Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Jewish Reconstructionism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_9254

Reconstructionism is the fourth major denomination of Judaism and was introduced by Lithuanian-born Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (1881–1983) in the 1920s in America. It is the only major sect of Judaism to originate inside the United States, and the movement has had little reach beyond American borders. Rabbi Kaplan began his career as an Orthodox rabbi, but his dissatisfaction with Orthodoxy brought him to the Conservative rabbinical seminary where he retained a tenureship for 54 years. In this position, he taught Judaism as an ever-evolving civilization and asserted the need for Jewish people to reexamine the practices and customs of traditional Judaism in light of the changes and advances of the times. Kaplan sought to change the emphasis of Conservative Judaism so that it would appeal to Jews who had become psychologically and spiritually distant from their heritage. It was his belief that Judaism had persisted for thousands of years despite the adversities the Jewish people were...

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Bibliography

  1. Bronstein, L. (n.d.). What is reconstructionist Judaism? Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Retrieved from http://www.rrc.edu/resources/reconstructionist-resources/what-reconstructionist-judaism?print=1. Accessed 28 July 2012.
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  4. Liebman, C. S. (1970). Reconstructionism in American Jewish life. American Jewish Year Book, 71, 3–99.Google Scholar
  5. Reconstructionist Judaism: The fourth denomination. My Jewish Learning. Retrieved from http://www.myjewishlearning.com/history/Modern_History/1914 -1948/American_Jewry_Between_the_Wars/Recon structionist_Judaism.shtml. Accessed 28 July 2012. (Reprinted from American Jewish Desk Reference: The Ultimate One-Volume Reference to the Jewish Experience in America, by American Jewish Historical Society, 1999, New York: Random House).

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Priory HospitalLondonUK