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'Hot Biblical Topics' hitting Zoom -- Article published in West Valley View newspaper March 6, 2022

Using “The Bible Now” by Richard Elliot Friedman and Shawna Dolansky as a reference, Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, Ph.D., will show participants of a new class, “Hot Biblical Topics: Controversial Issues as Seen in the Bible,” what the ancient Bible teaches regarding contemporary controversies.

The Zoom class includes fresh interpretations of texts that have been misused to justify both stringent and lenient positions on such topics as capital punishment, homosexuality, abortion and environmental issues. These “hot topics” will be discussed with respect for all attendees.

This three-week course will be taught by Kaplan, rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom of the West Valley. Kaplan has a diverse rabbinic background, having served congregations in Israel; Capetown, South Africa; Albany, Georgia; Kingston, Jamaica; and Mobile, Alabama, before assuming his current position at TBS.

The author of several books and numerous papers and articles, Kaplan earned an undergraduate degree at Yeshiva University with a major in Jewish studies; a Ph.D. in American Jewish history from Tel Aviv University (his dissertation was on “Conversion to Judaism in America: 1760 to 1897”); and a rabbinic degree and a MHL (Hebrew Letters and Literature) from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (Jerusalem). He was subsequently ordained as a rabbi in the Reform Jewish movement.

The course will be offered from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays March 15, March 22 and March 29 on Zoom, or anytime on YouTube (enrollees will receive link for both).

It is open to anyone interested in attending. The cost is $18 for members of TBS and $25 for nonmembers. Advance registration is required. To enroll, call the TBS office at 623-977-3240 or send an email before March 10.

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