The Radical American Judaism of Mordecai M Kaplan

This gracefully argued book, with its sensitive insights into the beliefs of a revolutionary Jewish thinker, makes a powerful contribution to modern Judaism and to contemporary American religious thought.

Author: Mel Scult

Publisher: Modern Jewish Experience

ISBN: 9780253010759

Category: Religion

Page: 336

View: 248

Mordecai M. Kaplan, founder of the Jewish Reconstructionist movement, is the only rabbi to have been excommunicated by the Orthodox rabbinical establishment in America. Kaplan was indeed a heretic, rejecting such fundamental Jewish beliefs as the concept of the chosen people and a supernatural God. Although he valued the Jewish community and was a committed Zionist, his primary concern was the spiritual fulfillment of the individual. Drawing on Kaplan's 27-volume diary, Mel Scult describes the development of Kaplan's radical theology in dialogue with the thinkers and writers who mattered to him most, from Spinoza to Emerson and from Ahad Ha-Am and Matthew Arnold to Felix Adler, John Dewey, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. This gracefully argued book, with its sensitive insights into the beliefs of a revolutionary Jewish thinker, makes a powerful contribution to modern Judaism and to contemporary American religious thought.

Toward a History of Jewish Thought

Scult, Radical American Judaism of Mordecai M. Kaplan, 23. Just as Spinoza
taught that people had to be “liberated from the authority of the Bible and its
interpreters so that they might pursue the truth through a life of reason,” so
Kaplan ...

Author: Zachary Alan Starr

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1532693079

Category: Religion

Page: 456

View: 255

The work is a history of Jewish beliefs regarding the concept of the soul, the idea of resurrection, and the nature of the afterlife. The work describes these beliefs, accounts for the origin of these beliefs, discusses the ways in which these beliefs have evolved, and explains why the many changes in belief have occurred. Views about the soul, resurrection, and the afterlife are related to other Jewish views and to broad movements in Jewish thought; and Jewish intellectual history is placed within the context of the history of Western thought in general. That history begins with the biblical period and extends to the present time.

The American Judaism of Mordecai M Kaplan

Some declared their membership openly, and many struggled with leaving
Judaism for more radical pursuits. According to Ira Eisenstein, Kaplan had an
enormous influence over many students, keeping them connected to the Jewish
cause.

Author: Emanuel Goldsmith

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814730523

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 478

View: 489

“If I know my own heart, I can truly say, that I have not a selfish wish in placing myself under the patronage of the [American Colonization] Society; usefulness in my day and generation, is what I principally court.” “Sensible then, as all are of the disadvantages under which we at present labour, can any consider it a mark of folly, for us to cast our eyes upon some other portion of the globe where all these inconveniences are removed where the Man of Colour freed from the fetters and prejudice, and degradation, under which he labours in this land, may walk forth in all the majesty of his creation—a new born creature—aFree Man!” —John Brown Russwurm, 1829. John Brown Russwurm (1799-1851) is almost completely missing from the annals of the Pan-African movement, despite the pioneering role he played as an educator, abolitionist, editor, government official, emigrationist and colonizationist. Russwurm’s life is one of “firsts”: first African American graduate of Maine's Bowdoin College; co-founder ofFreedom’s Journal, America’s first newspaper to be owned, operated, and edited by African Americans; and, following his emigration to Africa, first black governor of the Maryland section of Liberia. Despite his accomplishments, Russwurm struggled internally with the perennial Pan-Africanist dilemma of whether to go to Africa or stay and fight in the United States, and his ordeal was the first of its kind to be experienced and resolved before the public eye. With this slim, accessible biography of Russwurm, Winston James makes a major contribution to the history of black uplift and protest in the Early American Republic and the larger Pan-African world. James supplements the biography with a carefully edited and annotated selection of Russwurm’s writings, which vividly demonstrate the trajectory of his political thinking and contribution to Pan-Africanist thought and highlight the challenges confronting the peoples of the African Diaspora. Though enormously rich and powerfully analytical, Russwurm’s writings have never been previously anthologized. The Struggles of John Brown Russwurmis a unique and unparalleled reflection on the Early American Republic, the African Diaspora and the wider history of the times. An unblinking observer of and commentator on the condition of African Americans as well as a courageous fighter against white supremacy and for black emancipation, Russwurm’s life and writings provide a distinct and articulate voice on race that is as relevant to the present as it was to his own lifetime.

A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community

This book examines the intellectual influences that moved Kaplan from Orthodoxy and analyzes the combination of personal, strategic, and career reasons that kept Kaplan close to Orthodox Jews, posing a question crucial to the understanding ...

