How does Reconstructionist Judaism define itself? We are a movement that draws on Jewish history, ritual, and practice to build meaningful and meaning-filled communities. We strive to be inclusive, casting a wide net to draw in previously marginalized Jews and provide them a home to practice Judaism in ways that feel relevant and comfortable.
To learn more about our diverse community, a good place to start is the online home of Reconstructionist Judaism, reconstructingjudaism.org. We have also gathered additional resources below; please comment on this blog if you have any questions or comments.
Resources for engaging with Reconstructionist thought, belief, and ritual:
Hashivenu podcast: A podcast full of Jewish teachings on individual and collective resilience and renewal. The podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism, the central organizing arm of the Reconstructionist movement.
Evolve: An online platform with conversation-sparking essays from thought-provoking Reconstructionist rabbis, leaders and creators. Explore essays on key social, ethical, and political topics, as well as curricula, sermon sparks and videos that apply the best Jewish thinking to contemporary questions.
Ritualwell: A website that offers thousands of curated rituals for every moment in a Jewish life, from birth to death, celebration to loss to spiritual renewal, and everything in between. Ritualwell is an example of how we can create meaningful rituals that are relevant to us as modern Jews. This is a great place to start if you are looking for ways to mark a special life event — and you’re invited to contribute your own ritual creations, as well!
Books/articles for learning more about Recon:
Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach: A great introductory text that offers a brief history of the Reconstructionist movement, as well as what makes the movement unique in its approaches to God, Jewish chosenness, prayer, and contemporary social issues. An accessible and important read.
A Guide to Jewish Practice, Volumes 1-3: This comprehensive series provides a guide to Reconstructionist Jewish thought and its take on contemporary ethical issues, the Jewish calendar year, and the Jewish life cycle.
The Radical American Judaism of Mordechai M. Kaplan: This book focuses on Mordecai M. Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist movement. Drawing on Kaplan’s 27-volume diary, author Mel Scult describes the development of Kaplan’s radical theology in dialogue with the thinkers and writers who mattered to him most, from Spinoza to Emerson and from Ahad Ha-Am to Abraham Joshua Heschel.
Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan as an American Thinker: This article is quick read that how Reconstrucionist Judaism was shaped by and shaped in turn liberal American Judaism.
We hope that you enjoy these resources!