Vancouver School of Theology is glad to announce the appointment of Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan Kaplan as Interim Director of the Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre effective July 1, 2014.
“We are thrilled at the appointment of Laura to the staff of the Vancouver School of Theology and to the Interim Directorship of Iona Pacific. Her strengths as award-winning teacher, author, administer and congregational leader will be great assets to the school.”
— Principal Richard Topping
Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan Kaplan holds a B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Brandeis University (1980), a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Education from Claremont Graduate University (1991), Rabbinic Ordination from ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal seminary (2005), and a Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction from the Vancouver School of Theology (2010). From 1989-2004, Laura served as Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and for seven years coordinated the university’s Women’s Studies program. Her books include Philosophy and Everyday Life, Family Pictures: A Philosopher Explores the Familiar, and two co-edited volumes on the Philosophy of Peace. For her innovative work helping students use philosophy to explore their life narratives, she received five teaching awards, including the Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professor of the Year award and an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy degree from Niagara University.
Laura arrived in Vancouver in 2005, to serve as Rabbi at Or Shalom Synagogue, where she completes her term in June. Since 2005, she has also been a core faculty member at the ALEPH seminary. She has served as co-chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress Jewish-Christian dialogue, led weeklong summer workshops at the United Church’s Naramata Centre, and taught at VST and UBC Religious Studies as an adjunct faculty member. She is a fellow at Rabbis Without Borders, a progressive, pluralistic U.S.-based Jewish think tank. Laura’s most recent publications explore the phenomenology of prayer. Laura, a native of New York City, is married to psychologist and musician Charles Kaplan. Together they are parents of two young adults, and caretakers of a changing array of companion animals.