The Great Kaplanian Report Card: Valley Beth Shalom of California as a Kaplanian Playground

with Rabbis Amy Bernstein, Ed Feinstein and Jeffrey Schein on the successes and challenges of implementing the Judaism as a Civilization program.

Sunday, January 7, 2024 – 3pm Eastern

Our third and final session of a three part series in honor of the 40th Yahzeit of Mordecai Kaplan and the 90th anniversary of Judaism as a Civilization!

* This recording begins with the first presenter, Rabbi Feinstein. Introductions were not recorded.

Rabbi Amy Bernstein is Senior Rabbi of Kehillat Israel. Prior to serving at KI she was the Rabbi of Temple Israel in Duluth, Minnesota. She graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College which awarded her an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, last year, for her 25 years of rabbinic service.

An Atlanta native, Rabbi Bernstein holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Cultural Anthropology from Northwestern University, where she also earned a certificate in Women’s Studies. She is an alumna of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality two year rabbinic intensive, is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and is Past President of the Southern California Board of Rabbis.

Rabbi Ed Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California and lecturer in the Ziegler

Rabbinical School of the American Jewish University. Raised in the back of his parents’ bakery on the frontiers of the West San Fernando Valley, he graduated with honors from the UC Santa Cruz, Columbia University Teachers College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was ordained a rabbi and earned his doctorate in Jewish education.

Rabbi Feinstein is the author of five (good!) books. His latest, In Pursuit of Godliness and a Living Judaism, an intellectual biography of his mentor, Rabbi Harold Schulweis. He shares three (married and employed!) adult children and one small dog with his wife, Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein. And every Friday afternoon, he bakes brownies from a recipe revealed to his ancestors at Mount Sinai.

Jeffrey Schein is a Jewish educator. He became a Reconstructionist Rabbi in 1977 and in 1980 earned his doctorate in education from Temple University. For 25 years he guided Jewish educators through the masters of Jewish education program at Siegal College in Cleveland. He presently works as the senior education consultant for The Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood and also directs the Text Me: Ancient Jewish Wisdom Meets Contemporary Technology project. He has authored a dozen volumes and several dozen articles about contemporary Jewish and religious education. He and his wife Deborah moved to Minneapolis in 2015 so that they could continue their work in closer proximity to their grandchildren. In 2022, he became the Executive Director of The Mordecai Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood.

Thank you to our sponsors!
The Jewish Publication Society, Sherwood and Barbara Malamud, Reconstructing Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Jane and Harvey Susswein