Rabbi Elyse Wechterman on the State of the Reconstructionist Rabbinate

Episode 50 · February 29th, 2024 · 58 mins 29 secs

About this Episode

The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association was founded in 1974 to serve as the professional association of the small but growing number of rabbis affiliated with the Reconstructionist movements. These rabbis were trained with a very different approach than their peers in other movements. Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, the RRA’s CEO for roughly the past decade, discusses the transformation of the rabbinate and why it matters to everyone who cares about Jews and Judaism (5:00). She shares how disparate factors ranging from COVID to the emergence of the gig economy have shaped the rabbinate in unexpected ways (31:50). The discussion turns to how the events of October 7 and subsequent Israel-Hamas War have placed unprecedented strain on rabbis (44:45). There are some lighter moments as well. Wechterman quotes Billy Joel: “The good old days weren’t always good. Tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/miriammarglesandthehadarensemb

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