Rebecca T. Alpert, professor of religion at Temple University, was among the first women in America ordained as a rabbi at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1976. Her primary field of study is American Judaism in the 20th century, focusing on sports, race and sexuality. Her best-known works include Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition; Whose Torah? A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism; Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball; and with Jacob Staub, Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach. She is a recipient of Temple University’s highest honor, The Great Teacher Award; a member of the Rabbinic Council of Jewish Voice for Peace; and a commissioner on the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. She will be retiring from Temple in June and is looking forward to being faculty emerita.
If concerns about Zionism could be examined anywhere in the organized Jewish community, Reconstructionist Judaism — with its history of taking courageous stances on difficult issues — should be the place.