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Eric Caplan

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor

Director, Jewish teaching option
Joint appointment with Department of Jewish Studies

Eric Caplan
Contact Information

Education Room 365
(514) 398-6544

Email address: 
eric.caplan [at] mcgill.ca
Department of Integrated Studies in Education

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.


B.A. (Toronto University), M.A. (Hebrew University), PhD. (McGill University)

Areas of expertise: 

Jewish Education,
Jewish Social Activism, Reconstructionist Judaism

Selected publications: 

Selected publications/presentations

Caplan, E. (2012) “All is One? Current Theologies.” CCAR Journal, Fall 2012, pp. 213-222.

Caplan, E. (2012) “Nous ne Sommes Plus Elus: L’election divine dans la pensee et la liturgie de Mordecai Kaplan,” Tenoua, Printemps 2012, pp. 38-40.

Caplan, E. (2012) “Kaplan’s Approach to Prayer Appreciated and Challenged,” Crosscurrents, March 2012, pp. 50-60.

Caplan, E. (2011) “Prayer Books: United States,” in the Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture. Judith R. Baskin, ed. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011. p. 494.

Caplan, E. (2010) “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.

Caplan, E. (2006) On Reinventing the wheel: Fashioning a Liturgy we can pray with integrity. The Reconstructionist, Fall 2006.

Caplan, E. (2006) What does it imply? How does it apply? Reconstructionist Holiday Editorials, 1935-1955. Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, 24(3). 37-57.

Caplan, E. (2005) Jewish tradition and reconstructionist decision making: Giving tradition a clearer voice. Reconstructionism Today, Winter 2005-2006, 1, 4-6.

Caplan, E. (2004). The dangers of "privatized Jewishness". Reconstructionism Today, Spring-Summer 2004. 14-18.

Caplan, E. (2002). From Ideology to Liturgy: Reconstructionist Worship and American Liberal Judaism. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press.


Conference Presentations

“Community as a Vehicle for Moral Education in the Thought of Mordecai M. Kaplan,” Inaugural Conference, The Melton Coalition for Creative Interaction, Ohio State University (Columbus), February 11, 2013.

“Is it Time for a new Kosher? EcoKashrut,” Le-Mood, Montreal, Canada. June 5, 2011.

“The Centrality of Social Justice to the Thought of Mordecai M. Kaplan,” Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA. December 22, 2009.

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