Author: Jeffrey S. Gurock

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231504492

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 167

Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist movement, was the most influential and controversial radical Jewish thinker in the twentieth century. This book examines the intellectual influences that moved Kaplan from Orthodoxy and analyzes the combination of personal, strategic, and career reasons that kept Kaplan close to Orthodox Jews, posing a question crucial to the understanding of any religion: Can an established religious group learn from a heretic who has rejected its most fundamental beliefs?

Judaism in America

Jeffrey S. Gurock and Jacob J. Schacter, A Modern Heretic and a Traditional
Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism (New York,
1997), 148. 11. The best discussion of Kaplan's initial theological break is Gurock
 ...

Author: Marc Lee Raphael

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231512449

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 443

Jews have been a religious and cultural presence in America since the colonial era, and the community of Jews in the United States today—some six million people—continues to make a significant contribution to the American religious landscape. Emphasizing developments in American Judaism in the last quarter century among active participants in Jewish worship, this book provides both a look back into the 350-year history of Judaic life and a well-crafted portrait of a multifaceted tradition today. Combining extensive research into synagogue archival records and secondary sources as well as interviews and observations of worship services at more than a hundred Jewish congregations across the country, Raphael's study distinguishes itself as both a history of the Judaic tradition and a witness to the vitality and variety of contemporary American Judaic life. Beginning with a chapter on beliefs, festivals, and life-cycle events, both traditional and non-traditional, and an explanation of the enormous variation in practice, Raphael then explores Jewish history in America, from the arrival of the first Jews to the present, highlighting the emergence and development of the four branches: Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform. After documenting the considerable variety among the branches, the book addresses issues of some controversy, notably spirituality, conversion, homosexuality, Jewish education, synagogue architecture, and the relationship to Israel. Raphael turns next to a discussion of eight American Jews whose thoughts and/or activities made a huge impact on American Judaism. The final chapter focuses on the return to tradition in every branch of Judaism and examines prospects for the future.

Communings of the Spirit

Selections from the diary of the founder of Reconstructionism in America, covering Kaplan's early years as a rabbi, teacher of rabbis, and community leader.

Author: Mordecai M. Kaplan

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

ISBN: 9780814331163

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 560

View: 386

Selections from the diary of the founder of Reconstructionism in America, covering Kaplan's early years as a rabbi, teacher of rabbis, and community leader.

Communings of the Spirit Volume III

In the second volume, readers experience the economic problems of the 1930s and their shattering impact on the Jewish community. The third volume chronicles Kaplan’s spiritual and intellectual journey in the 1940s.

Author: Mel Scult

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

ISBN: 0814347681

Category: Religion

Page: 456

View: 346

Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881–1983), founder of Reconstructionism and the rabbi who initiated the first Bat Mitzvah, also produced the longest Jewish diary on record. In twenty-seven volumes, written between 1913 and 1978, Kaplan shares not only his reaction to the great events of his time but also his very personal thoughts on religion and Jewish life. In Communings of the Spirit: The Journals of Mordecai M. Kaplan Volume III, 1942–1951, readers experience his horror at the persecution of the European Jews, as well as his joy in the founding of the State of Israel. Above all else, Kaplan was concerned with the survival and welfare of the Jewish people. And yet he also believed that the well-being of the Jewish people was tied to the safety and security of all people. In his own words, "Such is the mutuality of human life that none can be saved, unless all are saved." In the first volume of Communings of the Spirit, editor Mel Scult covers Kaplan’s early years as a rabbi, teacher of rabbis, and community leader. In the second volume, readers experience the economic problems of the 1930s and their shattering impact on the Jewish community. The third volume chronicles Kaplan’s spiritual and intellectual journey in the 1940s. With candor and vivid detail, Kaplan explores his evolving beliefs concerning a democratic Judaism; religious naturalism; and the conflicts, uncertainties, and self-doubts he faced in the first half of the twentieth century, including his excommunication by the ultra-Orthodox in 1945 for taking a more progressive approach to the liturgy. In his publications, Kaplan eliminated the time-honored declarations of Jewish chosen-ness as well as the outdated doctrines concerning the resurrection of the dead. He wanted a prayer book that Jews could feel reflected their beliefs and experiences; he believed that people must mean what they say when they pray. Kaplan was a man of contradictions, but because of that, all the more interesting and significant. Scholars of Judaica and rabbinical studies will value this honest look at the preeminent American Jewish thinker and rabbi of our times.

The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America

In fact, this first bat mitzvah failed to cause “the kind of sensation” that Mordecai M
. Kaplan's other radical changes would.16 But, even if it did not provoke furor,17
bat mitzvah surely indicated a meeting between feminism and Judaism. In fact ...

