"In Reconstructionist circles, making our communities inclusive is one of our chief goals. We are acutely aware of the barriers that people encounter when they contemplate belonging to the Jewish community.. the Reconstructionist commitment to inclusivity is not only based on a desire to be warm and welcoming. It is deeply rooted in a commitment to democratic values and an understanding of the evolving nature of Jewish civilization." Exploring Judaism (200), Staub and Alpert, p. 118-9. http://jrf.org/resolutions
Our Passover tradition teaches us that a mixed multitude went up together with the Israelites out of Egypt and that we are to open our doors to the stranger and needy especially as we contemplate our own freedom. This call will look at how we can grow our communities in terms of inclusion in multiple area of Jewish life (e.g. Intermarried, GLBT, physical needs).
Listen to the audio portion of this call at http://jrf.org/node/2591
Packet material is attached below.
Rabbi Jacob Staub is Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He is former editor of the Reconstructionist magazine and co-author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach, and helped start the spiritual direction program at the Reconstrcutionist Rabbinical College in 1998.
Dr. Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg is a founding member and past president of Or Hadash in Fort Washington, PA. With a doctorate in Psychoeducational Processes, she worked for many years in Jewish education, especially in the area of special needs. As a former member of the JRF Board, she was instrumental in helping with work on welcoming people with disabilities. She is retired and currently serves as a member of the governng council of the YES! Coalition, an interfaith group of congregations in the Greater Philadelphia area that are welcoming to the LGBTQ community.
Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser is a member of the JRF congregation, Jewish Community of Amherst, a former special education teacher. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and holds a D.Min in Jewish Spiritual Direction. She has a Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Antioch University and is a student in the Aleph Smicha Program.
Jody Rosenbloom,MA is the Director of Life Long Learning at the Jewish Community of Amherst. She has been a member of RENA since its inception. She views her 25 years in Jewish education, through the lens of community and leadership development. Her formal education includes an BA in Urban Planning from Antioch College and an MA in Leadership from Augsburg College. She was an active member of CAJE and sat on the CAJE 25 Mazkirut. Most recently, she was a participant in the Institute for Jewish Spirituality sole educator cohort in 2004-2006.