Rabbi Julie's Spring 2021 Education Series: Reconstructing Judaism - Tradition and Change

posted Feb 7, 2021, 1:12 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Feb 8, 2021, 8:18 AM ]
Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~Heart of the City~ is part of the dynamic movement called Reconstructing Judaism. Our guiding principle, based on the teachings of founder Dr. Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, is that "Judaism is an evolving civilization."  We inherit the past and we create the future.  How does this work in practice? What does it really look like to be part of this denomination? Rabbi Julie Greenberg will be guiding us on a journey into the heart of Reconstructing Judaism. 
For on-going reference, you might want to purchase the three volume Guide to Jewish Practice by Dr. Rabbi David Teutsch.  It is available from the Reconstructionist Press.

Sessions are on Sunday April 11, Sunday April 25 and Sunday May 2, from Noon to 1:15PM.

You need not attend all sessions to participate.

Participation for LHI members is free of charge.  We ask non-members to consider making a suggested minimum donation of $18 per person for the series, which you can make through Paypal on LHI’s website or by check payable to Leyv Ha-Ir, P.O.Box 15836, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Information for this and all virtual events will automatically  be sent to LHI members.  If non-members would like to participate, please email us at info@leyvhair.org, or call us at 215-629-1995  to request that the remote access information will be sent to you the day before each session.

Session I - Sunday, April 11:  What Does Reconstructing Judaism Mean In the World of Today?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about the "fierce urgency of now."  We live in a world of great distress and suffering.  How can an ancient religious tradition be relevant to contemporary struggles and experience?  Can a four thousand year old tradition really provide nourishment and guidance for today's crises of loneliness, isolation, climate, white supremacy and extreme economic inequality?How does our denomination, Reconstructing Judaism, face the "fierce urgency of now?" 

Session II - Sunday, April 25:  Bringing God into the Present: A Case Study in Reconstructing a Jewish Relationship

Let's look at an example of Jewish teachings that our Reconstructing Judaism communities are renewing in this generation. In Biblical imagery, God is a supernatural character in the story who is sometimes fierce, sometimes kind, and who doesn't make sense to many modern Jews. What are we doing with God today in our thriving Reconstructing Judaism congregations?

Session III - Sunday, May 2:  How Do We Balance Tradition and Innovation, Diversity and Unity?

We in Reconstructing Judaism are a big, pluralistic tent and yet we also stand for certain values. We disagree within the network of Reconstructing Judaism communities about some issues and yet we have sustained a movement based on respect, inclusion and moving towards justice. How does Reconstructing Judaism manage diversity about how closely to cleave to tradition? What can we create and still be Jewish? How can we unite across lines of difference? We will explore how our movement navigated a divisive issue in the 1980s, the integration of LGBTQ Jews into Judaism. Explore the Reconstructing Judaism website to see what draws you in (link below.) Where do you see yourself in this movement? What more would you like to learn?

         Assigned Reading:   The Reconstructing Judaism Website