The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, at a meeting of its national board June 2-4, enthusiastically welcomed news of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)'s decision on June 4 to include JRF as a partner organization, making the Reconstructionist organization the first national agency to be added to the JCPA in decades. The JRF represents more than 100 Reconstructionist congregations and havurot across the United States and Canada.
The JCPA - the community-relations arm of the organized American Jewish community - now counts 14 national agencies under its umbrella, along with the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox streams of Judaism.
Carl A. Sheingold, JRF's executive vice president, said, "Engaging with the JCPA will enhance the JRF's ability, and the ability of our congregations, to contribute to tikkun olam (repair of the world) and community relations. These contributions are part of Reconstructionist Jews' commitment to living in - and obligations toward - both Jewish community and the wider world."
Rabbi Steve Gutow, a 2003 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the JCPA's executive director, said in response to his board's decision, "I'm very happy that two important parts of my life have merged together. It makes me feel more whole that my hevre in the Reconstructionist world are officially part of my life at the JCPA."
Rabbi Shawn Zevit, JRF's director of external affiliations and tikkun olam, who oversaw the application process, had already been working on behalf of JRF with the JCPA on efforts to end the genocide in Darfur (along with the American Jewish World Service and other groups); the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) Climate Change Initiative; and many other projects.
For more information on JRF's work in the area of social justice, visit jrf.org/to. To learn more about the JCPA visit the External Affiliations area of the Tikkun Olam section jrf.org/external-affiliations and http://jewishpublicaffairs.org.