by Emily Eisbruch
With the start of 2013, the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Havurah became the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation (AARC), as the group embraced a name that better describes the range of services and activities it's grown to offer.
"We wanted a name that portrayed the strength and breadth of our growing community, which now includes over 65 households," said Debbie Zivan, President Emeritus and Board Co-Chair of the AARC.
Aura Ahuvia, Rabbinic Intern for the past four years and one of the group's founding members, added, “The new name, Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation, defines us more accurately, and will help newcomers get a better sense of what we’re about.”
At age 20, the AARC now operates a Beit Sefer (religious school) where children become familiar with the Torah, learn Hebrew and are encouraged to develop their own viewpoints about Judaism. In addition, the Congregation has grown to sponsor a broad range of activities that include Shabbat services, life cycle events, holiday observances, and social and educational programs. A favorite annual event is the Sukkot Retreat, featuring nature walks, art activities, yoga, fantastic food and friendship, as well as worship services. Also noteworthy are the AARC's ticketless high holiday worship services, open to the entire community.