Kaplan on Crisis: Hope through Unity

In Unity there is Hope.

From Mordecai Kaplan

August 18, 1942

The main effect of the present crisis is to shift the goal of all our efforts from the individual to the collective, from the “I” to the “we.”

We hardly need to be reminded that no man is alone now, that our safety lies in cooperation and in the pooling of all our resources. This applies not only to the individual, the family, the organization, but also to the state or the nation. No matter how strong a nation, it cannot hope to find safety in isolation. “One thought at the fore -/That in the Divine Ship, the World,/Breasting time and Space,/All Peoples of the globe together sail,/sail the same voyage, are bound to/the same destination”

(Walt Whitman, “Old Age Echoes.”) (From Communings of the Spirit, The Journals of Mordecai M. Kaplan . Vol III ( Wayne State University Press), to appear in Fall 2020, ed by Mel Scult

By Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

Rabbi Sabath is a scholar, Jewish institutional leader, author, spiritual leader, higher education administrator, and public speaker. Currently, Rabbi Sabath serves Ohavay Zion Synagogue as visiting Rabbi and as Senior Scholar at the Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood. Most recently Rabbi Sabath served as Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics and led a four-campus team at HUC-JIR to achieve the goals of a five-year strategic plan as the National Director of Recruitment and Admissions. Appointed President's Scholar, Dr. Sabath taught courses on liturgy, modern Jewish thought, gender, and theology faculty at HUC for over 16 years. Prior to her recent national role at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Sabath served as Vice President of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and for over a decade as a member of the Institute's faculty, while directing the Hartman Lay leadership, Rabbinic leadership, and Christian leadership programs for North American leaders as well as programs in pluralism and Jewish identity for officers of the IDF. Ordained in New York in 1995, Rabbi Sabath earned a Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

For several years, Rabbi Sabath wrote a monthly column in the ​Jerusalem Post​ and has written regularly for ​The Times of Israel, The Huffington Post a​ and other publications. Rachel co-authored two books and published numerous scholarly articles as well as pieces in key Jewish thought publications including “Radically Free and Radically Claimed” in ​Jewish Theology in Our Time.​ Rabbi Sabath teaches and mentors Jewish leaders of several generations and is a sought-after speaker throughout North America and Israel on leadership, Israel, gender, and theology. Rabbi Sabath serves on the editorial board of the CCAR Journal of Reform Judaism and as a consulting editor for the new multi-denominational journal, Zeramim: An Online Journal of Applied Jewish Thought.