This summary highlights just a few of the many steps taken to meet the objectives (concrete, measurable actions) related to achieving these goals during Fiscal Year 2010.
RRC saw several important initiatives in academic excellence during this period. The College planned and structured an intensive curriculum review, which was launched in September 2010. Under the leadership of Vice President for Academic Affairs Tamar Kamionkowski, students, faculty, alumni and board members engaged in the Reimagining Rabbinical Education project are creating a new curriculum that will equip tomorrow’s rabbis to be creative pioneers in our changing Jewish landscape. This process is expected to culminate in a distinctive, cutting-edge rabbinical training program.
In 2010, the rabbinical program expanded its commitment to justice work, introducing a new track in Social Justice Organizing for the spring semester. The renewal of a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Luce Foundation enabled the creation of a multifaith fellow faculty position. Monthly student-faculty meetings and a series of co-curricular programs were introduced to expand dialogue and understanding around Israel.
Due to a strong applicant pool, the maximum capacity of the Institute for Prospective Rabbinical Students was increased from 15 to 20 participants. The College also organized HaMifgash, the first national gathering of Reconstructionist college students.
RRC faculty and alumni made major contributions to Jewish thought and resources. Rabbi Jacob Staub, ’77, Ph.D., served as guest editor for a special issue of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture dedicated to Reconstructionist thought and action. Rabbi Deborah Waxman, ’99, Ph.D. contributed the article “ ‘A Lady Sometimes Blows the Shofar’: Women’s Religious Equality in the Postwar Reconstructionist Movement” to A Jewish Feminine Mystique (Rutgers University Press); the book was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award.
New Web initiatives were developed and launched to extend Reconstructionist Judaism’s image and influence, better serving new and existing constituencies. RRC.edu and related Web sites were moved to a common, easily maintained platform; Reconrabbi.net, a Web resource for RRC alumni and other Reconstructionist rabbis, was launched; new e-communications materials were introduced (including newsletters, solicitations and recruitment materials); and the concept for the MostJewish campaign—part of a major new digital initiative—was developed with Blue State Digital, the organization behind MyBarackObama.com.
And RRC participated in conversations with the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (JRF) and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA) about creating a unified governing structure for the movement.*
The College also made strides in securing funds to achieve its mission; it received commitments for $450,000 in challenge grants for two Fiscal Year 2011 fundraising initiatives.
*Update: In February 2011 the boards of RRC and JRF voted to unify the organizations; on April 10 congregational delegates passed the proposal. The new organization will include a united board made up of lay leaders and rabbis, a united professional staff and a single chief executive. Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz, RRC president, will assume leadership of the new organization.
Download the FY10 update on RRC's five-year strategic plan as a color PDF.
Download Creating Change: A Vision for RRC's Future, RRC's five-year strategic plan, as a color PDF (309 KB).