Power to Which People? American Jewish Philanthropy & Democracy

Lila Corwin Berman

The fellowship is meant to honor of the work of two retired faculty member: Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, RRC ‘85, who started RRC’s social justice organizing program, and Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Ph.D., RRC ‘82, who pioneered the college’s approach to multifaith studies.

As part of the fellowship, Plevan also will be taking part in a March 20 panel discussion, “Democracy and Judaism: Does One Need the Other to Thrive?”, organized by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood and A More Perfect Union: Jewish Partnership for Democracy (register here.) Democracy comes up in many of Plevan’s classes at RRC, particularly a course examining democracy and Jewish sources. He said to expect fall programming in advance of the 2024 elections.

Taken together, the fellowship will explore and champion how Reconstructionism teaches that participatory democracy is vital for religious flourishing.

“For many people, religious pluralism means keeping religion outside of the public realm,” said Plevan. “That wasn’t Kaplan’s view at all. He taught that what a thriving democracy needs is having different kinds of peoples and traditions and ideas contributing to public life.”