For Reconstructionists, Judaism is more than the Jewish religion; it is the entire cultural legacy of the Jewish people. Reconstructionist communities are characterized by their respect for such core values as democratic process, pluralism and accessibility. Communities are participatory, inclusive and egalitarian, committed to exploring Jewish life with dedication, warmth and enthusiasm. Participation of non-Jewish partners of synagogue members, as well as children, regardless of which parent is Jewish, is welcomed.
Reconstructionist congregations make many of their decisions about ritual practice on the basis of study, conversation and group decision making. Rabbis are a source of authority, not the source of authority. Reconstructionist synagogues generally observe kashrut to some degree, utilize kippot and tallitot, and usually include more Hebrew in their services than Reform congregations. While respectful of traditional Jewish observance, Reconstructionists are
also open to new interpretations and forms of religious expression. As Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionism, taught, tradition has “a vote, but not a veto.”
Reconstructionists hold diverse ideas about God. We believe that there is one God, and there are many ways of understanding and talking about God.