We Believe...

We believe in the equality of men and women. We see God as the power that infuses all creation with transcendence and inspires us to improve the world and ourselves. We believe that Judaism is an evolving religious civilization reflecting peoplehood, community, history, the arts and ethics.

Chosenness: A Reconstructionist Understanding

Reconstructionist Judaism understands Judaism to be the “evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people.” Belonging, not believing, to the Jewish people is the key. We believe that Judaism exists for people, people don’t exist for Judaism. In the world today, choosing to be Jewish is a modern idea.

Reconstructionist Thought

Quotes from Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

  • The only way to change the world is to change yourself into what you want others to be.
  • Reconstructionism seeks to put gates through the fences that divide Jews into separate groups.
  • A religion came to mean to me the sum of those habits and values, which give a people the will to live in common, to perpetuate itself and to make the best use of its collective life…[in short, the enduring definition of Reconstructionism, that we understand]… Judaism as an evolving religious civilization.
  • Science does not destroy the belief in miracle. In merely transfers that belief from the supernatural to the natural.
  • God is not the conception of the ordering principle in the universe, but of a power predisposing humans to their ultimate human good, provided each person does her share learning about and living up to the requisite conditions. To view the cosmos this way is to believe in God.

Links to Reconstructionist Sites

You can reach the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s website by clicking on www.RRC.edu.
You can contact the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association by clicking on mail to:info@TheRRA.org
You can reach the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities' website by clicking on www.JewishRecon.org.

Reconstructionism - Frequently Asked Questions

Do Reconstructionists believe in God?
Definitely. We believe that there is one God, but there are many ways of understanding and talking about God. The traditional idea was that God created the universe, gave us the Torah at Mount Sinai and decided each person's fate, that the Torah was a God-given list of instructions and that Judaism was important because of that direct connection to God.

Click here to read all questions and answers.

Books on Reconstructionism at the KI Library

To check out any of the following books, please remove the card from the pocket in the front or back of the book; write the date, your name and phone number on the card; and leave the card in the front of the box on the library “book truck” (located on the wall to your right as you entered the library). Please return the book within a month by placing it on the library truck (the library committee volunteers will take care of checking the book in and shelving it).

Click here to see the list.

Reconstructionists in the News

Challenging Tradition, Young Jews Worship on Their Terms - New York Times article on younger Jews spearheading changes in American Jewish life.

The Festival of (Green) Lights: Campaign Promotes an Earth-Friendly Chanukah - Adat Shalom featured in article on Hanukah as a time to fight global warming and promote energy efficiency.