Reconstructing Judaism is the new name for Reconstructionist Judaism’s central organization, formerly known as the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College & Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.
The adoption of a new identity comes at a time when the organization continues to make strides in cultivating more inclusive expressions of Judaism that meet the needs of Jewish communities of today and tomorrow.
In arriving at this new identity, the organization employed a democratic Reconstructionist approach to decision-making, with a non-hierarchical focus on discussion, and the sharing of ideas. Members of North American Reconstructionist communities were invited to share insights on Reconstructionist Judaism and the organization that serves them in a series of online and in-person town halls and surveys over a period of more than a year. All told, more than 1,000 people – from Los Angeles to Montreal – shared their insights and ideas. Reconstructing Judaism’s board of governors unanimously approved the name change at its October meeting.
Regarding the new graphic symbol, leaves sprout out from the ground and grow into the world, reflecting the Reconstructionist balance between groundedness in Jewish tradition and a focus on Jewish growth and reinvention. The phrase that accompanies the graphic – Deeply Rooted, Boldly Relevant – reinforces the Reconstructionist connection to Jewish tradition and texts, while emphasizing the need to reconstruct Judaism continually in a way that is relevant for today and tomorrow’s Jewish communities, refreshing Judaism and allowing it to thrive. “‘Relevant’ is an imperative, not a descriptor,” says Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., president of Reconstructing Judaism.
This announcement marks the start of a year that will see the seminary celebrating its 50th anniversary. June marks the opening of Havaya Arts, the first Reconstructionist summer camp located on the West Coast. A long-awaited Reconstructionist movement convention, the first since 2010, will be held in November. And Reconstructing Judaism is launching Evolve, a two-year endeavor to engage Reconstructionist thinking on key questions facing the 21st-century Jewish community.