Below you’ll find resources and information created for Reconstructionist communities prior to June 2012, when this website became an archive. Please visit JewishRecon.org for many more congregational resources as well as information about consulting that is available to communities affiliated with the Reconstructionist movement.
As of 2010 year, the PEARL series was integrated with JRF's annual Omer Initiative (begun in 2005, seven weeks of learning between Passover and Shavuot with session focusing on "tikkun hanefesh v'olam", the well-being and active repair of self, community and the world. Please see http://jrf.org/omer/home.
Reconstructionist Placement Office
Rabbi Joel Alpert
Director of Placement
The Reconstructionist Placement Office is a joint project of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (JRF) and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA). The website, www.reconplacement.org is devoted to helping rabbis and congregations receive placement-related materials whenever they are needed. Among the items available on the website are the placement guidelines, a placement form that begins the placement process, a model contract and a rabbinic sabbatical overview.
When seeking to hire a rabbi, Rabbi Joel Alpert, the Director of Placement, will guide you through the process. Rabbi Alpert will assist you in filling out your placement form, reviewing résumés, going through the interview process and completing the hiring process.
To hire a student rabbi, you will work with the Dean of Students, Rabbi Amber Powers at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) 215. 576.0800, or APowers@rrc.edu
For detailed information see www.reconplacement.org/
Well over 100 guests came together on Sunday, May 20 to honor Ruth Brin and the literary contributions she has made to our Mayim Rabim and far-reaching Reconstructionist communities over several decades. read more »
Among those who spoke about Ruth and her work were Leah Kamionkowski representing the Reconstructionist Midwest Region, and Mordecai Specktor of the American Jewish World. Robin King Cooper acknowledged Ruth’s enthusiastic support of Mayim Rabim, and read greetings from Rabbi Renee Bauer.
Just a year and a half old, Congregation Kol HaNeshama, founded by a small group of year-round and seasonal residents, has already established itself as a creative force in Sarasota, and has now joined JRF as the 106th affiliate. Since its inception it has grown to 38 households, and is operating on a 12-month calendar, including all major holidays. read more »
On May 11 and 12, 2009, JRF’s Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Rabbi Nancy Epstein, Rabbi Jeff Eisenstat, JRF affiliate Adat Shalom’s Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb represented the JRF at a meeting of more than 40 leaders from across the broad spectrum of the organized American Jewish community for the first national Jewish Sustainability Conference. We gathered at the incredible Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center outside Baltimore for two days of learning, workshops, and discussion on Judaism and sustainability.
One of the initial questions we grappled with was defining “sustainability”. Rachel Cohen, the intern for environmental issues for the Religious Action Center, with whom we partner on many social justice initiatives, stated in her post-conference blog entry that “sustainability means creating communities that meet the basic human needs of all of their members, (and the world we are part of), by rethinking and often limiting both what we take from the natural world and the by-products that we put into the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the public spaces we enjoy together. We came to understand how the American Jewish community can unite around the goal of building safer, healthier communities for ourselves and our children based on these fundamental principles.” We also shared an understanding from Jewish tradition and contemporary thought, that sustainability means living in a social, economic, political, environmental, culutral and spiritual balance and integrative manner. In this way the impact of our actions to meet our own needs and the needs of the planet today, are also measured against the impact on future generations (l'dor v'dor).
The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), a program of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, along with 17 Jewish religious movements and national organizations, organized and sponsored this historic gathering. JRF was involved from the beginning of this effort as part of our movement wide commitment to the issue, dating back to our 1990 Resolution on the Environment, and the recent "Omer Learning and Sustainable Synagogue Initiatives. read more »
“The Dynamics of Congregational Growth"
Sunday, March 29, 2009, 1 pm to 6 pm, at Beth Israel Congregation, Media, PA --
Come learn how to use a congregational systems approach to understand the dynamics of congregational growth connected to your mission and Jewish values. Gain important skills and ideas about how to effectively reach out to attract new members, reach in to strengthen already-existing members and volunteers, and how to creatively grow the congregation's financial resources. read more »
In congregation-based community organizing (CBCO), existing institutions, mostly religious congregations, are recruited to join a citywide or regional organization. CBCO affiliates organize existing groups, as opposed to individuals, since existing groups already have leaders, interpersonal relationships, resources, a shared culture that facilitates group action, and community connections and commitments.
The local affiliate and the national networks train leaders in creating winnable campaigns on local issues that affect the day-to-day lives of their members. In focusing on the "winnable," CBCO blends idealistic values with pragmatic self-interest.
While CBCO avoids direct participation in electoral politics, organizations position themselves to become power players by thoroughly researching issues, building alliances, developing strong relationships with leaders in the public and private sectors, and staging large, dramatic public meetings to demonstrate grassroots support to targeted decision-makers.
Step #1 - Investigate what's happening locally read more »