NEW YORK — A new prayer book recently issued by the Jewish Reconstructionist movement is breaking new ground in American Judaism in its concern for feminist language, ecology and personal spirituality.
"It's a do-it-yourself prayer book. . . . It doesn't have to be used only in synagogues, so more Jews will use it at home," said Rabbi David A. Teutsch, editor-in-chief of the prayer book.
Called in Hebrew "Kol Haneshama," the prayer book was introduced in September. It will be used first on an experimental basis for Sabbath eve and synagogue services in the approximately 60,000-member Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot.
Reconstructionist Judaism was founded by Mordecai Kaplan in 1940. The movement does not see the Jewish religion as having been supernaturally revealed to Moses but rather as a civilization that adapts tradition and beliefs to changing times.