Dr. Eric Caplan

Associate Professor
Dr. Eric Caplan
Contact Information
Email address: 
eric.caplan [at] mcgill.ca

Education Building
3700 rue McTavish
Montréal, Quebec H3A 1Y2

Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE)
Areas of expertise: 
  • Jewish social activism
  • Mordecai Kaplan
  • American Judaism
  • Jewish education

Dr. Caplan's primary research and teaching interests are modern Jewish life, Judaism and social justice, the thought and career of Mordecai Kaplan, and Jewish educational thought. He is currently working on two projects: 1. An anthology of writings of Jewish social activist thinkers covering the years 1850 to the present (Jewish Publication Society). 2. Editing and annotating the diaries of Mordecai Kaplan 1951-1978 (Wayne State University Press). Dr. Caplan is the co-founder and Vice-President of the Mordecai Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood which—through conferences, on-line seminars and an ever-expanding website (https://kaplancenter.org)—works to stimulate conversation about the Jewish issues, including the numerous educational questions, that were of core concern to Kaplan. His book, From Ideology to Liturgy: Reconstructionist Worship and American Liberal Judaism (Hebrew Union College Press, 2002), is being republished with a new a preface in 2021. A representative list of his other publications can be viewed here: https://mcgill.ca/jewishstudies/faculty/caplan.

  • PhD, Jewish Studies, McGill University, Canada
  • MA, Jewish Education, Hebrew University, Israel
  • BA, Jewish Studies/Religious Studies, University of Toronto, Canada
Selected publications: 

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.

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