Beneath the Surface: Mordecai Kaplan’s Philosophical Commitments Explored

with Dr. Nadav S. Berman and Dr. Rabbi Vered Sakal

How does Mordecai Kaplan arrive at his understandings of truth and religious experience?  Join Drs. Berman and Sakal as they explore Kaplan through the lens of the non-Jewish theologian Jon Hick. Dialogue with them as they extrapolate from Kaplan’s philosophical commitments to the critical issues of a 21st Zionism and the presence of evil in the world. 

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Dr. Nadav Shifman Berman recently completed a Kreitman postdoctoral fellowship at the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, during which he explored Jewish Thought vis-à-vis the Christian Agape. Prior to that, Nadav was a postdoctoral associate at Yale University’s Jewish Studies Program, and adjunct lecturer at the JTS. He is currently a research fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of Haifa, where he co-leads (with Prof. Tal Zarsky) an interdisciplinary research project on Jewish Thought, Law, and Technology. Nadav’s doctoral work investigated, inter alia, the role of pragmatism in Mordecai Kaplan’s thought.


Dr. Rabbi Vered Sakal is the Bertram and Gladys Aaron Professor of Jewish Studies at Christopher Newport University. During 2021-2023 she was the Melanie and Andrew Goodman visiting fellow for the Olamot Center for Scholarly and Cultural Exchange with Israel, at Indiana University, Bloomington. Sakal holds a PhD in Jewish thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was a fellow at the Tikva Center for Law and Jewish Civilization at NYU, the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University, and the Bloomington 

Symposia, IU Institute for Advanced Study. Her fields of research are religious studies, modern Jewish thought, liberal theory and subaltern studies.

This webinar is dedicated to the memory of Leah Kamionkowski, a dedicated student of Kaplan’s philosophies, a leader in her own community of Kol Halev in Cleveland, and a national board member for the Reconstructionist movement. Leah died at age 90. She led her last Torah study at age 90!

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