BEIT KAPLAN: The Rabbinic Partnership for Jewish Peoplehood is a new association of rabbis. We work collectively to sustain and inspire Jewish communities that champion the religious and cultural life of our people as we uphold a vision of universal rights and dignity for all people.
Inspired by the teachings of RABBI MORDECAI KAPLAN, we affirm a serious commitment to traditional Jewish thought and practice while at the same time valuing democratic ideals, academic inquiry, artistic creativity, and scientific discovery. We are committed to the State of Israel as the historic and contemporary homeland of the Jewish people.
BEIT KAPLAN: The Rabbinic Partnership for Jewish Peoplehood seeks to:
- Offer rabbis a supportive community of peers.
- Promote unity among rabbis regardless of affiliation, welcoming rabbis across denominational lines who support the goals of the partnership.
- Promote dialogue among rabbis on issues of Jewish thought and practice.
- Support individuals, couples, and families as they deepen their commitments to Jewish learning and Jewish life.
F O R R E L E A S E
Thursday April 7, 2016
Twenty rabbis associated with the Reconstructionist movement have announced the formation of Beit Kaplan – the Rabbinic Partnership for Jewish Peoplehood: an educational consortium and resource for rabbis, congregations, and lay people wishing to continue the work and vision of Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983).
“We have formed a new association in order to represent rabbis, congregations and laypeople who adhere to a more traditional Kaplanian reading of Reconstructionist Judaism,” said Shoshana Hantman, acting spokesperson for the group. “The decision to form the association was sparked, in part, by the recent RRC policy shift that muddled the definition of what it means for a rabbi to have a Jewish family. Other contributing factors include a desire to return the focus of liberal Judaism to Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan’s vision of Jewish peoplehood and a desire to affirm connections to the Jewish people globally, including in Israel.”
Rabbi Lester Bronstein, a founding rabbi of the organization added “The Rabbinic Partnership hopes to offer rabbis a place to continue the work Kaplan described decades ago: not to react to the circumstances that change Jewish life, but to actively shape those circumstances, and to do so in partnership with supportive and caring colleagues.”
The founding members are committed to the democratic ideals that are the foundation of the Reconstructionist Jewish approach, and to upholding Kaplan’s vision of a Judaism that advocates for universal human rights and dignity for all people.
Regarding Israel, Beit Kaplan: The Rabbinic Partnership for Jewish Peoplehood supports the State of Israel as the historic and contemporary homeland of the Jewish people, and supports the rights of those who are critical of the policies of Israel’s current government. But we unequivocally reject any movement to delegitimize Israel in the community of nations.
The group has started a website:
Rabbi Shoshana Hantman, spokesperson, can be reached at rabbihantman at aol.com.