Congregation Bet Haverim is a Reconstructionist Jewish community in Atlanta. Our mission, in a nutshell, is to provide contemporary Jewish spiritual, educational, cultural, and social experiences in which an individual can integrate his or her practice of Judaism with other aspects of his or her life, including social consciousness, intellectual curiosity, sexual orientation, and familial bonds. We serve and support the Lesbian and Gay community and promote the Reconstructionist concept of Judaism as an evolving religious civilization.
What is Reconstructionist Judaism?
Reconstructionist Judaism, developed in the writings of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, began in the 1930s as the left wing of Conservative Judaism, and emerged as a separate fourth movement with the opening of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1968.
Reconstructionist Judaism differs from other approaches in seeing Jewish culture, religion and tradition as having been created by the Jewish people throughout history, rather than given by God at Mt. Sinai; we see our tradition as having grown from the ground up, and not from the (mountain-) top down.
Reconstructionist communities are characterized by a high degree of participation in communal decisionmaking, by a spirit of inclusivity and informality, and by a balance between respect for tradition and responsiveness to contemporary needs.
A Reconstructionist Jew has strong commitments both to tradition and to the search for contemporary meaning. Reconstructionists encourage all Jews to enhance their own lives by reclaiming our shared heritage and becoming active participants in the building of the Jewish future.
This article outlines the ideology, philosophy and practice of Reconstructionist Jews as well as their relationship to the larger Jewish community.
Diversity at CBH (in spiritual practice, religious background and Jewish literacy, race, gender spectrum, age, financial resources, interests, etc) is of the utmost importance to us. We are a congregation founded by gays and lesbians as a Jewish home, embracing all Jews and their loved ones.
This list provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about Reconstructionist Judaism.
Rabbi Richard Hirsh: Reconstructionist Ideas About Faith and Belief
Learn about belonging, behaving and believing, and Reconstructionist approaches to faith in this short video lecture by Rabbi Richard Hirsh, RRC '81, executive director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.