Associate Professor & Director of the Jewish Teacher Training Program
Areas of Interest:
Jewish Social Activism, Reconstructionist Judaism
B.A. (Toronto University), M.A. (Hebrew University), PhD. (McGill University)
Eric Caplan received his B.A. in Jewish Studies and Religious Studies from the University of Toronto, where he graduated in 1985. Between 1986 and 1990, Eric lived in Israel and pursued M.A. studies at the Samuel M. Melton Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His thesis dealt with the teaching of Judaica in the non-Orthodox Kibbutz movement. Eric received his Ph.D. from McGill University in the fall of 1998. He is the author of From Ideology to Liturgy: Reconstructionist Worship and American Liberal Judaism, published by Hebrew Union College Press in 2002. Eric continues to research Reconstructionist Judaism and liberal Jewish life in general. His current project studies liberal Jews and organizations that are linking Jewish text study and ritual to social activism to create a markedly Jewish social activist expression. Eric is also editing (with Mel Scult) the diaries of Mordecai M. Kaplan. He is the Vice-President of the Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood.
From Ideology to Liturgy: Reconstructionist Worship and American Liberal Judaism. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2002.
with Jeffrey Schein, “The Educational Philosophies of Mordecai Kaplan and Michael Rosenak: Surprising Similarities and Illuminating Differences,” Journal of Jewish Education, 80:4 (2014), 388-410.
“All is One? Current Theologies.” CCAR Journal, Fall 2012, pp. 213-222.
“Nous ne Sommes Plus Elus: L’election divine dans la pensee et la liturgie de Mordecai Kaplan,” Tenoua, Printemps 2012, pp. 38-40.
“Kaplan’s Approach to Prayer Appreciated and Challenged,” Crosscurrents, March 2012, pp. 50-60.
“Judaism: Reconstructionist,” in the Encyclopedia of Religion in America (4 volumes). Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams, eds. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010. pp. 1141-1144.
“Mitchell Silver’s A Plausible God: a Personal Response.” Reconstructionism Today, Winter 2008, pp. 11-13.
“Obligation vs. Possibility: Presentations of Ritual in the Reconstructionist Movement and Their Significance,” Conservative Judaism, V59:4 (Summer 2007), pp. 42-60.
“What Does It Imply? How Does It Apply? Reconstructionist Holiday Editorials, 1935-1955.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, V24:3 (Spring 2006) pp. 37-57.
“On Reinventing the Wheel: Fashioning a Liturgy we can pray with Integrity,” The Reconstructionist, Fall 2006, pp. 17-25.