In line with RRC’s history of innovative curricula, the school laid the groundwork for Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, ’85, to join the faculty in spring 2010. Liebling is establishing a new rabbinical training track dedicated to social-justice organizing—the first Jewish seminary program of its kind. The program will include specialized coursework and supervised internships, while also infusing social-justice content across curricula. Also significant to the rabbinical program were the introduction of an updated Hebrew curriculum, additional internship opportunities, the opening of an office space in Israel, and special advising for all students going to Israel for their year of study.
RRC gained ground as a vital source of Jewish thought and resources, as the College saw major publications by faculty members and directors of the three knowledge centers, and expanded the offerings and sales outreach of the RRC Press. With technology playing a key role throughout the plan, RRC enhanced its successful YouTube and Facebook initiatives; a guest consultant lectured on Twitter; and “tweets” from the dean of admissions and recruitment became an additional tool in attracting well-qualified rabbinical candidates. A unique distance learning program geared for laypeople, “Judaism Through a Reconstructionist Lens,” was planned and put into production. (It is expected to launch in fall 2010, after the High Holidays.)
The College established a relationship with a nationally renowned Web strategy firm that will help leverage many institutional assets in the world of social media and Web 2.0. This partnership can move the College to the next level of Internet presence and help meet the objective of using technology to expand the reach of RRC and Reconstructionist Judaism. Also serving to raise the image and influence of the Reconstructionist movement was an innovative summer retreat for emerging Muslim and Jewish leaders; hosted by The Department of Multifaith Studies and initiatives, the event garnered attention both in the blogosphere and in traditional press.
The Tzey U’lemad alumni-enrichment and education program held two regional retreats and initiated plans for an online Web resource and networking site dedicated to graduates of RRC and members of the RRA. (ReconRabbi.net launched in January 2010.) Hiddur: The Center for Aging and Judaism reached new audiences with a forum on Jewish baby boomers, co-presented with Philadelphia’s public broadcasting affiliate. RRC also enhanced the profile of the Reconstructionist movement with a historical exhibit and a public lecture with leading historian Deborah Dash Moore, Ph.D.
A dedicated board Web site was launched, enhancing leadership tools for the board of governors. Access to critical metrics through an online “dashboard” helps board members monitor pivotal aspects of education, operations and finance.
With regard to financial security, RRC succeeded in increasing total donations and the number of donors—by almost 10 percent—from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2009, despite a dramatic downturn in the economy. College leadership generated new development and donor stewardship plans. RRC continued to minimize tuition increases while maximizing the portion of tuition income dedicated to scholarships and paid internships. Given the precarious position of many educational and nonprofit institutions, these accomplishments have even greater significance.
Download the FY09 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).