Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983) was one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the 20th century. We believe that his thought may be even more important in the 21st century.

News & Events

CEDARBAUM PRIZE

Meet Rabbis Bec Richman and Michelle Greenfield, our two recipients of the Dan Cedarbaum Prize in Jewish Education. Also see the first “blooms” of our 21st Century Kaplanian Innovation Garden.

GOD IS HERE

Wed, Aug 30th, 12 pm (Eastern), Webinar

Book club discussion of Rabbi Toba Spitzer’s new book, God is Here, exploring God as Metaphor

BECOMING

Here you will find resources for the Jewish future,  supporting  you in imagining your own Jewishness and the story of Judaism writ large as a work in progress with new chapters for you to write. 

Book cover with flowering branch and text "Night of Beginnings: A Passover Haggadah" in English and Hebrew

The Kaplan Center is so pleased to be a supporter of Marcia Falk’s Night of Beginnings.  By the end of Pesach the original run of 5,000 Haggadot had sold out. and JPS and University of Nebraska are now planning a second printing.

Reflections on A Night of Beginnings

In the Talmud a distinction is made between judgments that are lehatchilah, in theory, and those that are bediavad, established through practice.   As many of you know,  the pragmatism of John Dewey and William James has been a major influence on Mordecai Kaplan.  From the perspective of pragmatist philosophy, the deepest worth of an idea or endeavor is revealed through careful implementation and thoughtful reflection.  What we thought was an absolute end turns out to be an end in view, itself now subject to revision after it has unfolded. 

With these concepts in mind, we have invited four users of Night of Beginnings, Rabbi Morris Allen, Rabbi Jeffrey Schein, Rabbi Margie Jacobs, and Ben Schein, to share their thoughts and experiences with us.  Perhaps this will help enhance your own use of Night of Beginnings beshanah haba’ah,  next year.

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From the Blog

Dan Cedarbaum, z”l

Eric Caplan

Dr. Mel Scult

Rabbi Jeffrey Schein