Reconstructionist Judaism

In most ways, Shir Hadash will feel familiar to you. We celebrate Shabbat, the Jewish holidays, and the High Holidays with worship services led by our wonderful Rabbi, Eitan Weiner-Kaplow.

Our services include many of the same prayers as a Conservative service, but with a more dynamic approach. Like a Reform synagogue, we freely incorporate musical instruments into our services. And we incorporate new music and all of the arts as we explore spirituality.

In our religious school, students learn Torah, prayer, Hebrew, Jewish ethics and history, the holidays, and about the State of Israel and the Holocaust. They are well prepared for their b’nai mitzvah and develop a strong Jewish identity.

But we are not a cookie cutter congregation. We follow the conventions but we are not conventional. What sets Shir Hadash apart?

Our emphasis on our community as we engage in Tikkun Olam—social action to make the world a better place; our creative worship services, featuring music, dance, and drama; and the way we care for each other through good times and bad. We call them the three Cs—Community, Creativity, Caring.

Another reason we stand out from the rest is that we are a Reconstructionist synagogue. Reconstructionism is a progressive movement that makes Judaism relevant to contemporary life, with an emphasis on social action, the arts, and community, while still honoring Jewish tradition. We constantly experiment with new ways of worshipping, studying, and strengthening the community to make our Jewish experience more meaningful.

Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, whose vision and interpretation became the Reconstructionist movement, saw an opportunity to incorporate the American ideals of equality and democracy into the study and practice of Jewish life. For Kaplan, “The past has a voice but not a veto.” He saw Judaism as an evolving religious civilization.

 Egalitarian, democratic, welcoming of interfaith families, pluralistic, participatory, innovative, and with diverse ideas about God, Reconstructionism infuses the wisdom of traditional Judaism with modern sensibilities. You will be amazed at how great it feels to practice Judaism in a way that is meaningful and relevant to your life.

 We’d love to have you join us at services or pay a visit to our religious school so you can see for yourself why Shir Hadash is the right choice for you and your family.