It’s the most common question we get. Stay after our Shabbat services for an accessible and engaging explanation of Reconstructionist Judaism, and learn the history, origins and philosophy of what the “R” in JRC means. Perhaps you’re a Reconstructionist Jew and you didn’t realize it!
Join us at JRC: Friday, February 23rd at 8:15pm
Reconstructionist Judaism is both deeply rooted in Jewish traditions and boldly relevant to the complexity and plurality of the times in which we live. We balance customs and long-observed traditions with the needs of contemporary Jews today. Core to Reconstructionism is the belief that Judaism is the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people; such a civilization contains ritual, music, text, art, history, sociology, food, literature, politics, and most importantly, Jewish Community.
We are the smallest, but perhaps the boldest movement in the Jewish landscape. Reconstructionist Judaism is an American Judaism that evolved toward the end of the 19th century. Its founder, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, was a European-ordained orthodox rabbi who taught at the Conservative seminary and was a prolific writer and thinker along contemporary secular sociologists and philosophers. Reconstructionist Judaism evolved as an approach to Judaism that engaged intellectual realism and humanitarianism, while maintaining the essences of Jewish traditions. Egalitarianism, democracy, participation, values-centered decision making, and innovation are all pillars of our movement. “The past has a vote, but not a veto” is a favorite “bumper sticker,” which strives to preserve the essence and importance of the past, but that does not prevent us from innovating or changing practices that are no longer relevant. We often reconstruct the meaning and shape of a ritual, sometimes adapting what it looks like or what it means to make it relevant for today’s Jews. We create liturgical innovations to make sure that we can say what we mean, and mean what we say in prayer and in philosophy.