
June Walker, president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Read their profiles from The Forward at jrf.org/Recon_forward_50.
The latest issue of Ma Nishma - News from JRF is out in its new format.
Now everyone can subscribe to receive Ma Nishma as an e-Newsletter. Register at the JRF website at http://jrf.org/user/register then click "Manage your JRF e-newsletter subscriptions" at the top left of the home page to subscribe.
You can also download Ma Nishma for December in MS Word.
In this issue:
JRF Calls on Congress to Support Peace Talks
Reconstructionists Named to the ‘Forward 50’
Register for Camp JRF!
Camp JRF Scholarships Available
JRF Planned Giving Website Debut
Hold a Shabbaton at Camp JRF
Israel Experience Registration Now Open
No’ar Hadash Teen Events
JRF's Sustainable Synagogue Initiative
Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, CA, celebrated the end of its mortgage with a special weekend of celebrations in early October.
No'ar Hadash, the Reconstructionist Youth Movement, is excited to announce these upcoming events for teens:
Dec. 14 - 16, 2007
Eastern Youth Kallah
(Concurrent with the JRF Chespeake Regional Kallah)
Jan. 11 - 13
Western Teen Kallah
(Concurrent with the JRF Western Regional Gathering)
Jan. 18 - 20
New England Teen Kallah
Feb. 1 - 3
Canada Teen Kallah
Feb. 15 - 17
Midwest Youth Kallah
Feb. 15 - 17
Pacific Northwest Teen Kallah
April 11 - 13
North American Teen Kallah
Make sure that your child has the summer of a lifetime at Camp JRF on the Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman Campus in the Pocono Mountains.
Here's how to register: Go to www.campjrf.org and either register online or print the application and mail to our camp office.
In just a few weeks the Summer 2008 Camp JRF brochure will be in the mail and will also be included in the next issue of Reconstructionism Today.
Register by November 15th and take advantage of the Early Registration discount!
For more information, please contact the Camp JRF office at 877-CAMP-JRF (877-226-7573).