What we frequently refer to as the High Holy Days are more accurately described by their Hebrew appellation: Yamim Noraim, the “Days of Awe.” Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are supposed to be significant because of the weighty confrontation with ultimate issues that they embody, especially issues of morality and mortality. read more »
It's a long way from smoky nightclubs and cabaret songs, but Bogota, NJ, resident Lois Kittner has found her true calling when it comes to music at Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel (RTBI). The temple lay leader will take on a new role as congregational cantor this year, debuting during the Jewish high holidays.
I am excited to present to you sample guidelines for congregational values-based decision making in the area of social justice and advocacy.
Taking a specific stand on a social or political issue is a real and complex challenge for any faith-based community. read more »
The guidelines were developed by Adat Shalom in Bethesda, Maryland, Columbia Jewish Congregation, Columbia, MD, and Tzedek V'Shalom in Newton, PA, over an intensive year of study and community-wide discussion and decision making. The documents were graciously shared with us to aid other congregations in similar processes.
Register now! [Note: on the registration form you do NOT need a "Sporg user profile" to register.]
Where: Congregation Or Hadash outside Philadelphia
When: Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon, November 11-13, 2007 read more »
Why: To give Reconstructionist Education Directors a chance to share ideas, interact with each other, and learn about infusing informal and formal education into our religious schools.
The September, 2007 issue is out. In this issue:
The Summer 2007 issue of JRF's magazine, Reconstructionism Today (RT) - "a voice for creative Jewish living" - is now online. This issue will not be mailed as we experiment with a new way of publishing that we hope will have many benefits.
Reconstructionist Educators from (clockwise from lower left) Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, Colorado, Philadelphia, Maryland, Ohio and Georgia join together at the Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education in St. Louis to discuss what's new in Reconstructionist Education. They were among nearly forty Reconstructionist educators who attended the August conference.
JRF's Reconstructionist Press is offering summer and reprinting discounts.
Update. The sale has been extended to August 27. This is your last chance to order to get the additional 10% discount for prepaid (check or credit card) purchases. There are only 200 of the less expensive Mahzorim left!
First! Any purchase made by credit card before August 27 (just changed, was August 18) to receive 10% in addition to whatever other membership/volume discount that applies to the order.
Order your High Holy Day Mahzor Leyamim Nora'im: Prayerbook for the Days of Awe. Two versions available.
There are no pagination changes to the Mahzor, so Mahzors from previous printings can be used easily at the same service in which the new, lighter, Mahzor is used.
Siddur Kol Hano'ar Voice of Children Siddur. Base price on purchase of the non-transliterated version reduced by 30%.
Again, don't forget that any purchase made by credit card will be reduced by 10% in addition to any other discounts.
Call the JRF Press at: 877-573-7827. And spread the word!
Two Reconstructionist Educators were among the winners of the fifth annual Grinspoon-Steinhardt Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education. read more »
The winners were Dina Bartov, a teacher at Beth Evergreen, in Evergreen, Colorado, who is supervised by Education Director, Jill Wildenberg, and Dalia Rosenthal, Education Director of Kehillath Shalom in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
Every time I preach a sermon, the substance of which I had given to the men in the sermon seminar, I realize how much more difficult it is to speak from the pulpit than to teach in class. The more important the idea expounded, the greater the difference in the amount of care that has to be given to the development and illustration of it. read more »
When I had distributed to the men at the sermon seminar the outline on How to Seek God, I was sure that I could give a repeat performance of it from the S.A.J. pulpit on Rosh Hashanah, without giving it any more thought.
Our medurah (campfire) embers have just been extinguished but the memories and the friendships for session aleph will continue to burn brightly into the weeks, months and years ahead. read more »
What a thrilling session we have just completed. Imagine 225 campers and staff in a huge spiral around the havdallah candle and our souls woven together with this final Shabbat and the experiences we have all just shared.
West End Synagogue Education Director Sarah Chandler is at Camp JRF this summer. She has just written a really fun blog post over at Jew School in response to her surprise/shock at seeing a KFC bucket used to hold Camp JRF's Havdallah equipment.
As I write, I am sitting in Ben Gurion Airport awaiting my flight back to the United States; I have spent the past few days with the 35 teens on the No'ar Hadash Israel Experience. First, let me say that they are all happy, smiling, and well cared for. In this last regard, IsraelExperts (our tour operator) has been spectacular at looking after every detail, and Roni and Derek (our American staff) continue to be among the most caring, thoughtful, and energetic leaders you can imagine. The group is truly lucky to have such a team planning and implementing this program.
December 8, 1938 read more »
The first of the three requirements which Jewish studies must meet in order to qualify for centrality in the school curriculum is the ability to help the educand [student] achieve a cosmic orientation. No education fulfils its function if it fails to enable the child to orient himself cosmically. The need for cosmic orientation is to the human being just as natural as are the needs for health and sustenance. With his extraordinary capacity of memory, imagination and reason, man actually lives in an environment that infinitely exceeds in space and time the one he exists in physically.
This summer, JRF sent 35 teens to Israel for the first month-long No'ar Hadash Israel Experience. Following is a note received from the group before their first Shabbat: read more »
Shabbat shalom from Israel. After a very long flight, the No’ar Hadah Israel Experience teens were happy to meet their Israeli staff in Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. We immediately hit the ground running, with a tour of Neot Kedumim, a biblical garden which has been reconstructed, in order to learn what it was like to live on the land in the Biblical period. Here we listened, looked, tasted, touched, and smelled the Biblical period, including crushing our own zatar, making oil lamps, and learning how olive oil and wine were made.