This dvar-Torah looks at the idea of the role of changing narrative in human experience. "There arose a Pharoah who knew not Joseph" is compared to the demise of the kibbutz movement as we know it and how we make meaning of this change. It's looked at through the personal experience and a recent trip of the author.
Type: Dvar Torah
An empowering retelling of the Hanukkah story that emphasizes theology and remembering rather than miracles or military might.
In advance of Tu Bishvat 5767 (2007), students at West End Synagogue organized to try to make a difference in their community. They created a "Brit Adamah," a covenant with the earth, which asked/challenged members of the community to take on a variety personal practices that make a difference in bettering the environment. This is a downloadable Microsoft WORD document, so congregations can easily adapt if for themselves.
Type: Community Discussion Guide
On December 6, 2006 the Law and Standards Committee of the Conservative movement passed a teshuva, an opinion on Jewish law, which permits same-sex commitment ceremonies and the ordination of gay/lesbian rabbis. This statement is the Reconstructionist movement's immediate response to Conservative Announcement.
Topics: Congregational Development, Jewish Life, Synagogue Administration, Jewish Practice, Tikkun Olam
Rabbi Richard Hirsh, RRC '81, discusses the reconstruction of Reconstructionism. This presentation is available in text and audio versions.
Topics: Education, Jewish Life, Teaching Reconstructionism, Jewish Practice, Jewish Thought, Spirituality, Reconstructionist Judaism
Rabbi Spitzer offers an appraisal of Mordecai Kaplan's concept of "Jewish peoplehood" and argues for its reconstruction based on a commitment to covenantal community. Both text and audio versions available.
During disasters and their aftermaths, many people wonder about God’s role in their suffering. This lesson seeks to explore God’s role in tragedy from a Jewish Reconstructionist perspective. This lesson is intended for children ages 8-12.
Type: Lesson Plan
For Sukkot of 5767 (2006), a group of Midwest congregations decided to collaboratively create a Sukkot supplement for their synagogues. They wanted to bring together ritually oriented folks from multiple synagogues to create something of value that their communities and others could use. Dina April, who was then the JRF regional director, served as organizer and editor for the project.
Starting with the verse from Genesis 26:18 about Isaac needing to "re-dig" the wells upon his return, Rabbi Bronstein makes a case for a version of Reconstructionism which is engaging and serious. The speech is available in text and audio formats.
Topics: Jewish Life, Jewish Practice, Jewish Thought, Spirituality, Jewish Community, Reconstructionist Judaism