Author: Marc Lee Raphael

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231507062

Category: Religion

Page: 300

View: 116

This is the first anthology in more than half a century to offer fresh insight into the history of Jews and Judaism in America. Beginning with six chronological survey essays, the collection builds with twelve topical essays focusing on a variety of important themes in the American Jewish and Judaic experience. The volume opens with early Jewish settlers (1654-1820), the expansion of Jewish life in America (1820-1901), the great wave of eastern European Jewish immigrants (1880-1924), the character of American Judaism between the two world wars, American Jewish life from the end of World War II to the Six-Day War, and the growth of Jews' influence and affluence. The second half of the book includes essays on the community of Orthodox Jews, the history of Jewish education in America, the rise of Jewish social clubs at the turn of the century, the history of southern and western Jewry, Jewish responses to Nazism and the Holocaust; feminism's confrontation with Judaism, and the eternal question of what defines American Jewish culture. The contributions of distinguished scholars seamlessly integrate recent scholarship. Endnotes provide the reader with access to the authors' research and sources. Comprehensive, original, and elegantly crafted, The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America not only introduces the student to this thrilling history but also provides new perspectives for the scholar. Contributors: Dianne Ashton (Rowan University), Mark K. Bauman (Atlanta Metropolitan College), Kimmy Caplan (Bar-Ilan University, Israel), Eli Faber (City University of New York), Eric L. Goldstein (University of Michigan), Jeffrey S. Gurock (Yeshiva University), Jenna Weissman Joselit (Princeton University), Melissa Klapper (Rowan University), Alan T. Levenson (Siegal College of Judaic Studies), Rafael Medoff (David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies), Pamela S. Nadell (American University), Riv-Ellen Prell (University of Minnesota), Linda S. Raphael (George Washington University), Jeffrey Shandler (Rutgers University), Michael E. Staub (City University of New York), William Toll (University of Oregon), Beth S. Wenger (University of Pennsylvania), Stephen J. Whitfield (Brandeis University)

Mordecai M Kaplan

naive to realize what they have to cope with , or too much committed to Judaism
to escape responsibility of envisaging in concrete forms the future they
contemplate for it . ... Quite the contrary , his primary and fundamental desire is to
preserve the Jewish way of life in America , to make " young ... Because he feels
that radical changes have taken place in the life of the American Jew , which
cannot “ but be ...

Author: Ira Eisenstein

Publisher: Reconstructionist Press

ISBN:

Category: Judaism

Page: 324

View: 179


Women and Judaism

But a single change prior to the emergence of the second wave of American
feminism stands out as an innovation in the ritual life of a Jewish ... On March 18,
1922, Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, a professor at the Jewish Theological
Seminary, called his eldest daughter, Judith, ... In the summer of 1922, a Reform
rabbi, contemplating the radical question of women's ordination, remarked that “
the rabbi of an ...

Author: Frederick E. Greenspahn

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814732186

Category: Religion

Page: 268

View: 191

Although women constitute half of the Jewish population and have always played essential roles in ensuring Jewish continuity and the preservation of Jewish beliefs and values, only recently have their contributions and achievements received sustained scholarly attention. Scholars have begun to investigate Jewish women’s domestic, economic, intellectual, spiritual, and creative roles in Jewish life from biblical times to the present. Yet little of this important work has filtered down beyond specialists in their respective academic fields. Women and Judaism brings the broad new insights they have uncovered to the world. Women and Judaism communicates this research to a wider public of students and educated readers outside of the academy by presenting accessible and engaging chapters written by key senior scholars that introduce the reader to different aspects of women and Judaism. The contributors discuss feminist approaches to Jewish law and Torah study, the spirituality of Eastern European Jewish women, Jewish women in American literature, and many other issues. Contributors: Nehama Aschkenasy, Judith R. Baskin, Sylvia Barack Fishman, Harriet Pass Freidenreich, Esther Fuchs, Judith Hauptman, Sara R. Horowitz, Renée Levine, Pamela S. Nadell, and Dvora Weisberg.

Index to Jewish Periodicals

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Jewish literature

Page:

View: 773

An author and subject index to selected and American Anglo-Jewish journals of general and scholarly interests.

Tolerance of Uncertainty

Religion in the modern world Judaism The search for more radical versions of
Judaism, that was evident during the 19th century, has continued ... Founded by
Mordecai Menahem Kaplan (1881-1983), an American rabbi, this is the only
modern version ... (The following account is largely based on Dynamic Judaism:
The Essential Writings of Mordecai M. Kaplan edited by Goldsmith and Scult (
1985)).

