Books

JudaismAsACivlization

Judaism as a Civilization Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life

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  • Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan (author)
  • Mel Scult (introduction)
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About the Book

Judaism as a Civilization is widely considered the genesis of the Reconstructionist Movement, representing a watershed moment in modern Judaism.

In this classic book, Mordecai Kaplan introduced a new way of looking at Judaism: as an evolving religious civilization. His approach required innovation in liturgy and ritual, elimination of obsolete customs, and adjustment in light of prevailing social, political, and cultural conditions. Kaplan felt that all Jews—traditional and liberal, religious and secular—could play a part in this “reconstruction.”

Judaism as a Civilization, first published in 1934, remains one of the most original and thought-provoking contributions to modern Jewish thought.

Praise

This classic work is widely considered the genesis of the Reconstructionist Movement, and remains one of the most original and stimulating contributions to modern Jewish thought.

—International Journal of Jewish Education Research

 

Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan

Mordecai Kaplan was born in Lithuania and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1889. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and received a master’s degree from Columbia University. He first served as associate rabbi of Kehillath Jeshurun, an Orthodox synagogue in New York, and later joined the faculty of JTS. Kaplan continued teaching and writing until his death in 1983, at the age of 102.

Learn more about Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan’s legacy at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College website.

Mel Scult

Visit Mel Scult's website

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