Delegates from the 105 congregations of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (JRF) have voted overwhelmingly to join with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) to create a new unified governing structure that will guide the movement in the 21st century.
The new organization also will include formal participation by rabbis from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA). The RRA will remain an independent professional association representing the 310 rabbis in the movement.
“The Reconstructionist movement always has recognized the necessity of change,” said Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz, president of RRC, who will assume professional leadership of the new organization. “By combining our unique rabbinical and lay resources, we are poised to fulfill our mission of enhancing Jewish leadership, learning and living for a new generation of North American Jews.”
The authorization follows nearly two years of discussions among all parts of the movement about how to better align its resources with the evolving demands of contemporary Jewish life. A short, intense planning process is now underway to finalize the details of the new organization, which is slated to launch formally in the fall of 2011.
Movement leaders believe that a unified organization will eliminate duplication of administration and communication efforts, allowing for more focused planning and ensuring a more efficient use of communal funds.