Author: John Bancroft

Publisher: Author House

ISBN: 1496929365

Category: Philosophy

Page: 326

View: 552

Late in his life, the author came to realize that there was much in his world that was uncertain. How should he deal with that? In this book, he explores how some scientists have tolerated uncertainty and goes on to consider uncertainty in relation to our morals. The subjugation of women has been a major moral problem through history, characterized by certainty. In his view, this has fostered many other immoralities (e.g. slavery). He then reviews the world's main religions. To what extent have they accepted uncertainty, and how have they dealt with sex and women? How do individuals cope with religious uncertainty? By the end of the book, he makes the clear distinction between unknowability (reflecting the limitations of our comprehension, which we should respect) and uncertainty (which is more relevant to our day-to-day experiences, which we need to cope with and tolerate). For this purpose, he proposes models of reality that we could use, assessing the extent that they have been helpful and modifying them as necessary. He sees this modelism as having general significance, and to illustrate this, he proposes a radical model for incorporating both women and men into our society: a two-team approach. Tolerance of uncertainty is of fundamental importance to us all. Certainty is often problematic and should be viewed with caution.

Shofar

A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community : Mordecai M. Kaplan , Orthodoxy
, and American Judaism , by Jeffrey S. ... M. Kaplan , the founder of the
Reconstructionist movement , was the most influential and controversial radical
Jewish ...

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Electronic journals

Page:

View: 663


American Journal of Theology Philosophy

MORDECAI M. KAPLAN'S SYNTHESIS OF JUDAISM AND AMERICAN
RELIGIOUS NATURALISM Emanuel S. Goldsmith / Queens College of the City
University of New York Mordecai M. Kaplan ( 1881-1983 ) is the most seminal
voice in the ...

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Philosophy

Page:

View: 446


Jewish Americans Struggle for Equality

Reconstructionism By far the smallest and most obscure religious movement in
American Judaism is Reconstructionism . Founded in 1920 by Mordecai M .
Kaplan , a Conservative Jew , Reconstructionism was inspired by sociological ...

Author: Geoffrey Bar-Lev

Publisher: Rourke Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780865931824

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 104

View: 992

Discusses the struggle of Jews to secure equal rights in the United States.

Jews Justice and Judaism

CHAPTER 28 - AMERICAN JUDAISM TODAY Bamberger , Bernard J . The Story
of Judaism . ( New York , The Union of American Hebrew Congregations , 1964 .
) Eisenstein , Ira . Judaism Under Freedom . Foreword by Mordecai M . Kaplan .

Author: Robert St. John

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Jews

Page: 390

View: 394


Religion in America

But a second wave of immigration was to change drastically the character of
American Judaism. ... to their troubles had been to abandon Judaism, associating
themselves instead with radical antireligious movements for social reform. ... One
attempt to respond to this “flight from Judaism” was the Reconstructionist
movement, led by Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881— ) of the Jewish Theological
Seminary.

Author: George C. Bedell

Publisher: Prentice Hall

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 541

View: 922

This comprehensive narrative account of religion in America from 1607 through the present depicts the religious life of the American people within the context of American society. It addresses topics ranging from the European/Puritan origins of American religious thought, the ramifications of the "Great Awakening", the effect of nationhood on religious practice, and the shifting religious configuration of the late 20th century.

Feminism and Modern Jewish Theological Method

For these reasons , then , we shall limit the discussion to an evaluation of
Kaplan's Reconstructionism . Mordecai M. Kaplan By far the most radical of the
major Jewish theologians of our time , Kaplan crafted the first distinctively
American ...

Author: Lori Krafte-Jacobs

Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Incorporated

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 128

A sound approach to overcoming the Jewish community's historical exclusion of women must go beyond the current agenda for change. To be enduring, that agenda must be grounded in an underlying holistic vision or method, so reforms are not mere ad hoc improvements that leave an inequitable structure in place. Accordingly, this book examines the methodological options available to contemporary Jews, evaluating each on the basis of its ability to accommodate the kinds of development modern sensitivities require.

Humanistic Judaism

Mordecai M . Kaplan ( 1881 - 1983 ) was the most seminal voice in the evolution
of American Judaism in the twentieth century . His influence is felt in every aspect
of Jewish life - communal , cultural , educational , and religious . His thought ...

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Judaism

Page:

View: 419


Understanding American Judaism

Until the death of Cyrus Adler in 1940 , Conservative Judaism was headed at the
top by a German Jew with Sephardi connections who was a non - Zionist , but in
that period the largest single influence was probably that of Mordecai M. Kaplan .
His Reconstructionism was religiously radical , almost a form of humanism , but it
was unshakably committed to Zionism . Kaplan was the leader of many Jewish ...

Author: Jacob Neusner

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Judaism

Page:

View: 279