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Singing a New Song

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placingtallisRecently, I had the distinct privilege of participating in the ceremony at NMAJH in which Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D. was inaugurated as the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities. More than 300 guests from all aspects of the movement and its allies celebrated this historic occasion—the sixth president of the RRC and the first woman to lead one of the major movements of Judaism.
Of course, the National Museum of American Jewish History is not affiliated with any denominational movement, though we teach a bit about the history of each in our core exhibition. We are proud that the Museum daily presents the story of Mordechai Kaplan and the foundations of the distinctly American Reconstructionist movement. Many of the themes of the movement are explored more broadly in our exhibition—democracy, inclusion, and facing head-on the choices and challenges of American Jewry in the modern era. Just as we look at Jewish tradition, we explore how those traditions have been changed and adapted over time, pointing to the innovation, creativity and resourcefulness of the community. In celebrating Rabbi Waxman’s inauguration, the Museum didn’t only teach history, we witnessed and participated in its enactment. What an honor!
Perhaps the most moving part of a very powerful ceremony was when youngsters from the Camp JRF sang accapella “Zeh hayom.” Or maybe it was when Rabbi Waxman articulated her vision for the future, or when RRC faculty member Jacob Staub recited a poem he had written for the occasion, which began: “Rejoice, O women of Judah./Sing the song of autumn leaves,/arrayed in a shuk of stunning colors/proclaiming the dramatic change of seasons…” It may have been when all the assembled sang from Psalm 96:1-2, a shir hadash—a new song.
May the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and Rabbi Dr. President Deborah Waxman go from strength to strength.

Written by Ivy Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director
 
Image: Seth Rosen, Chair, Community Engagement Committee, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
Hon. Abraham Clott, Chair, Congregational Services Committee, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
Judith Spatz, Chair, Jewish Reconstructionist Camping Corporation
Susan Beckerman, Vice Chair, Board of Governors, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
David Roberts, Chair, Board of Governors, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities

In celebrating Rabbi Waxman’s inauguration, the Museum didn’t only teach history, we witnessed and participated in its enactment.
Posted by: Tatouage Phrase( Visit ) at 12/9/2014 5:46 AM


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