Author

  • The first woman rabbi to head a Jewish congregational union and a Jewish seminary, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., became president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and 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 sphere. Through visiting numerous congregations (more than 50 at last count), making public appearances in person and online, and in writing for regional and national publications, Rabbi Waxman is projecting a vision of Judaism that embraces all peoples and inspires Jews to be strong allies to the most vulnerable among us. Since Rabbi Waxman has assumed her leadership role, RRC/Reconstructing Judaism has undertaken a number of major initiatives, including revising the rabbinical college’s curriculum, building even stronger relationships with congregational leadership, innovating Judaism for the 21st century, bolstering Reconstructionist Judaism’s ties to Israel and opening a second summer camp. Rabbi Waxman has taught courses on Reconstructionist Judaism and practical rabbinics since 2002 at the college, where she is the Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman Presidential Professor. Waxman is a cum laude graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University, and a recipient of a rabbinical ordination and a master’s degree in Hebrew letters from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1999. She earned a Ph.D. in American Jewish history from Temple University in May 2010.

A Beat to Which We Can All Move

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.

Divine Justice

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.

Towards Wholeness

Towards Wholeness

A text sheet and study guide created by Rabbi Deborah Waxman on Rabbi Alex Weissman’s piece, “Halleluyah.”

Modeh Ani as a Means for Cultivating Resilience

Modeh Ani as a Means for Cultivating Resilience

A new interpretation of the story of Lot’s wife: that bearing witness provokes her transformation into the pillar of salt. The question remains: How can we act with compassion and bear witness without becoming paralyzed or fixed?

Harnessing Technology

Harnessing Technology

How can we sanctify our on-line lives by acting according to our values? How can we use the resources on line to enrich our lives?

Presidential Inauguration Remarks

Presidential Inauguration Remarks

At her inauguration as the first woman president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, Rabbi Deborah Waxman chants from Exodus and teaches about redemption.

On Catastrophe and Renewal

On Catastrophe and Renewal

Rabbi Deborah Waxman asks: What does a post-Holocaust progressive Judaism looks like today? By embracing our shared humanity and valuing difference, we can create a version of the Jewish future that calls us to move forward while drawing from the lessons.