Hashivenu

Hashivenu

Hashivenu is a podcast about Jewish teachings and practice around resilience. Cultivating resilience in challenging times, both individually and collectively, is an essential path to personal renewal. Support Hashivenu Find out more about the show at About (https://hashivenu.fireside.fm/about), and learn about our theme song at Theme Song (https://hashivenu.fireside.fm/theme-song). Subscribe by Email This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ReconstructingJudaism.org (https://ReconstructingJudaism.org)

Episodes

May 16, 2024 38 mins
Rabbi Elyse Wechterman recently announced that she will step down from her position as CEO of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA) in June after leading the organization for the past nine years. Elyse stops by Deborah’s office to look back on her tenure and look ahead to what’s next. The two longtime colleagues commiserate over the day-to-day realities of leading an organization, including a friendly debate over the p...
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Rabbi Deborah Waxman welcomes Cheryl Cook, CEO of Avodah, for a wide-ranging conversation. The two longtime friends and hevrutah partners recall their early conversations about Israel and Palestine (3:00). They discuss the nature of leadership in general as well as their own perspectives as women in leadership (10:10). They touch on the importance of resilience in how they have been able to navigate the turbulence of the last 10 ye...
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Weeks ago, Rabbi Deborah Waxman and founder Yoshi Silverstein scheduled this discussion about embodied Jewish practice and antiracism. Did it make any sense to have this conversation in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians and hostage taking, the subsequent and unfolding war and its tremendous toll on Palestinian civilians? After pausing to consider, they decided that such a conversation is more important than ev...
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In ancient times on Yom Kippur, the high priest of Israel presided over an elaborate, mystical service atop the Temple Mount. Today, many traditional synagogues recount this ritual with the avodah service. In this episode, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., speaks with Rabbi Vivie Mayer about what the avodah service — which they acknowledge is mainly attended by the “die-hards” — can teach us today. “What Yom Kippur is really enacting an...
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September 19, 2022 38 mins
In this special episode, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D and Rabbi Sandra Lawson discuss their respective processes of preparing for the High Holidays. This isn’t about leading services, but about how, as human beings, they undertake an accounting of the soul, leading to repentance for their own actions and forgiveness toward others. The two friends and colleagues delve into Maimonides as interpreted by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg in her new...
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Reconstructing Judaism board member and Tikkun Olam Commission co-chair Shahanna McKinney-Baldon opens up with Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D. and Rabbi Sandra Lawson about her time singing for the ska and reggae band Highball Holiday. The educator, activist and artist, who comes an African American and Ashkenazi family, talks about rediscovering her singing voice in middle age, and shedding certain inhibitions and self-consciousness. ...
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April 8, 2022 46 mins
On Sept. 3, 2019, Richard Cohen’s wife, Marcia Horowitz, was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Horowitz lived 160 more days. In his acclaimed 2021 book, The Smooth River: Finding Inspiration and Exquisite Beauty during Terminal Illness, Cohen, a lawyer and Reconstructionist leader, recounts those days and what the couple learned about life as Horowitz's death approached. In this special episode, Richard Cohen discusses ...
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There’s an increasing focus in popular discourse on allyship, particularly when it comes to people of color and other marginalized groups. What does it mean to be an ally, both to individuals and to groups? How can one begin to do that work in a way that is meaningful and is about helping others and not about assisting one’s ego or placing oneself at the center of the story? In this episode, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D. and Rabbi Sa...
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October 26, 2021 39 mins
Helen K. Kim is Professor of Sociology at Whitman College and in 2019 assumed the position of Associate Dean for Faculty Development. She is also the co-author of JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America's Newest Jews along with her husband Noah Leavitt. In this interview, Kim discusses macro topics such as racism in the Jewish community and the rancorous debate over communal demography. She also discusses more personal m...
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Amanda Mbuvi, Ph.D., is the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s new vice president for academic affairs. Mbuvi, a Hebrew Bible scholar and nonprofit leader, is the first Jew of Color to hold such a leadership position at an American rabbinical seminary. We delve into Mbuvi’s desire to deepen how people and communities think about diversity and identity. Mbuvi shares her enthusiasm for using the Bible in general, and Genesis and ...
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Marcella White Campbell is executive director of Be'chol Lashon -- a pioneering organization that strengthens Jewish identity by affirming the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the Jewish people. We discuss her multiracial Jewish family's own experiences as a window into the Jewish community's troubled record in welcoming Jews of Color. She reflects on her own growth into leadership, motivated by the rising cohort of young ...
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We're joined by Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, one of fewer than 100 Black American women to earn a doctorate in physics -- and a Reconstructionist! We discuss the insights she draws from her background as a Black and Ashkenazi Jew, and the richness, complexity, and fruitful challenges that diverse voices bring to the Jewish community. She and Rabbi Sandra Lawson discuss their respective experiences as trailblazers within the ...
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We begin a new season focusing on Judaism, resilience, and racial justice, and welcome a new co-host: Rabbi Sandra Lawson, director of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion for Reconstructing Judaism. We dig deeply into the complexities of engaging in racial justice work within the Jewish community, the necessity for deep listening and empathy toward Jews of color, and the need to draw on resilience practices to stay committed t...
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At this extraordinary High Holiday season, so many people are experiencing losses of many kinds. We speak with Rabbi Margot Stein about the lessons she learned about resilience while navigating profound loss -- the death of her eldest son, Aryeh. We discuss the practices that sustain her, and explore how Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur invite us to choose life, in many ways, again and again. Subscribe by Email This podcast is produc...
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August 20, 2020 40 mins
Rabbi Michael Strassfeld has made a life and career at the core of Jewish counterculture, combining a deep connection with Jewish text and tradition with a passion for creative experimentation with new, accessible and relevant forms of Jewish community and practice. In our conversation, we discuss his experiences as a founder of the havurah movement, co-creator of the groundbreaking Jewish Catalog series, and rabbi of the SAJ. Towa...
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August 3, 2020 37 mins
When our world falls apart, what sustains us? We recorded this conversation with Rabbi Shira Stutman, senior rabbi at 6th and I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C, in early April 2020 — shortly after coronavirus response had brought face-to-face communal gatherings, and indeed most people's social lives, to a screeching halt. Speaking at a time of profound global dislocation that affected our most personal connections, we discu...
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June 25, 2020 42 mins
Is Harry Potter a sacred text? According to our guest, Casper ter Kuile, Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and the co-founder of the Sacred Design Lab (https://sacred.design/), it is if you bring that approach to the series. His study of the ways in which people find meaning through text, community, and tradition has opened up vibrant conversations that break down the walls of "religious" and "secular" by illum...
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May 21, 2020 31 mins
Yoshi Silverstein’s passions — which include Jewish outdoor and environmental education, as well as fitness and movement — each strive toward creative embodied Jewish practice. We explore how these approaches can contribute to a resilient Jewish community, and conclude by applying them to the upcoming holiday of Shavuot: how might they help us experience revelation and gratitude in the midst of an uncertain future? Subscribe by Ema...
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April 21, 2020 37 mins
It's a fundamental Jewish belief that all human beings are created in the divine image. But society all too often treats those with disabilities as second-class citizens. In our conversation with Jay Ruderman, we discuss his family foundation's work to advocate for and advance the inclusion of people with disabilities, both within the Jewish community and in society at large. We also delve into the dangers posed by the current pan...
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As the coronavirus pandemic took hold, Rabbi Joshua Lesser created a Facebook group to support and connect clergy of all faiths struggling to respond to the crisis. Over five thousand people joined within the first two weeks. We discuss the exponential growth of the multifaith community he created and reflect on both the practical challenges and interior dimensions of spiritual leadership in times like these. Rabbi Lesser also expl...
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