Peoplehood as an end in itself can’t withstand our increasingly fluid Jewish identities, Deborah Waxman writes. What about peoplehood as a means to something greater?
Having recently edited and contributed to a book about women who “reconstructed” American Jewish education, i.e., transplanted Mordecai Kaplan’s views on American Judaism into classrooms, children’s books, camps and women’s organizations, I’ve had to wrestle with the “F” word. Feminism is hard enough to define. What is Jewish feminism?
It was 90 years ago that Judith Kaplan read part of the week’s Torah portion, making her the first American girl to publicly celebrate her bat mitzvah.
Jeremiah Riemer writes to suggest that if Elena Kagan is indeed set to become the first Reconstructionist on the Supreme Court since the Civil War, as I joked in a May 10 blog post (playing off her late parents’ reported membership in a Reconstructionist congregation), then it’s time to take a fresh look at the famous dictum by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, founder of Jewish Reconstructionism, that tradition should have “a voice but not a veto” in our current moral decision-making. If that is indeed how the nominee sees things, what does it portend for the legal principle of stare decisis, the common-law rule that judges are bound by precedent, as set by previous court rulings? Would Justice Kagan give Roe v. Wade or Brown v. Board of Education a “voice but not a veto”?