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About Us

Kolot brings insights and innovative practices from the study of gender and Judaism to the Jewish community.

Kolot offers courses, pastoral education, faculty education and certification in gender and Judaism and Jewish women's studies at RRC. Kolot's educational programs and materials make the time-honored traditions of Judaism meaningful and relevant for contemporary Jews by supporting innovation in Jewish living and thought.

  • Rabbinical Training: Kolot incorporates the perspectives of gender theory, social history, psychology and other disciplines into the training of rabbinical students. Course offerings include Bible and the Feminist Imagination and Images of the Body in Jewish Mysticism. Kolot provides pastoral education on domestic violence and breast cancer in the Jewish community.
  • Ritualwell.org:  Ritualwell.org is the leading online resource to find Jewish rituals. Since 2001, Ritualwell has helped hundreds of thousands of users find, adapt, and create rituals expressing their Jewish lives and practices. Ritualwell offers resources for moments for which Jewish tradition has been silent—loss of a pregnancy, welcoming an adopted child into the family, recovery from a personal or humanitarian crisis. Our vast database includes content for weddingsbaby namingsfuneralshealingdaily prayer and mindfulness, and more. For today’s Jews and fellow travelers who seek contemporary, individualized, accessible Jewish expression, Ritualwell is a treasured guide. Ritualwell promotes a democratic Judaism where everyone is welcome to submit content and join a conversation on Jewish life and ritual. By responding to user input, we continue to adapt to emerging areas of interest and concern, and we publish regular blog posts on a variety of topics. To stay in touch, sign up for our monthly emails, featuring our latest content. Contact us at ritualwell@rrc.edu. Ritualwell is housed at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA. The site was originally a project of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies of RRC and was created in partnership with Ma’ayan, the Jewish Women’s Project. Ritualwell is led by Executive Editor Rabbi Roni Handler and Editor Hila Ratzabi. Thanks to Rabbi Rona Shapiro, Lori Lefkovitz and Ruth Heiges for their contributions to earlier iterations of this project.
  • Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies: Kolot, in conjunction with Temple University's women's studies program, offers a certificate program in Jewish women's studies to rabbinical and graduate students as well as to non-matriculated students.
  • Henny Wenkart Writer-in-Residence Program: This endowed program supports public readings and lectures by distinguished feminist Jewish writers. It introduces the best feminist thought to the local community and helps ensure that the next generation of rabbis will incorporate new perspectives into their teaching and liturgy. Writers-in-Residence have included: Marge Piercy, Merle Feld, Linda Zisquit, David Ehrlich, Nessa Rapoport, Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, and Jennifer Weiner.
  • Beckerman Kolot Library Fund: This endowment fund supports a collection of resources in gender studies at RRC's Mordecai M. Kaplan Library, including books, periodicals, and other materials.
  • Conferences and Publications: Kolot's groundbreaking 1998 conference on Food, Body Image, and Judaism inspired the development of a Rosh Hodesh program for teen-aged girls. Kolot publications promote gender-sensitive Jewish practice.
  • Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing! - an experiential program created by Kolot - strengthens the Jewish identity and self-esteem of adolescent girls through monthly celebrations of the New Moon festival. Having successfully completed the development of the first edition of the sourcebook and piloting and evaluating over 150 groups around the country, in 2004, Kolot and RRC spun off the program to Moving Traditions, which is now making it available to girls of all denominations and affiliations in communities across North America. For more information, visit roshhodesh.org.