Reconstructionist Judaism

Reconstructionist Judaism calls itself the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people. It believes that a “vital, contemporary Judaism must respond fully to the changes in modern Jewish history: The Holocaust, renewed Jewish statehood, new and different family structures, the evolving relationships of men and women, as well as the role of religion in a universe threatened by both ecological and nuclear disaster. Only a combination of searching, questioning, and self-understanding within the Jewish tradition will create a Judaism that speaks convincingly to the contemporary Jew.”

God is the source of meaning. We struggle, to be sure, with doubts and uncertainties. Reconstructionists affirm that struggle; we believe it is the duty of all Jews to question and to study in order to find unique paths to the divine. We believe in a God who inhabits this world and especially the human heart. God is the source of our generosity, sensitivity and concern for the world around us. God is also the power within us that urges us toward self­fulfillment and ethical behavior. We find God when we look for meaning in the world, when we are motivated toward study and when we work to realize the goals of morality and social justice.”

“Reconstructionism differs from Reform Judaism, however, concerning how much of the tradition needs to be preserved. Reconstructionists encourage Jews to give honest consideration to a wider range of traditional practice. … Judaism is more than ethical monotheism. Judaism is the historic, unique and most satisfying way by which the Jewish people can find ongoing meaning in the great moments in our history and the special moments in our individual lives. Through Judaism, we dedicate ourselves to universal spiritual values that transcend any one individual, society or nation.”