Uplifted and excited about the future
by Rabbi Nathan Martin - January 2019
I still can feel the joyful energy as I joined a chain of a hundred other smiling dancers while we snaked our way through the aisles of the Double Tree hotel conference room and belted out Lekha Dodi along with the 500+ Reconstructionist davveners for the Friday night service. This is one image I will hold onto from the Reconstructing Judaism convention - an image that helps me to remember that we are indeed part of a larger movement of joyful, creative, soulful Jews and allies seeking ways to infuse Jewish meaning into our lives.
While I have much to digest and reflect on from the gathering, I wanted to share a few more immediate personal reflections about the ways that I was impacted. (Also check the Reconstructing Judaism website - reconstructingjudaism.org - for ongoing reflections and content from the event.
We are rooted in justice
I was pleased to be reminded again how central the work of repairing the brokenness is to our movement. The Friday morning plenary session focused on ways in which faith based communities are seeking to repair the brokenness of our food system in America. There were built in opportunities to "pray with our feet,” including volunteering at the broad street ministry (https://www.broadstreetministry.org), and leafletting at a local Wendy’s organized by T’ruah in support of the Coalition of Immokalee workers in their campaign to be fairly compensated for their agricultural work. And there were many additional opportunities to study social justice Torah ranging from the Torah of the metoo# movement to health care reform, to how social justice organizing can be structured at one’s congregation. Our very own Rabbi Linda was on a panel exploring issues of racial justice in the rabbinate that was quite powerful. I left these sessions energized and curious about how to integrate my personal commitment to social justice and how to support us as a BI community to continue our important work in this area.