RRC Head on Post-Denominationalism

This past weekend I was in Philadelphia for the semi-annual board meeting of JRF, the synagogue arm of the Reconstructionist movement. The first part of the board meeting was a presentation by Dan Ehrenkrantz, the president of RRC. Dan’s wisdom and foresight rivals the difficulty one has spelling his name in magnitude.
Dan was asked to speak about theology and the differences between recon jews and humanists. He talked some about that but what i think will interest us Jewschoolers the most is what he said about the role of movements.
“Our goal is to build the institutions, organizations, options, etc that Jews need and want the most. We shouldn’t ask ‘is this process the most reconstructionst’, but rather is this process the best we can create. Rather than ask ‘is this model the most Kaplanian’, let’s ask if it’s the best we can do.”
Dan is an avowed builder of denominational life, he runs a major seminary, but to his credit he is saying that reconstructionism should be about best practices. Like any good reconstructionist he is committed to radical inclusion, communal process, and halacha having a strong vote rather than a veto. Beyond that though, he is articulating a very flexible approach that seeks to do things better and accross more divides, and without the abiding sense of turf.
I think this is a promising sign that JRF and RRC will work to help build bridges to our world. I’ll have more on that in the next few days.

One thought on “RRC Head on Post-Denominationalism

  1. ZT,
    Thanks for your reflections on the speech. Practically, I do think Recons. are in the best position of the liberal branches to channel the indy minyan energies (when appropriate). Dan’s “best not denominational” statement is refreshing for those of us who’ve seen Jewish denominations and organizations hold on to their older generation’s scraps of Judaica to the detriment of the future.
    Of course best practices requires a standard of evaluation which might be assumed by folks at the JRF and RRC leadership but should be explored. Can you think of examples where this choice might come into play?

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