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Through a Reconstructionist Lens

Past Sessions
Wednesday, March 30, 2022 27 Adar II 5782 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 22 Adar I 5782 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, January 26, 2022 24 Sh'vat 5782 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 18 Tevet 5782 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 19 Kislev 5782 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 21 Cheshvan 5782 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 17 Elul 5781 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 19 Av 5781 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, June 30, 2021 20 Tammuz 5781 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 15 Sivan 5781 - 7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 16 Iyar 5781 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

CKS is offering a wonderful opportunity to participate as a community in Reconstructing Judaism's once-a-month virtual virtual learning program Through A Reconstructionist Lens. Designed to engage adult learners in exploring evolving Reconstructionist thought and practice, each class includes a discussion by Reconstructionist rabbinical and community leaders about a topic relevant to contemporary Judaism. Please join Rabbi Jake and fellow congregants as we watch together and then discuss each session. 

If it is more convenient for you, you are welcome to watch the recording any time prior to the meeting and then join us for the discussion.

  • 7:15-7:30: Introduction
  • 7:30-8:15: Watch video
  • 8:15-8:45: Discussion
  • 8:45-9:00: Conclusion

Sign up below to receive emails containing the link for each video and discussion. You only need to sign up once to receive the links each month. These sessions will be held on the last Wednesday of each month for one year, and the emails will be sent out approximately one week before each discussion.


MAY Session: Creating Community (Kehillah). Watch and discuss this video about community IN community with Rabbi Jake and fellow congregants. CANCELLED

MARCH Session: God. In this month’s video session from Reconstructing Judaism, four leading Reconstructionist rabbis lead us in a fascinating exploration of God Through A Reconstructionist Lens. They discuss how Reconstructionist approaches offer us the freedom and tools to develop a personal concept of God that best serves our individual needs and enhances our life experiences. No matter what your current philosophy is about the existence of God, come watch this video with an open mind. A group discussion with Rabbi Jake and fellow congregants will follow.

FEBRUARY Session: Economic Justice. Join us to watch Economic Justice Through A Reconstructionist Lens, an extremely illuminating and important video conversation between Rabbi Mordecai Liebling, a well-known social justice advocate involved in organizational and community work, and Mark Pinsky, founder of CDFI Friendly America, a lending organization that works to create economic justice. In their broadranging discussion, they examine how we can align our obligations and values as Reconstructionist Jews with our actions to correct economic injustice. In addition, Rabbi Michael Pollock, an advocate for structural governmental reforms, talks about his grassroots efforts to root out corruption within government. We will have an opportunity for discussion following the video.

JANUARY Session: Racial Justice. Rabbi Micah Geurin Weiss, who coordinates many racial justice programs at Reconstructing Judaism, and Rabbi Sandra Lawson, a Jew of Color and the inaugural Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity at Reconstructing Judaism, remind us of our obligation as Reconstructionist Jews to address the injustice and inequities caused by persistent racism. Often, this work begins with internal exploration and education and then progresses to action we can take on an individual level, in our communities and in our greater world to achieve change. They are not afraid to touch on controversial issues and are willing to share their own personal stories and pain with us. We encourage you to take advantage of this privilege to hear about Reconstructing Judaism’s approach to racial justice from such committed and inspirational leaders.

DECEMBER Session: Israel. What are the guiding values of progressive Zionism today? What were  the various Zionist philosophies that existed in 1948 and how did they  influence Israel’s development? From a Reconstructionist  perspective, how has Israel succeeded or failed in meeting Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan’s vision of Judaism as an evolving Jewish  civilization? Please join CKS congregants for an outstanding, relevant and thought-provoking virtual presentation by Rabbi Maurice Harris, Associate Director of Thriving Communities and Israel Affairs Specialist at Reconstructing Judaism, that explores all of these topics and more. After watching the video together, we will discuss our reactions, ask our questions and dive more deeply into these very important topics together.

NOVEMBER Session: Food: An Approach to Food, Kashrut and Justice. Just in time for Thanksgiving, this month’s session brings us a discussion by three fascinating presenters about how they use values-based decisions and mindfulness to guide their eating practices. Aliza Green, chef and food educator, Rabbi Michael Becker-Klein, owner of Rabbi Roasting Coffee and mash’giach (person who oversees Kosher food production), and Rabbi James Greene, whose family produces much of their food on their own farm, talk about how Jewish values underscore their relationship with food and the animals, land and workers who provide that food, including how the contemporary practice of Kashrut enriches their Jewish lives. Why not take this wonderful opportunity to assess your own journey with food? 

OCTOBER Session: SHABBAT. In this program, Rabbi Jamie Arnold, Congregation Beth Evergreen in Evergreen, Colorado, Rabbi Yael Ridberg. Congregation Dor Hadash in San Diego, and Rabbi Hazzan Rachel Hersch, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda delve into three important Shabbat rituals: lighting the Shabbat candles, the Kiddush, and the Challah as they share the Reconstructionist view of Shabbat. 

AUGUST Session: CLASSICAL JEWISH TEXTS. Four RRC faculty members teach us
how Reconstructionists study and interpret classical Jewish texts. 

JULY Session: CLIMATE JUSTICE. Rabbis Bec Richman and Fred Scherlinder Dobb, environmental justice advocates and activists, explore "eight main reasons and ways to make climate change central in our Jewish identities" and includes a fascinating "deep dive" into environmental justice and environmental racism.

JUNE Session: VALUES-BASED DECISION MAKING. In this month’s program, Values-Based Decision Making (VBDM) Through A Reconstructionist Lens, Rabbi David Teutsch, founding director of RRC’s program on Jewish ethics and author of Guide to Jewish Practice, and his son Zach, explain the VBDM process and how it can help us as a community, and as individuals, make careful, thoughtful, ethical decisions while minimizing controversy.

MAY Session: LITURGY AND PRAYER. This session is moderated by Ritualwell Director Hila Ratzabi, and presented by four rabbis, including Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner RRC’16, well-known to many CKS members as our former student rabbi. The rabbis share their wisdom with us, as they examine the role and relevance of both traditional and contemporary liturgy and prayer.

APRIL Session: REPAIRING THE WORLD. This session is led by Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and Ruth Messinger, Global Ambassador at American Jewish World Service.

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Thu, May 26 2022 25 Iyar 5782