Rabbi Deborah Waxman

THE FIRST WOMAN RABBI to head a Jewish congregational union and a Jewish seminary, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., became president and chief executive officer of Reconstructing Judaism in 2014. Since then, she has drawn on her training as a rabbi and historian to be the Reconstructionist movement’s leading voice in the public square. Under Rabbi Waxman’s leadership, Reconstructing Judaism has undertaken a number of major initiatives, while building even stronger relationships with affiliated congregational leadership and innovating Judaism for the 21st century. During her tenure, the organization has reimagined its rabbinical training curriculum, bolstered the movement’s ties to Israel, hosted the largest convention in the movement’s history, and launched an online project, Evolve, which enables substantive Jewish learning, models nuanced and respectful discussion, and serves as an incubator for ideas that can positively transform Jewish life. Rabbi Waxman is creator and host of Hashivenu, a popular podcast about resilience and Judaism. Rabbi Waxman has taught courses on Reconstructionist Judaism and practical rabbinics since 2002 at the rabbinical college, where she is the Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman Presidential Professor. Waxman is a cum laude graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University, and graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She earned a Ph.D. in American Jewish history from Temple University.

Essays

BEYOND ANTISEMITISM

Living fully and beautifully, and in a deeply interconnected fashion, is the richest possible repudiation of those who hate us.

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A Beat to Which We Can All Move

Pursuing racial justice work enables white Jews to untangle the ways in which we have been aided by white privilege and structural racism so that we can undo its harm to Black people — Jewish and non-Jewish — and to ourselves.

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dandelion against sky with rising sun

Divine Justice

Faith in a God who is not personal and does not intervene supernaturally animates our sense of the beauty and sanctity of the world. It also enables us to maintain faith and equanimity in the face of tragedy.

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The Reconstructionist Network