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Dear friends,
In this Kaplan Center newsletter, you will find: 
  • reminders and registration links for our August 31 and September 13 webinars.
  • short selection from Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer's essay review of Rabbi Toba Spitzer's God is Here as well as Rabbi Spitzer's bio.
  • the list of all our webinars occurring in the upcoming year. Register by clicking your selected webinar title(s) at the end of this newsletter. 
Join our August 31 (12pm EDT) book club reading of God is Here by Rabbi Toba Spitzer led by Drs. Deborah and Jeffrey Schein. 
Register in advance for this webinar.
Jeff and Deb Schein invite you to join no matter how much or how little of the volume you have read.  Additionally, they issue an invitation for you to bring to the dialogue a selection from the book (more than a word, less than a paragraph) that for you captures the deepest meaning of the volume and you would like to share with the group.
Join our September 13 webinar God is Here in Kaplanian Context with Rabbi Toba Spitzer. 

Register in advance for this webinar.

Rabbi Toba Spitzer has been the spiritual leader of Reconstructionist Congregation Dorshei Tzedek since 1997, and is the author of the recently published God Is Here: Reimagining the Divine. She has served as President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and was the first openly LGTBQ president of a national rabbinic association. She is a popular teacher on an array of topics, and a longtime leader in work for Israeli-Palestinian justice and peace.
Below is a short reflection from Dr. Nancy Fuchs Kreimer's review of the volume God Is Here: Reimagining the Divine, Toba Spitzer, St. Martin’s Press, 2022, excerpt from review:

Imagine a person: Let’s call her Jane. Jane has deep intuitions of awe, wonder and the mystery of life. If she were comfortable with the word, she would say she has known grace. She cares about making the world a better place, and she strives to shape her own disposition and character into a better version of herself, a person with more courage and compassion. She has meditated and practiced yoga. She cannot, she will not, pray to the God, who is the Big Powerful Person, the King, the Commander-in-Chief. Yet like Martin Buber, she is open to using the word God as the place to put her most intimate questions, her yearnings, her resolve to cheat despair. She just doesn’t know quite where that God is.

Imagine that, with luck, Jane’s rabbi is Toba Spitzer, someone who has spent more than 25 years serving a congregation with people like Jane. Rabbi Spitzer has done a lot of learning and a lot of living. She knows how to gently guide someone like Jane to understand that God is a word that can be redeemed, and that once it is redeemed, there are practices, ancient and modern, even prayers, that will enhance her life.

Because she is one of the fortunate ones, she has Rabbi Spitzer by her side for the journey. For the rest, there is Spitzer’s wonderful new book, God Is Here. I can’t wait to hand this book to all the Janes I know, not to mention rabbis and other clergy who, like me, will read and reread it, grateful beyond measure.

Our other upcoming webinars in 2022-23:

  1. Sunday, October 30 – 3pm Eastern in anticipation of election day
    Entering the Heichal (sanctuary) of the Voting Booth: Reflections on Judaism and Democracy with Rabbis Elliot Dorff and Sid Schwarz
  2. Sunday, December 11 – 3pm Eastern
    Hanukah and a Friendly Critique of the Notion of Living in Two Civilizations with Rabbis James Greene, Jessica Lott, and Jeffrey Schein
  3. Sunday, January 29, 2023 – 3pm Eastern
    Kaplan and the Arts with Rabbi Margie Jacobs, Elizheva Hurvich, Rabbi Adina Allen, and Joanne Fink
  4. Sunday, February 26, 2023 – 3pm Eastern
    Kaplan and Hebrew with Rabbis Helen Plotkin, Daria Jacobs-Velde, Earl Schwartz, and Vardit Ringvalt
  5. Sunday, March 19, 2023 – 3pm Eastern
    Crowdsourcing of the Kaplan Center Vision and The Great Kaplanian Report Card with Drs. Eric Caplan and Jeffrey Schein
  6. Sunday, April 23, 2023 – 3pm Eastern 
    Kaplan and Israel: A New, New Zionism with Rabbis Michael Cohen, Gail Shuster Bouskila, Dennis Sasso, and Dr. Shlomi Ravid
  7. Sunday, May 21, 2023 – 3pm Eastern
    Approaching Shavuot and Kaplan’s 40th Yahrzeit Year, What Remains Revelatory in Kaplan’s Thought with Drs. David Ellenson, Arnie Eisen, and Nancy Fuchs Kreimer

We encourage you to print this PRINTABLE FLIER listing all webinars and have it available during the High Holidays. Please use this DIGITAL FLIER to send digitally to your community and post on social media. 

Zoom links will be provided upon registration.  For information about the webinars contact Jeffrey Schein (

Copyright © 2022 The Mordecai Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood, All rights reserved.

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