Individualism, Nationalism, and Universalism: The Educational Ideals of Mordecai M. Kaplan's Philosophy of Jewish Education

May. 25, 2008

Source: Journal of Jewish Education, Volume 74, Issue 2, pages 201 – 226


This article examines educational ideals by exploring the relation between the individual, the collective, and humanity in Kaplan's Jewish and educational philosophy.


Generally the goals of individualism, nationalism, and universalism are seen as mutually exclusive. By contrast, Kaplan argues for the symbiotic relationship between individualistic, nationalistic, and universalistic values, which forms the foundation of his understanding of the goals of Jewish education. Kaplan argues that Jewish education can (and must) simultaneously assist the self-actualization of individual Jews, create group loyalty among them and promote the advancement of humanity as a whole.

Updated: Oct. 04, 2008