Rebecca T. Alpert, professor emerita 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.
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.