• 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.

Select 21st Century Jewish Educational Resources that are Kaplanian at the D'rash Level

D'rash (דְּרַשׁ) comes from the Hebrew verb darash, to inquire or seek. D'rash is the level of interpretation and extrapolation. The backbone of youth education in the Jewish Reconstructionist movement is the Values of Spiritual Peoplehood, which was derived from Kaplan's observations about education in Judaism as Civilization. Similarly, the Reconstructionist movement has been inspired by Kaplan's commitment to participatory and intentional Jewish community to integrate Values - Based Decision Making into Reconstructionist Jewish communal institutions and congregations.

D'rash דְּרַשׁ - when a core Kaplanian concept is made accesible through a concept or construct that carries the weight of realization of the value;  consciously placed into a different design frame or wedded to other constructs in order to fully actualize the pedagogic power of the ideas...examples would be values based decision making, the values of spiritual peoplehood, and the reconstructionist teaching model.  Here the use of Kaplanian concepts is freer, more adaptive, and more interpretive than in the peshat framework

 

Amphibious Jew

Values-Based Decision Making (middle school)

Curriculum by Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman

 

The Torah Process: How Jews Make Decisions

Teacher Training by Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz

 

TEL Program Overview (based on the Values of Spiritual Peoplehood) by Rabbi Erin Hirsh & Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

TEL Tikkun Olam Curriculum

Description of an experiential teen program.

 

The Values of Spiritual People: The Mehayeh Metim of Mordecai Kaplan’s Educational Philosophy

An article by Rabbi Jeffrey Eisenstat and Dr. Jeffrey Schein