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Kaplan Minyan

The Bnai Keshet Kaplan Minyan is named for Reconstructionist Judaism founder Mordecai Kaplan, who sought to create a Jewish framework for discussions of ethics, culture, history and current events. They are designed for people who enjoy a communal Shabbat and want to enrich their understanding of Jewish peoplehood in an alternative, less traditional setting.

Upcoming Sessions

December 12: Anisa Mehdi Walking a Fine Line: The Abraham Path Initiative
Password: KAPLAN

The Abraham Path Initiative promotes walking in Southwest Asia, commonly called the “Middle East,” as a tool for intercultural experiences and fostering friendships across the challenging divides of our times. 

With local partners, API catalyzes economic development, community-based tourism, and cultural heritage preservation. Our Fellows recount stories about the peoples and cultures of this region to a global audience. 

API envisions a future in which this region may become best known for its spectacular walking trails and its warm, welcoming people.

Anisa Mehdi is executive director of the Abraham Path Initiative.  An Iraqi-American of mixed religious heritage, Anisa values the variety of cultures present in Southwest Asia, and appreciates the tensions that sometimes arises therefrom.

For more than 20 years she was a broadcast journalist in mainstream American news media, with credits at National Geographic, 60 Minutes, Frontline, PBS, NPR, ABC, and the BBC. She has two Emmys, a CINE Golden Eagle, and awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for reporting on religion and the arts. 

Anisa is an alumna of Wellesley College and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Jordan. Anisa believes in the power of walking to create stronger links between people at this vital time for our world.

January 16: Miriam Schneir 
Final Verdict: What Really Happened in the Rosenberg Case

Miriam Schneir and her late husband, Walter Schneir, co-authored Invitation to an Inquest, an investigation of the Rosenberg case which had four editions in the United States (1965, 1968, 1973, 1983). They summed up their conclusions in Final Verdict: What Really Happened in the Rosenberg Case (Melville House, 2010). Miriam’s publications in women's history and the history of feminism include Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings, a companion volume Feminism in Our Time (Random House/Vintage), and the catalogue-book "Remember the Ladies": Women in America, 1750-1815 (Viking). She has written for various national magazines, including Ms, The Nation, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Review of Books, and is presently working on a history of feminism in Western Europe and North America.

February 13: Jeffrey Schein
The Ten Commandments Of Managing Our Evolving Digital Selves

We live in a highly digital age.  At no time has the relationship between Judaism and Technology been all at once so rich, complex, enriching, and problematic. The synergies, creative tensions, and conflicts that come from the interplay of the digital global civilization and Judaism is a prime example of what Kaplan means by living in two civilizations. As well as traditional categories of Jewish ethics such as between a person and God, and a person and his fellow human beings, we need a NEW Jewish ethical vessel named “between a person and his/her technologies.” Rabbi Schein will explore practical aytzahs (ideas/suggestions) for infusing their relationships to technology with Jewish values. 

Jeffrey Schein is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College with a doctorate in education from Temple University. For forty years he ran Jewish schools, developed Jewish curricular materials, and taught and guided over a 100 graduate students to their masters degrees in Jewish education at Siegal College in Cleveland where he was the director of the education program.  He is the author of twelve books and dozens of articles appearing in Jewish and religious education journals.

March 27: Andre Willis
Exodus: Freedom in the Modern Black and Jewish Religious Imaginations

April 24: Mario Russell
American Immigration: A Very Brief History and What We Know So Far About the Trump-to-Biden Transition

May 22: Rabbi Noach Shapiro

Previous Sessions

October 31: Daniel Brenner - The Almost Anti-Racist Judaism of Mordecai Kaplan
November 14: Jessica S. Henry on "Smoke but no Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened"

Sat, December 5 2020 19 Kislev 5781