Reimagining Synagogues and Communities

Episode 1 · September 17th, 2019 · 45 mins 45 secs

About this Episode

This inaugural episode features Rabbi Rachel Weiss of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill. The discussion focuses on Weiss’s Evolve essay “21st Century Judaism: Reimagining Synagogues and Communities” (You can find the link in show notes, below).

In this inaugural episode, we speak with Rabbi Rachel Weiss of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill. Weiss describes her community’s effort to remain relevant at a time of great change in Jewish life and North American life more generally. From deep and respectful dialogue on divisive issues, to the transformational use of post-it notes, Rabbi Weiss shares a window into her synagogue community’s ongoing evolution.

“Can you have a conversation, a discussion, a difference of opinion about Israel/Palestine, and then can you still show up next week at the shiva of person you disagree with?...If we come together out of a place of shared humanity …. I think that is vital.”

Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby:

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Episode Links

  • Evolve: Re-imagining Synagogues and Communities — Rabbi Rachel Weiss challenges the assumptions of how a synagogue should operate by highlighting multi-generational programming and interfaith activism at Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC) in Evanston, Ill.
  • Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations — Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations, an initiative of Reconstructing Judaism, seeks to promote the ongoing evolution of the Jewish community by launching conversation about the urgent issues of our day. This platform offers conversation-sparking essays from thought-leading rabbis, lay leaders and creators. Explore the best thinking on pressing, contemporary questions.
  • Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation