Reconstructionist rabbi to speak in Keene

Lesbian Rabbi Deborah Waxman, who took over in January as head of the Reconstructionist movement and president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, the movement’s seminary, will speak at Congregation Ahavas Achim in Keene (New Hampshire) this Thursday

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The Reconstructionist movement of Judaism is viewed as the religion’s most progressive. So it isn’t surprising that the recently inaugurated president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, is believed to be the first woman president of a religious seminary in the United States, and is certainly the first woman rabbi to head a major Jewish movement. The fact that she is a lesbian makes her presidency that much more noteworthy.

Waxman, who was sworn in as college president this past October, will speak at Congregation Ahavas Achim in Keene Thursday, Dec. 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Her topic is, “A Most Welcome Minority: The Challenges and Opportunities of Being Jewish in America in the 21st Century.” The talk is open to the public and is part of Waxman’s tour of the nation’s Reconstructionist synagogues.

“For the most part, America has been a welcoming and accepting environment for Jews,” Waxman said. “American Jews have strongly believed in the promises of America’s documents that all individuals are created equal, and have fought — for themselves and for others — to ensure that these commitments are translated into reality. This openness has enabled Jews to feel at home in America and to contribute to American society in many ways — arts, entertainment and culture, science and education, the political realm and more.”

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