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Louis Lionel Kaplan

KAPLAN, LOUIS LIONEL (1902–2001), U.S. educator. Kaplan was born in Slonim, Russia, was taken to the U.S. in 1909, and educated in New York. From 1930, he served as executive director of the Baltimore Board of Jewish Education. He was president of the Baltimore Hebrew College, now *Baltimore Hebrew University, from 1930 to 1970. He was president of the National Council for Jewish Education (1939–41); and from 1940, he was a member of the board of governors of *Dropsie College, Philadelphia. He was also a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Maryland from 1952. He wrote A New Approach to the Teaching of the Torah (1942) and edited Hebrew texts and readers. Kaplan viewed Jewish education as an instrument for helping the individual, through a study of the unique Judaic religious-historical tradition, to find his place in the larger society of which he is a part.

From 1975 to 1981, he served as an interim rabbi at the Beth Am Synagogue in Baltimore.

With Theodor Schuchat, Kaplan wrote Justice, Not Charity: A Biography of Harry Greenstein (1967).

Baltimore Hebrew University has established the Louis L. Kaplan Prize in Hebrew Literature; and the University of Maryland awards the Louis L. Kaplan Scholarship to its most outstanding undergraduate student leaders.


J. Fruchtman (ed.), A Life in Jewish Education: Essays in Honor of Louis L. Kaplan (1997).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.