Meet the Author

TES Emma Lazarus Library
“Meet the Author” Adult Education Series
First Sunday Mornings, 10:00am-Noon
Zoom Access: teslive.emekshalom.org 

An Evolving Vision of Jewish Life:
Mordecai Kaplan’s Reconstruction of Judaism
Rabbi Ken Ehrlich

Class Schedule and Readings
(Note: All of the readings are available on-line as indicated)

October 3 — The Origins of Reconstructionist Judaism (Who, What, Where, When, and Why)

→”Meet The Author” Adult Education Series with Rabbi Ken Ehrlich – Sunday October 3, 2021: https://youtu.be/ToFvNpKOXK4

November 7 — The Elements of Reconstructionism: Judaism as a Civilization
Read:  “Reconstructionism: A Program” in Mordecai Kaplan, The Future of the American Jew (pp.34-57)
Nov. 7 Handout
Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot (FRCH) “Platform of Reconstructionism”, 1986
https://therra.org/resolutions/platform-on-reconstructionism-(1).pdf

December 5 — A Reconstructed Theology of Judaism
Read:  “The Belief in God” in Kaplan (pp.171-187)
December 5 Handout

January 2 — Torah and Law: The Challenge of Authority
Read:  “The Problem of Jewish Law” in Kaplan (pp.387-401)
January 2 Handout #1
The Status of Women in Jewish Law” in Kaplan
(pp. 402-412)
January 2 Handout #2

February 6 — A New View of Zionism and Israel
Read:  “Zionism – A Reconstruction of the Jewish Way of Life” in Kaplan (pp.359-371)
February 6 Handout #1
“The Role of Eretz Yisrael in the Life of Diasporah Jewry” in Kaplan (pp. 123-142)
February 6 Handout #2

March 6 — How, Why, and To Whom Reconstructionist Jews Pray
Read:  “Toward a Guide for Jewish Ritual Usage” in Kaplan (pp.413-428)
March 6 Handout #1
“Introduction to the Reconstructionist Sabbath Prayer Book, 1945” in Marc Raphael, A Documentary History of the Jews in America (pp. 226-233)
March 6 Handout #2

April 3Reconstructionism and the Future of the Synagogue and the Jewish Community in America
Read:  “Community: The Social Structure of American-Jewish Life” in Kaplan (pp.106-122)
April 3 Handout

May 1 — Assessing Kaplan’s Vision: What Should Stay? What Should Change?
Read:  “Continuity and Change” in Kaplan (pp.372-386)
May 1 Handout

For Further Reading (in our Emma Lazarus Library)….

“Reconstructionism” in Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol.13, Reference pp. 1615-1616

Alan W. Miller, The God of Daniel S,  Call#–250Mil

Rebecca T. Alpert and Jacob J. Staub, Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach,  Call#–278Alp

Gilbert S. Rosenthal, The Many Faces of Judaism,  Call#–270Ros

Mordecai Kaplan, The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion,  Call#–278

Simon Noveck (Ed.), Great Jewish Thinkers of the Twentieth Century,  Call#–259.3

Arthur A. Cohen and Paul Mendes-Flohr, Contemporary  Jewish Religious Thought,  Call#–259.3

Howard M. Sachar, A History of the Jews in America,  Call#–973