Reconstructionist Judaism

Will Other Movements Follow?

08/18/2015 - 20:00

When Rabbi Aaron Panken took over as president of the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion in June 2014, one of the first issues he inherited from his predecessor was the very question the Reconstructionist movement is grappling with now. A group of students at HUC was pushing the administration to re-examine its ban on admitting and graduating students in interfaith relationships.

“We’re not ready to do it,” Rabbi Aaron Panken, president of HUC, said about admitting and graduating intermarried rabbis.

A Leap Of Faith Or A Step Too Far?

Ordaining intermarried rabbis could push the Reconstructionist movement to the fringes, or forge a model for the future.

08/18/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Philadelphia — When Sandra Lawson stood under the chuppah last Saturday, she was doing more than making a lifetime commitment to her partner. She also was setting herself up to test the boundaries of what it means to be a rabbi in America today.

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College student, Sandra Lawson, under the chuppah at her wedding. Tabitha Smith

Change And Continuity In Reconstructionist Movement

Rabbi Nina Mandel is the new president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assembly.

05/11/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

As the Reconstructionist movement is considering ordaining intermarried students for the first time at its rabbinical school, its rabbinical association has a new leader. Rabbi Nina Mandel, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth El in Sunbury, Pa., was announced last week as the new president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. The rabbi, who was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2003, also has a master’s degree in anthropology from New York University and teaches classes in Jewish philosophy and culture, film and women’s studies at Susquehanna University.

The Jewish Week interviewed Rabbi Mandel by email. This is an edited transcript.

Rabbi Nina Mandel: Reconstructionist movement faces many issues besides intermarriage.
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