A Word About Resolutions
The RRA serves as the collective voice of Reconstructionist rabbis, the rabbinic voice of the Reconstructionist Movement and as a progressive Jewish voice in world affairs. Based upon our deep engagement with Jewish traditions, texts and teaching and in concert with our highest held values and aspirations, it is incumbent upon us to be present in the world’s market place of ideas and viewpoints.
As such, the RRA offers its voice and raises up the voices of its members through a variety of forums and opportunities. We seek consensus on issues of concern, when possible, and trust our leaders to best represent our views when necessary.
The RRA “speaks” in various ways:
Guidelines: Guidelines are significant statements of beliefs about, and guidance for, rabbinic Jewish practice and behavior. While not understood as binding halacha (Jewish law), they may be understood as responsa, a traditional term for rabbinic application of Jewish teaching to contemporary issues.
Guidelines are the product of considerable study, discussion and deliberation by the entirety of the membership. Often, a task force or committee will initiate a process and produce a draft document. Drafts are then circulated and feedback is sought through multiple pathways. The process for reaching consensus on a set of guidelines may take up to two years and is never rushed.
Guidelines are adopted by the Association through a vote at plenary meetings of the Association at either our biennial North American Convention or Virtual Business Meeting
Resolutions: Resolutions are formal statements on values that reflect the RRAs viewpoint on local or global concerns. They may be introduced by an individual or group, but ultimately represent a broad consensus within our diverse association.
Resolutions are adopted through a vote at plenary meetings of the association at either our biennial North American Convention or Virtual Business Meeting after significant deliberation and review by both the board and the membership.
Statements/Press Releases: Statements or press releases are issued when there are emergent issues or concerns. Due to time constraints, the RRA leadership, including the President and the Executive Director, may offer statements or press releases even if there is no opportunity for a more deliberative and inclusive process. These statements generally reflect previously adopted Resolutions, Guidelines and/or Reconstructionist teaching. At least two members of the RRA leadership must approve any statement before it is released. In order to ensure that our membership is aware of these Statements and Press Releases, they will be shared with the RRA membership via e-mail.
Joint Statements with the RRC/JRC: Periodically, the RRA and the RRC/JRC issue joint statements and press releases representing a consensus viewpoint of the entire Reconstructionist movement. Joint statements require the approval of the President and Board Chairman of the RRC; the Executive Director and President of the RRA and often the chairperson and director of the Reconstructionist movements “Tikkun Olam Commission.”
A word about procedures: procedures are the administrative steps that are taken to reach the outcome of any of the categories above. Procedures are formulated by the Executive Director in consultation with the Executive Board.