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Movement Statement on Israel and Resources on Civil Discourse

July 30, 2014

The Reconstructionist movement is committed to the reality of Jewish peoplehood. We care deeply about the well-being of Jews and the people who love us—in North America, in Israel and around the world.  Fundamental to this commitment is the right to live in safety so that each person can find the fullest expression of his or her humanity. 

The Reconstructionist movement is also committed to democratic values, which we feel are infused with a religious sensibility that each and every individual is created betzelem elohim, in the image of the divine.  We believe that these values inhere for all individuals and for all peoples. 

We believe that full humanity for all peoples is best achieved in conditions of peace. Where peace does not exist, individuals, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and state powers should work toward peace and toward the well-being of all inhabitants, citizens and non-citizens. 

We believe that Israel was founded on twin principles of democratic values and safety for the Jewish people. The Reconstructionist movement remains committed to these principles, even as we see how frequently they are in tension with each other, especially in the face of competing values and physical and existential threats. We urge all powers—individuals, NGOs and state powers—to work at all times toward their mutual actualization. We especially urge states to use their extensive powers responsibly and with minimum force necessary. Rhetoric and action should be aligned to create a culture infused with professed values. Democratic values should be enacted even when they are inconvenient or challenging. 

The Reconstructionist movement is not a political policy organization with the resources, perspective and experience to propose solutions to intractable situations that can swiftly escalate toward war. As a cultural-religious organization, we endorse and promote values. It is not our mission to promote particular policies or tactics.

The Reconstructionist movement is deeply influenced by, and committed to, the democratic principle of free speech. Suppression of viewpoints that are principled and heartfelt is unconstructive for the present and chilling for the future. The Reconstructionist movement’s unyielding commitment to pluralism helped to precipitate increased acceptance of diverse viewpoints and the adoption of inclusive practices in North American Jewish life.  Reconstructionists can model for others how to hold civil conversations on challenging subjects, and how to seek and cherish deep commonalities across our differences in the service of our values and our vision.

Accordingly, the Reconstructionist movement is gathering resources and will be offering programming on fostering civil discourse in general, and particularly around Israel.

We have a range of resources to offer you right now.

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