The reader of our website may have noticed in the past across the top of our homepage the columns of belonging, behaving, and believing. We sincerely apologize to our readers for the incomplete view of Jewish life even when these first three b’s are taken together! The deepest layers of Jewish identity and meaning-making derive from the fourth B and the power of becoming.
Announcing then our critical fourth portal: Becoming. This is the dynamism of our Jewishness and “Judaism” that is always a work in progress. Newness and creativity are all its hallmarks. In the dropdowns, you will see courtesy of Mel Scult a short Facebook post about the origins of this fourth B in Kaplan’s notion of creativity, a short biography of Mordecai Kaplan by Rabbi Lewis Eron invites children (and the child in all of us) to imagine Jewish life in a new way as the ultimate Kaplanian gift, an article by Jeffrey Schein lays out the “becoming nature” of a growing educator, an introduction to the Four B’s at Camp Havaya, and three selections on becoming from Rabbi Steve Carr Reuben’s A Year with Mordecai Kaplan (JP)S).
As a final resource for now, we share a recently published article by Mel Scult where Mel reflects on the role of the individual for Kaplan through the lenses of psychologists like Erich Fromm and Abraham Maslow. When the Kaplan Center completes the work of Dr. Eric Caplan and Rabbi Richard Hirsh on a book written originally in Hebrew by Kaplan focusing on a theory of the good life (soterics) we will certainly expand the dialogue around this topic.
Some of our resources in this connection are:
Kaplan on Belonging, Believing, and Creating (Mel Scult’s Kaplan Facebook)
The Becoming of the Jewish Educator (Jeffrey Schein, Reconstructionist, Fall 1995, The Contemporary Legacy of Kaplan for Jewish Education)
The Four B’s at Camp Havaya (Jeffrey Eisenstadt, Camp Havaya)
Torah Commentaries on Becoming (Rabbi Steve Carr Reuben’s commentaries on Becoming from A Year with Mordecai Kaplan)
Kaplan’s Theology of the Personal (Mel Scult)